Organisers of the Tour de France have unveiled an all-women stage as part of this year’s world-famous cycling competition, with podium boys set to bestow prizes on the winners.
Twenty teams, each counting six women racers, will face off in the 90-kilometre stage in the French capital on July 27, Tour de France organisers Amaury Sport Organisation announced in a press conference on Tuesday.
The race, named “La Course”, will end on the iconic Champs-Elysées avenue at the foot of Paris's Arc de Triomphe, just hours before the men cross the same finish line.
“It’s a historic day. I am overjoyed that the Amaury Sport Organisation understands the importance of women’s cycling,” said Olympic cycling champion Marianne Vos, who will take part in the event and has been chosen as its ambassador.
“We need a prominent stage, and that has been given to us. Here is an opportunity to make our dream a reality,” she added.
Tour organisers said policewomen and a "100% female jury" would oversee the event, which will be broadcast live in 104 countries.
The winner will receive a cash prize of 22,500 euros, the same amount given to stage winners in the men's Tour.
Other awards will be handed out to the best sprinter and the fastest athlete aged 25 or under.
The prizes will be presented by “podium boys”, in a wink to the tradition in which Tour de France racers share the winners’ podium – and a kiss – with beauty queens.
As a statement by the organisers put it: "those who make it onto the podium can look forward to kisses from podium boys!''
Date created : 2014-04-30