The following is my opinion with little basis in fact.
Whatever you think about the ASO you have to admire their intelligence. After 3 years of running LaCourse in an effort to appease those who are vocal in supporting women’s cycling, a cause I have a huge amount of sympathy for, they decide to provide a 2 day event in 2017.
This 2 day race was, quite obviously, a pathetic fudge. A 67 km stage which finished at the top of the Col d’Izoard and a second stage where the first 20 in stage 1 compete in a Time Trial. Why the first 20? Who knows, but it was obviously a ridiculous concept. At this point I feel I need to disclose that I didnt watch any of the TV coverage as I felt the event was so ridiculous.
The problem for those who were battling for better womens racing was that they felt they couldn’t criticise the 2017 version of LaCourse as it was twice the number of days, albeit with a rest day in between the 2 stages. Do the ASO think Women cant race 2 days in a row? Infact many riders actually came out with positive statement which I struggled to believe were genuine, how could they be?
As a result, when the dust settled from what turned out to be a mediocre event at best, the ASO decided that for 2018 LaCourse will revert to a 1 day race, being a cut down version of stage 10 of LeTour. I can only assume the ASO did a lucky dip to identify the appropriate TdF stage, with numbers from 1 to 20, as stage 21 isnt going to be in the mix in the foreseeable future.
So now, Womens racing doesn’t even have the showcase of racing a crit around Paris, and the ASO have got what I believe they wanted, keeping Paris purely for the Men. It’s a sad day for Womens racing.