Tour de France director mum on campaign to allow women

By Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme told the Associated Press he has nothing to say to a group of female cyclists petitioning to ride in the race next year.

“We are saying nothing for the moment,” Prudhomme said before the start of Tuesday's 16th stage.

Olympic gold medalist and road race world champion Marianne Vos and British Olympian Emma Pooley are among the riders campaigning for inclusion. Their petition says that after a century “it is about time women are allowed to race the Tour de France, too.”

The riders said letting women in “will also create an equal opportunity to debunk the myths of physical ‘limitations' placed upon female athletes.”

A separate “Tour Feminin” women's race in France hasn't been staged since 2009, owing to a lack of support. Pooley won the 2009 race and Vos finished third.

The Tour de France concludes Sunday in Paris.

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