Tour de France: Women’s stage race set to take place in 2022

Britain's Lizzie Deignan holds up a bouquet of flowers on the podium after winning the 2020 La Course

A women’s Tour de France is set to take place for the first time in 33 years in 2022.

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, have announced next year’s Women’s WorldTour calendar, with an eight-day Tour de France Femmes scheduled for 24-31 July.

The race is due to start on the final day of the 2022 men’s Tour, which runs from 1-24 July.

The original Tour de France Feminin ran alongside the men’s race with the same organisers from 1984 to 1989.

After being taken over by new organisers in 1990, a renamed women’s version of the Tour continued, but underwent several schedule changes.

The final version, the 2009 Ground Boucle won by Britain’s Emma Pooley, featured only four stages.

Men’s Tour organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) started running women’s race La Course in 2014, but it has only been a one or two-day event in its seven editions to date.

The one-day 2021 La Course will take place on the first day of the Tour this year, using a reduced version of the men’s route.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme told the Guardianexternal-link last month that ASO would run a women’s Tour in 2022.

Details of the route and how many stages the race will comprise of have yet to be announced.

The women’s Giro d’Italia – now named Giro d’Italia Donne having previously been the Giro Rosa – has returned to WorldTour level.

The event, currently the most prestigious stage race in women’s cycling, was downgraded by the UCI last year because the 2020 edition failed to provide the minimum of 45 minutes of live television coverage the governing body requires.

The 2021 women’s Giro will take place from 2-11 July, with the 2022 event set for 1-10 July.

The Women’s Tour, held in the UK, is due to return to its usual summer slot in 2022 and is scheduled for 6-11 June.

The 2021 edition of the race has been postponed to 4-9 October because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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