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PARIS, April 15 (Reuters) – The to start with edition of the women’s Paris-Roubaix race previous yr silenced most of the sceptics and attitudes to women’s biking are altering, the race director of the Tour de France Femmes said on Friday.
On a rainy, muddy day in October 2021, Lizzie Deignan emerged as the first winner of the women’s Paris-Roubaix immediately after mastering the slippery cobbled streets in northern France that adult men have raced on for far more than 1 hundred decades.
The 2nd edition will be held on Saturday although the Tour de France Femmes will acquire position from July 24-31, 33 several years following its final version.
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“There’s practically nothing to really do to adjust mentalities,” Marion Rousse instructed reporters soon after a presentation of the Tour de France Femmes at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
“All we have to do is display (that ladies can do it). The last sceptics who think girls have very little to do on a bicycle will change their mind just after observing the race from the road side or following turning on their Tv set. That is all you will find to do.
“There have been a whole lot of sceptics before the women’s Paris-Roubaix last 12 months. They were being stating ‘oh la la, ladies on cobbled streets how are they going to handle that?’. And it was raining that day and I can tell you that after the race a great deal of folks claimed ‘chapeau’.”
Rousse stated that Paris-Roubaix was a turning level.
“Items have improved given that then,” she explained. “When you see the races currently you are unable to say women have very little to do on a bicycle.”
Men’s cycling, nonetheless, remains a masculine ecosystem.
“With the Tour de France Femmes we want to display that gals can have vital roles, responsibilities,” Rousse explained.
“It really should not just be gals dealing with women’s biking and gentlemen only getting concerned in men’s cycling.”
Rousse, a former French champion, is the spouse of globe winner Julian Alaphilippe. She has been a person of the 3 commentators on the men’s Tour de France for most important broadcaster, France Televisions, given that 2017.
“I am not the only lady who can speak about biking. You will find a whole lot of ladies who can be included,” she said.
In 2020, Cherie Pridham became the initially lady to maintain the function of sport director in a men’s team, Israel Cycling Nation.
While she does not regret ending her career in 2015, the 30-calendar year-old Rousse, also the deputy director of the Tour de La Provence, would be forgiven for wanting to know what could have occurred if women’s cycling had been additional produced through her racing many years.
“You can find a lengthy way to go ahead of mentalities modify totally but points have started off to evolve,” she stated.
“When I was riding, I was scarcely having compensated and which is why I stopped. I essential to shell out the expenditures so I had to convert that site quite early. It could have been various.”
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Reporting by Julien Pretot Enhancing by Toby Davis
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