Generally, Olympic sporting events are open to people of all genders—but for 100 years, the Tour de France has only been open to men. The female equivalent of the race, called the "course d'un jour," is a much less celebrated event.
However, this, year, things are different. The Tour de France allowed female competitors to ride a stationary bike on a Virtual Reality route of the race using the online virtual bike training platform Zwift.
Paired with Tour organizers Amaury Sports Organization, or ASO, Zwift designed a course where the riders were allowed to compete in 6-hour stages throughout 40 differenet teams. The event lasted three weekends.
The race featured elite cyclists like the Netherlands' Marianne Vos and world time-trial champion Chloe Dygert from the USA. Stage 6 of the race took place on July 19.
Esports has boomed since the coronavirus lockdown, with sports racing to get a hand in the virtual action. Other sports, such as Formula One, was able to produce a unique experience where regular gamers, F1 drivers, and celebrities were able to race in the "Not the Australian Grand Prix."
The Tour de France and other events like it are the latest in digital innovations that have made sports accessible to millions during COVID-19.