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Lizzie Armitstead blog: Women's Tour de France is great idea but petition needs some minor refinements

Features Posted 26th July 2013 view comments

Well, that's the Tour de France over for another year. It was such a great race - proper racing all the way through the mountains and so exciting to watch.

Chris Froome was so impressive. The guy is just incredible.

It's a shame it's over, but it is good to see that the idea of a women's Tour de France has taken over from it in the headlines.

My fellow British rider Emma Pooley launched a petition calling for a women's Tour earlier in the year and that has now been submitted with the backing of the politician Harriet Harman.

Lizzie Armitstead has thrown her support behind a women's Tour de France

Lizzie Armitstead has thrown her support behind a women's Tour de France

I would love to see a women's Tour de France, but there are a few parts of the petition that need looking at a bit more closely in my opinion.

I am not sure if it is realistic at this stage to ask for a full three-week, full-distance Tour de France.

I think, like it used to be, the last 10 days of the men's race and half the stage length is a good place to start and, that way, it wouldn't scare people off in the beginning. We need to take realistic steps to begin with and then build the event in time.

We are out on our bikes every single day, going 100km away, so it is not like we are trapped in a bubble of billionaires.

Lizzie Armitstead
Quotes of the week

I have been asked about whether running it alongside the men's race is the best way of doing it, but I have no idea what it takes to put on an event logistically. I have never even organised a birthday party!

That said, it sounds to me like too much of an easy excuse to say there are not enough hotel rooms. I am pretty sure that is something that can be sorted out.

But in terms of women being a united voice, I am 100 per cent behind the petition. It is nice that it is not just coming from me and there are more women out there who have got the guts to say what they think.

Life in France

I was racing for the last week of the Tour, but I still got to see a lot of it. What usually happens is I tend to go out training, come home, fall asleep for an hour or so and then wake up for the last 20km!

I'm now back training in the south of France, where I live with my boyfriend, Adam Blythe, who rides for BMC.

I've been living here for about a year and a half and I have to spend a lot of the year here because the weather is more suitable for training than most of the time in Yorkshire! At first, after I moved, I really didn't think I would enjoy it at all. I thought it would be a bit too rich and clichéd and not really a place I wanted to spend my time.

But we are out on our bikes every single day, going 100km away, so it is not like we are trapped in a bubble of billionaires.

The Cote d'Azur is also a beautiful place for cycling and we have met some British people who aren't cyclists, so it is nice to have a community of friends.

I train with lots of different people. There is an Australian rider called Tiffany Cromwell who I go with and also with Adam and his team-mates. We also ride with racing drivers. A lot of the motorsports guys train on the bikes so we end up riding with them too.

Romantic rivalry

There isn't too much rivalry between me and Adam. I would love to beat him up the climbs, but he is so much better. He is actually really supportive and there is no competition between us, although I would love to get the better of him at something one day. Maybe I am competitive after all!

My next big target is the World Championship road race in Florence in Italy in September. All my training is geared towards that now.

I don't mind admitting that consistency is not my greatest strength, but when it comes to a major event like the worlds, I am very much somebody who peaks for it. I am always confident because I know I taper well and my body will be at its best.

That is how it worked out when I won the national championships in Glasgow last month and, hopefully, it will work out well again for me in two months' time.

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