The Tour de France has been called out again as yet another staging of the famous event races by without any meaningful action towards a female event running hand in hand.

Former cyclist Kathryn Bertine has put the Tour under a blowtorch this week, highlighting the 2018 event — the 105th Tour de France — will be the 105th time women haven't been included.

The women's La Course — a token event predominantly lasting just one day — which runs during the Tour de France has been female cyclists' only action on the Tour De France since its introduction in 2014.

Bertine has declared a token one-day event is simply not good enough from the world's most iconic cycling event.


"It should be a five to 10-day race minimum by now," she told the BBC of La Course.

"They probably don't even see it as sexism, but you could also say that it's just very lazy.

"The very top of the sport is where sexism is still strongest and that's what needs to be dismantled."

La Course is not the first female event le Tour has been accused of introducing as a token gesture to its many female fans.

The Tour de France launched the Tour Cycliste Feminin in 1984 as a multi-stage cycling event for women, but it was cancelled and re-birthed on several occasions over the next two decades because of a lack of funding, sponsors and public interest.

However, with the rise of women's sport across the globe over the past decade, there are an increasing number of clear cases where investing in women's sport has proven financially viable and profitable for male-dominated sports.

The possible excuses for defending le Tour's failed strategy surrounding a women's event are growing thinner every year.

The 2018 La Course event was chopped to just a one-day event running a similar route to the mountain-based State 10 of the Tour de France.

However, the women's peloton rode just 112.5km from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand compared to the men's 158.5km stage.

The women's Giro d'Italia — known as the Giro Rosa — was also just 10 stages this year compared to the men's 21-stage event.

The Giro Rosa, however, is an event sanctioned by cycling's international governing body the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale).

The Tour de France is not governed by the UCI and is operated by private company Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO).

ASO chief executive Yann Le Moenner said earlier this year a women's Tour De France run hand in hand with the men's was "logistically, just not possible," despite declaring his support for a women's Tour de France event "the sooner the better".

A BBC report indicates the almighty dollar may be behind ASO's failure to support a women's event competing on the same stages and days as the men.

A publicly released report shows ASO made an operating profit of $72 million (45.91m euros) in 2016.

The company is still not willing to invest in women's sport — as so many sporting organisations around the globe have done recently.