Universal Sports Network to Air Inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France
Universal Sports Network announced a new partnership with Amaury Sports Organization (A.S.O.) to broadcast the inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France LIVE in the United States this summer. The one-day, elite women’s cycling race will finish on the famed Champs-Elysées prior to the finale of this year’s final stage of the Tour de France on Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 7:30 AM ET LIVE.
The first-year event will feature 100 cyclists battling it out over 13 laps spanning 90 kilometers of the Tour de France’s final circuit and is likely to end in a sprint finish down the Champs-Élysées. Dutch star and Olympic and world champion Marianne Vos (Rabo-liv) is among the riders scheduled to compete along with England’s Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) and Sweden’s Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS).
The women’s peloton will be comprised of 20 teams with six riders each competing for a €22,500 individual prize, the same sum awarded to Tour stage winners. In addition to the elite cyclists, policewomen from the Paris Police Prefecture will be responsible for watching over La Course, which will also have a 100% female jury, and riders who make it onto the podium will receive kisses from podium boys instead of the customary podium girls.
“La Course by Le Tour de France is a unique and historic event demonstrating the growth and interest in women’s professional cycling,” said Robert James, Universal Sports’ senior vice president of content and communications. “Cycling plays an important role in Universal Sports’ mission to deliver world-class action to our viewers, and we are excited to broadcast this race in the U.S.”
“We are particularly happy that Universal Sports Network will broadcast the very first edition of La Course by Le Tour de France. No doubt that the American audience will enjoy this new women’s race with the best athletes in the world competing in the magical atmosphere of Paris,” said Yann le Moenner, managing director of A.S.O.
With more than 186 hours of television coverage this year, Universal Sports Network is firmly established as the leader in cycling coverage on American television. Other marquee events in this year’s cycling series include the Vuelta a España, Volta a Catalunya, Tour of Belgium, Tour of Britain, UCI Road Cycling World Championships, UCI Track Cycling World Championships, UCI BMX World Championships, UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, and the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.