Women’s cycling quietly crosses its own threshold as world watches Nibali

Marianne Vos of the Netherlands won the inaugural women’s version of the Tour de France on Sunday, a 55-mile circuit on the famous cobblestones of Paris’ Champs-Elysées. In this first edition of “La Course by le Tour de France,” 120 women from 20 teams raced 13 laps of Paris’ broad tree-lined boulevard. For many of the professional cyclists, being able to race in Paris was a gift in itself. Tour de France Director Jean-Francois Pescheux said he was already looking to the future.

The next step will be, first to consolidate as much as possible this race, to make it sustainable in the long run … which would really respond to the demands of professional female cyclists.

Tour de France Director Jean-Francois Pescheux

As Vos celebrated her win, Italian Vincenzo Nibali completed his victory at the 2014 Tour by finishing safely in the pack on Sunday’s 21st and final stage from Evry to Paris. Nibali’s victory comes after the pre-race favorites—2013 champion Chris Froome and two-time winner Alberto Contador—crashed out with injuries in the first half of this year’s Tour. Astana team leader Nibali is only the sixth rider to win all three Grand Tours—France, Italy and Spain. The last Italian to win the Tour de France was Marco Pantani in 1998.

Now that I’m here it’s even better than I imagined.

Italian Vincenzo Nibali