Tour de l’Aude

Women’s cycling doesn’t get the level of coverage it deserves, it has improved substantially over recent years. If you don’t follow much of it, take a look at the Tour de l’Aude.

The Aude is a départment in Southern France that lies between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees. This means it has a supreme choice of terrain and for me the region offers some of the best riding in France, all against a backdrop of sleepy villages and numerous vineyards.

Finally, if you’ve ever wondered why women’s races are so much shorter than the men’s events, well the distances require a lot of hydration and this has consequences. It’s simply because men can stop for a leak en route but short of lining the route with portaloos, this can’t happen for women. So now you know.

2 thoughts on “Tour de l’Aude”

  1. Agree the level of coverage is still poor given the open nature of the racing and the fact that all the big names tend to be at the vast majority of the big races.

    And you forget to mention that it tends to finish in Limoux, home to the fantastic Blanquette and Cremant de Limoux. Stayed with a friend who has a house down there when I did the Etape in 2007. It felt like a perfectly relaxing area to ride your bike.

  2. TV coverage of cycling usually doesn't start until the final few hours of a race (or at least not here in the UK), but with the BBC's dedication to the Olympics they broadcast the entire race in Beijing from beginning to end. At about the halfway stage, during a lull in the action, half the peloton pulled up to the kerb and darted into some nearby bushes.

    At first the commentators thought it was riders going back to the team cars for refreshment, then that people were having mechanicals… if they finally cottoned on to what was actually happening they certainly didn't mention it!

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