Two-time Olympic gold medalist Marianne Vos and several other elite female cyclists have started an online petition to include women in the Tour de France starting in 2014.
"For 100 years, the Tour de France has been the pinnacle endurance sports event of the world, watched by and inspiring millions of people. And for 100 years, it has been an exclusively male race," Vos and fellow cyclists Emma Pooley, Kathryn Bertine and Chrissie Wellington said in an online letter to Tour director Christian Prudhomme.
"After a century, it is about time women are allowed to race the Tour de France, too."
The petition has reached 2,000 signatures.
In the letter, the riders say the women's road race at the 2012 London Olympics "was a showcase for how impressive, exciting, and entertaining women's cycling can be" and that other events, such as the Tour of Flanders and Fleche Wallonne, are able to maintain men's and women's competitions.
The letter notes that a separate race called Tour Feminin that was once held, "but it lacked parity, media coverage, and sponsorship."