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Six decades after it made its tentative debut, the women’s peloton will finally be able to ride a Tour de l’Avenir.
Announced during the men’s Tour de France last year, the Tour de l’Avenir Femmes will be a rare U23 race for the women’s peloton. While the men’s contest has been held since 1961, this will be the first time for the women.
The prestige and importance are not to be underestimated and the start list reads like a who’s who of rising talent in the women’s peloton. Indeed, the names on the start sheet put paid to any notion that there aren’t enough strong U23 riders to fill a field if the categories were broken down more regularly.
Among the starters are Gaia Realini (Italy), Shirin van Anrooij and Fem van Empel (Netherlands), Anna Shackley (Great Britain), Antonia Niedermaier (Germany), Eglantine Rayer (France), and Noemi Ruegg (Switzerland), to name just a few.
Women’s cycling has developed beyond recognition over the past 10 years with a successful Women’s WorldTour, growing salaries, and increasing television viewership and overall popularity. However, the younger categories have been left behind in this revolution and it needs some work if it’s not going to be left behind.
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