A group of professional women cyclists has one request for the organizers of Tour de France: When's our turn?
In a new petition started on the social action site Change.org, the group, which includes two-time Olympic medalist Marianne Vos, is urging the organizers of the historic race to allow women to compete in the Tour.
"For 100 years, the Tour de France has been the pinnacle endurance sports event of the world, watched by and inspiring millions of people," read the petition, which as of Friday afternoon had more than 3,500 signatures. "And for 100 years, it has been an exclusively male race (there was a separate Tour Feminin in the 1980s, but it lacked parity, media coverage, and sponsorship). After a century, it is about time women are allowed to race the Tour de France, too."
In the petition, the women ask for an event that allows them to compete separately from the men's division with modifications so they don't interfere with the men's event. It points out that the women's race in the 2012 London Olympics, as well as at other major cycling events, are great hits with fans.
"In the late 1960s people assumed that women couldn't run the marathon," the women added. "30 years on we can look back and see how erroneous this was. Hopefully 30 years from now, we will see 2014 as the year that opened people's eyes to true equality in the sport of cycling."