From 29 April to 1 May 2016, the Grand Duchy will be remembering its cycling heroine Elsy Jacobs, the first woman to win the title of world champion of road cycling in 1958, with a cycling festival in her honour. Born in 1933, Elsy Jacobs embarked on a remarkable career in cycling, participating in 1,059 races between 1955 and 1978, of which she won 301.
The 'Elsy Jacobs' Luxembourg women's cycling festival is a stage race for women held in early May each year. The race comprises a cycling tour of variable length, as well as a race respecting UCI regulations, which is composed of a prologue and two stages around Garnich, the village where Elsy was born. Every year, many international cyclists from among the best in the UCI ranking take part in the race.
The 2016 programme
- 29 April 2016: Prologue in Luxembourg-Cessange
- 30 April 2016: 1st stage, Steinfort – Steinfort
- 1 May 2016: 2nd stage, Garnich – Garnich
- On 1 May there will also be a cycle touring circuit centered on Garnich, over three routes (100 km, 56 km, 27 km).
During the prologue in Luxembourg-Cessange, a number of streets will be closed to traffic between 4 and 9 p.m., except for adjoining owners. For more information, please visit the website of the City of Luxembourg.
Elsy Jacobs was born on 2 March 1933, at a time when women were largely excluded from professional sport. As a result, Elsy presented herself at the start of races in France, Belgium and the Netherlands without a licence until 1954, which meant that she was excluded from starting more than once. But such was her determination that she continued to present herself at races despite having no licence, until the CSM Puteaux stable took her under contract. From that moment, Elsy's career took off, finally allowing her to win the World Road Cycling Championship in 1958. This victory and her determination earned her the nickname 'Grand Duchess'.
Later, she broke the speed record for women, exceeding 40km/h on the Vigorelli circuit in Italy. To these impressive successes Elsy Jacobs added 15 Luxembourgish road championship titles, confirming her exceptional talent.
(article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)