Emma Pooley is never afraid to speak her mind, and while she may be having a year away from the top of women’s professional cycling, she’s still talking about it. Today she was on the BBC Radio 4 show, Woman’s Hour, talking about why she’d like to see a women’s Tour de France back on the calendar, and going into a bit of the history about why the previous one disappeared.
She makes some great points, especially about how more racing is better for the spectators, and you can listen to it in two places. The whole programme is archived on the BBC Radio 4 website here – click through to give it some hits! I don’t know if that’s likely to be geo-restricted, but if it is, BBC journalist Alex Murray has put the Emma section onto his Soundcloud.
While Pooley is calling for a same-length, same-distance race, I’d have a different approach – take the best parts of women’s and men’s racing and combine them to make both races better – for example, reduce the lengths of some of the men’s stages, to invite more attacking, reduce the size of the men’s teams by a rider each. And I’d have more stages where the TdF has looping courses visiting the same towns, so spectators get more out of it. So much to think about!
UPDATE 17/7/13: There’s a Change.org petition to the ASO, set up by Pooley, Kathryn Bertine, Marianne Vos and Chrissie Wellington. Please head over and sign it – even if you’re not 100% on the idea, it shows the ASO and the world that there’s backing for women’s cycling