Visibility is the be-all and end-all. The women's Tour de France simply offers us a massive platform. If people have the opportunity to watch our Tour live on free TV, of course, that helps a great deal. I have often heard spectators are very enthusiastic about our races. For eight successive days, we can show how exciting our races are and that we are in no way inferior to the men. And the spectators have the opportunity to watch it at home from their living rooms.
Is the women's Tour de France also a sporting challenge for you?
I have already ridden several long tours. The women's Giro d'Italia is even 10 days long. When I consider the route, especially the last days with the Planche des Belles Filles, which the men also rode this year, then the Tour is a special challenge. I have to be realistic; my terrain is covered over the first few days. As soon as it heads into the real mountains, it will get really tough for me.
Where do you see further potential for women's cycling?
We are now in an intermediate phase in which women's cycling is sorting itself out and then has to take the next steps. Of course, the economic development is not yet at an end, but the media presence will play a noticeably crucial role. Teams now have 12-16 female riders, and with this squad in place it is becoming increasingly difficult to compete in every race. Due to the new World Tour, the calendar in women's cycling has become fuller very quickly, which means demands on teams are getting bigger and bigger. The infrastructure has to continue to grow. It would also be good for us in Germany if there were several bigger races in addition to the Tour of Thuringia, to offer young female riders in particular opportunities for development.