Six U.S. Women to Make History Completing 2012 Tour De France
Beginning one day ahead of the male professionals, six amateur women will ride the 2012 Tour de France as part of the Rêve project (reve.cc), to raise money for the Bikes Belong Foundation (http://www.bikesbelong.org/foundation).
Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
BOULDER, COLORADO (June 20, 2012) â€“ Beginning one day ahead of the male professionals, six amateur women will ride the entire route of the 2012 Tour de France. Riding as part of the RÃªve project (reve.cc), this will be the first group of women attempting to complete this course. RÃªve aims to raise $60,000 for the Bikes Belong Foundation (http://www.bikesbelong.org/foundation), dedicated to putting more people on bikes more often. The team will start in Liege, Belgium, June 29, 2012 and will ride 21 days and 2,162 miles to the finish line, arriving in Paris on July 21 â€” one day before the pro peloton finishes the official Tour de France.
The women will face the same hurdles that define the annual three-week test of will and strength that is the Tour de France. However, they will not have the same support such as closed roads or cheering crowds, steepening the challenge. Team members include a molecular biologist, a journalist, mothers and business owners. Jennifer Cree, Maria del Pilar Vasquez, Kym Fant, Kristen Peterson, Kate Powlison and Heidi Swift hope to make history in Paris by completing the RÃªve Tour and raising awareness for the Bikes Belong Foundation.
â€œIncreasing women’s participation in bicycling is a longstanding interest of mine, both personally and professionally,â€ said RÃªve team member Kate Powlison, research analyst and communications coordinator for Bikes Belong. â€œAt Bikes Belong, we work to make bicycling safer and stress-free, encouraging more women to ride bikes. I’m doing the RÃªve Tour to prove that any woman, no matter how daunting the challenge — whether it’s a century ride, a steep hill, or riding to work for the first timeâ€”can be done.â€
RÃªve sponsor peloton magazine will host regular team and status updates on the event. Editor at large and RÃªve team member Heidi Swift will share daily stories from the road on pelotonmagazine.com. To help the team reach their fundraising goal for Bikes Belong donations can be made at womens-tour.stayclassy.org. Every donation of $50 or more will receive a gift subscription to peloton.
â€œRÃªve will be a milestone event for women’s bicycling,â€ said Bruno Maier, vice president of Bikes Belong. â€œNot only will it go a long way in supporting the sport, but also, it raises awareness of our mission to incorporate bicycling into everyday life. We are extremely proud of this dedicated team and honored to be a part of it.â€
Additional RÃªve sponsors include 110%, Alpinestars, Bayer Healthcare, Cannondale, Capo, CLIF Bar, Fizik, FSA, Giro, Osmo Nutrition, Schwalbe, SmallHD, Sportique, Spy Optics, SRAM, Strava, Westone, Zacuto, and ZIPP.
About Bikes Belong Foundation
The Bikes Belong Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on improving bicycle safety and enhancing children’s bike programs. It administers the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, supports the Bicycling Design Best Practices Project, and directs the Peopleforbikes.org campaign.
RÃªve (pronounced Rev) is the collaborative venture between VeloDramatic Photography’s Michael Robertson and Wilfred de Kruijf, director of Netherlands-based Cycling Dutchman Tours. RÃªve is singularly focused on delivering the ultimate grand tour experience for serious amateur cyclists. Information and rider registration for RÃªve’s 2013 TDF adventure is available at reve.cc.