Blogs & Opinion


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.

Post to your View!

Be the first to post a comment on this story

Add Comment*

Send us your views

Are you a Sky Sports subscriber?

*All fields required, your email address will be kept private

back to top

Other Experts:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....

comments

Martin Tyler

Tyler's stats and facts

Which letter surname gets the most goals? Who has made the most passes? Martin has the stats......

Guillem Balague

Balague: Real lack logic

Guillem Balague says Real Madrid’s poor football judgement has left them weaker than last season....

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....

comments

Alan Smith

Smith - Welbeck exit sad for United

Alan Smith says many Man Utd fans will be upset to see Danny Welbeck move to Arsenal....

Stuart Barnes

WRU ends stalemate

Stuart Barnes outlines the new Welsh rugby deal and looks at the overall change rugby is undergoing....

Stuart Barnes

Size doesn't matter

Stuart Barnes admires the All Blacks' emphatic win and salutes Argentina's fight with the Boks....

Barrie vs Terry

Barrie v Terry

Barrie McDermott and Terry O'Connor go head-to-head with their Super League predictions......

Phil Clarke

Clarke: Six into one

Phil Clarke looks at the contenders for the League Leader's Shield as we head into the sharp end of the season....

Phil Clarke

Rules of the gain?

Phil Clarke is worried some of the basic laws are being ignored just to make rugby league faster....

David Lloyd

England schooled

India taught England's batsmen a lesson in one day cricket at Trent Bridge, says David Lloyd....

Barry Cowan

Murray to make move

Barry Cowan is backing Andy Murray to make the last eight in New York and test Novak Djokovic....

0 comments

Alex Hammond

Look to the Future

Alex Hammond on a fantastic week at York and picks three best bets for this weekend, including Godolphin's Future Empire...

Alex Hammond

Royal week of racing

Alex Hammond shares tips for the Galway Festival and Glorious Goodwood - where Captain Cat is among her selections....

comments

View from America

Thoroughbred field

Even without Tiger on top form, the PGA at Valhalla proved golf's elite can thrill, says Simon Veness....

0 comments

Neal Foulds

Selby steel

New world champion Mark Selby's the master of match play, says Neal Foulds - but what's next for Ronnie?...

comments

Neal Foulds

Trump tip

Ronnie O'Sullivan is favourite for the Worlds - but Judd Trump could spring a shock, says Neal Foulds....

comments

Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Back on track

Lakeside can make it two wins over Belle Vue Aces in four days, says Kelvin Tatum, but it'll be close!...

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Hit the road

Swindon are struggling this season but will fancy their chances at Birmingham, says Kelvin Tatum....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Racing away

Belle Vue are unbeaten at home but Kelvin Tatum asks if they can transfer that form at Swindon....

comments

Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......

comments

Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....

comments

Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....

comments

Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...

0 comments

Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....

2 comments

Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....

0 comments