sport

Women in 2014 Tour de France

Women will race on the final day of the 2014 Tour de France for the first time.

The riders in the race - called 'La Course by le Tour de France' - will finish on the Champs Elysees a few hours before the men arrive.

The race will be part of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) elite women's calendar.

In a statement organisers confirmed: "A few hours before the men's peloton arrives in Paris...the world's elite women cyclists will race the circuit in the historic heart of the city before fighting out a final sprint at the finish line on the Champs Elysees.

"The new event will give an even more universal dimension to the Tour."

Some of the world's top riders - including triple world road champion Marianne Vos - have already committed to the race.

Vos said: "I am very excited to be taking part, especially with the majestic finish on the Champs Elysees.

"The Tour is the pinnacle of professional cycling and I have no doubt that 'La Course by Le Tour' identifies a new era for women's cycling and will significantly contribute to the growth of road racing."

UCI president Brian Cookson praised the initiative as a "tremendous step forward."

"The quality of professional women's road racing has long deserved a wider audience, and we are very happy that this initiative by ASO will bring the sport to many fans, new and old," he said.

This year the sport's most prestigious race will start in Yorkshire.