Van Vleuten, the favorite to win his final Tour

Dalida, the French singer with a square and bust in Montmartre, had to wear a fake mustache to travel in the car of Pierre Chany, author of the monumental work Fascinating history of the tourand dated the team for decades, Because women are not allowed to drive in approved vehicles, unless they were journalists or nurses, which Iolanda Christina Gigliotti wasn’t. He sang at festivals organized at the end of the stages. Jacques Gaudet, the boss, established a regulation banning his presence. They passed twice on the road, and both times Dalida had to crouch in the back seat. Mirror Sprint She revealed, after the tour, Chaney’s trick.

Nine years later, Luis Ocana’s wife, Josiane, has had to forge an appropriation for her car using cardboard arrows pointing the way. Two days after her arrival in Paris, she evaded arrest when she identified herself as the leader’s wife. She would sneak into Louis’s room behind his boss’s back to make herbal teas and ham sandwiches with oil and garlic.

Cycling and touring were men’s things. Not anymore.

Following pioneers like Jenny Longo or Joan Sommaripa, the flame has grown. And it has advanced so much that now the women’s tour is not as invisible as it used to be, and runners have all the facilities and equipment they have been denied for decades.

Which is why names like that of Dutch veteran Animek van Vleuten, linked to a powerful brand like Movistar, are thriving, an insatiable hoarder of titles, which has already won the Giro and Vuelta this year and He aims for the second time in a row in the race that starts in Clermont-Ferrandland of volcanoes, and Michelin tires, origin, in part, from the history of the Tour in that dark beginning of the 20th century in France with the country divided into two sides by the Dreyfus Affair, and the creation of the newspaper The Carat the initiative of Edouard Michelin, far from the political postulates of the other Parisian newspaper, bicyclewhere Pierre Giffard was running for the Jewish officer.

After eight stages in which the Dutch sprinter will be closely watched by her competitors, the race will end in Pau, after a time trial, the next day only for the survivors of the previous days, climbing, after Aspen, the legendary Tourmalet, a peak already traversed in 2023 by the men’s tour, and that will be in September the end of the stage in the Vuelta.

There will be 956 kilometers for 22 teams of seven riders, with only five Spaniards: Sheila Gutierrez, who will assist Van Villeuten in Movistar, Mavi Garcia, captain of Liv Racing Teqfind, Mireya Benito, who defends the colors of Soudal-Quick Step, Ane Santesteban, main frontrunner for Jaysoat Alula.

Mavi García is the best Spanish asset in the Tour, although her 2022 experience is fateful after several accidents on the road and being hit by her team’s car. His good results guarantee him; Third in last year’s Giro, where he challenged Van Vleuten in the mountains, and seventh in 2023. His form has improved since June and he’s one of the favorites for the podium.

She will have, yes, many rivals, such as Van Vleuten’s compatriot, Demi Vollering or Poland’s Katarzyna Nieveaduma. Lidl Trek presents a very strong team with Elisa Longo Borghini, Lizzie Deignan and Jumbo Visma for Marianne Vos, who will attempt to re-issue the green jersey she earned in the previous edition. But, without a doubt, the proper name for the race would once again be that of Annemec van Vleuten, who after 40 years continues to dominate women’s cycling. Winning the Tour would be the final touch to his career, because he has already announced that he will hang up his bike at the end of the season. The woman of records retires, the French race hails her for her route for which the Tourmalet stage and the Pau time trial are perfect.

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