The women's Euro Championship has reached its final week in football, and the inaugural Tour de France Femmes started on Sunday in Paris. I feel sure that the women won't let us down. I haven't been watching the live games in the women's Euros, choosing instead to follow the highlights, but it is noticeable that the standard of football has increased since the last World Cup.
That championship contained some awful defending, rendering some games unwatchable. These Euros have featured some teams, like Northern Ireland, who were out of their depth, but that is also a feature of the men's championships.
The general standard in the Euros has been good, as has the attendance figures. It helps that the hosts, England, are doing well. The semi-finals feature England against Sweden and France against Germany, and it is clear that the best 4 teams have progressed, after France eliminated the Netherlands, the current holders of the title.
You can't help but think that what the women's game needs right now is their version of a Messi or Maradona, someone who can sprinkle the magic dust and create the hype that takes our interest to the next level. Considering the number of young girls taking up football, and the enhance opportunities to make a career of it, I'm sure it won't be long till a superstar comes along.
In cycling, as the men's Tour de France ended in Paris last Sunday the women's version kicked off. The Tour's operating body having finally relented under immense pressure to hold a women's version of the greatest bike race on the planet. The men have three "Grand Tours", the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. Only the Italians put on a women's grand tour, the Giro Rosa. For some reason the French refused until now. The race covers 8 stages and all the big hitters in the female bike world have showed up. So, now in mid-summer with Wimbledon and the Tour de France finished, and the start of the football men's season still to come, the sporting world can focus solely on women's sport.
It is great that women have come this far. Let's hope they put on a great show for us this week.