Peloton Watch
 
  La Route de France At Risk In 2014  
 
  December 14th 2013  
     
  The 2014 edition of the La Route de France is at risk with race organisers having been unable to gain consent of a city to host the Grand Depart. At 9 days it is the longest event on the calendar other than the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile (Giro Rosa).

Race organisers sent out a press release on Friday night outlining the trouble facing the race. Upcoming municipal elections in France in March next year have made it impossible to secure an agreement with a city to host the start of the race. Sponsorship was also flagged as a potential impediment

The 2013 edition was won by Linda Villumsen, with her Wiggle-Honda squad winning 7 of 8 stages (including the prologue). World Number One Emma Johansson (ORICA-AIS) won the prologue and held the lead until the final stage where a solo break attempt saw Villumsen ride to victory nearly six minutes ahead of a chasing group that was unwilling to work with the race leader to bring it back. Two time former World Champion Giorgia Bronzini won stages 1-6, setting a record for consecutive victories in women's cycling.

The 2014 edition was scheduled to include a prologue, time trial and seven road stages over 900km held between 9-17 August. There was some criticism among fans over the 2013 edition largely being a procession of sprinter friendly stages. The inclusion of an individual time trial as well as the prologue would likely increase competition in the General Classification.

With the 2014 calendar including 13 races new or returning races to lose the second longest race would be a setback at a time when women's cycling is moving forward.
 
 
       
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