Marion Rousse hails success of ‘proper women’s Tour de France’ | Jeremy Whittle

Race director delighted with the impact the Tour de France Femmes has made – but insists there is still work to be done

There were not one, but in fact, two historic moments in women’s sport at the weekend. The first, as you may be aware, came at Wembley on a joyous night for English football; the other was on a mountain summit in the French Vosges, where Annemiek van Vleuten won the Tour de France Femmes at Super Planche des Belles Filles.

The 39-year-old Dutchwoman overcame a stomach bug to utterly dominate the mountain stages of the eight-day race. Such was her superiority over the peloton that only six riders finished within 10 minutes of her overall winning time.

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Annemiek van Vleuten claims Tour de France Femmes despite six bike changes

  • Dutchwoman wins week-long race by 3min 48sec
  • ‘You really feel the Tour is alive,’ says 39-year-old

Annemiek van Vleuten’s overall victory in the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes may have come in the twilight years of her career but it was not a surprise to those who have followed her story closely.

With a second stage win in 48 hours, this time at Super Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges, the 39‑year‑old Dutch rider emphasised her superiority over a peer group still coming to terms with her demolition of the field on Saturday’s summit finish to Le Markstein.

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Tour de France Femmes: Van Vleuten survives final stage to win inaugural race – as it happened

Annemiek van Vleuten survived multiple attacks and bike changes on stage eight to claim a historic Tour de France Femmes win

82km to go: The kilometres are ticking down sharpish, and with three categorised climbs to come, this is going to be a seriously draining day for the riders at the end of eight hard days of racing. FDJ Suez Futuroscope are driving it on at the front of the bunch. We are sure to see a very selective group fight for the stage win, because only the strongest are going to survive this.

However, the good news for Kopecky and co. is that they have fought back into contact with the peloton and it’s all back together.

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Commonwealth Games: cyclists taken to hospital after crash involving crowd

  • England’s Matt Walls ‘alert’ but one of three taken to hospital
  • Supporters treated for cuts in the stands as session cancelled

England’s Matt Walls was involved in a terrifying accident at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday when he was catapulted over the barriers and into the crowd at the Lee Valley VeloPark. The Isle of Man rider Matthew Bostock and Canada’s Derek Gee were also taken to hospital, while two spectators were treated for minor injuries at the velodrome.

Walls received treatment for more than 40 minutes before being taken away by ambulance, with spectators also hurt after he and his bike had come over the top of the barriers on the high banking of the corner.

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Passion and pain: Tour de France Femmes – in pictures

As the final stage of the first Tour de France Femmes approaches, here are some of our favourite images from the last week of exhilarating racing. Returning after a 33-year break, the women’s version of the Tour de France features 144 riders from 24 teams racing 1,029km, which is broken into four flat stages, two hilly stages, and two mountain stages with a summit finale at La Planche des Belles Filles

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