The little queen is finally rolling out the red carpet for female cyclists. After having existed in different forms, often depending on the men’s race, the women’s Tour de France takes place from Sunday July 24th. On the program: eight stages between Paris and Alsace, with more than 1,000 km to cover.
Unlike the men’s edition, the women therefore start with the Champs-Elysées, before heading east and a high-flying finale in the Vosges reliefs. In particular, they will compete in two sparkling stages in Champagne before crossing Alsace. A short program, with 8 stages in 8 days, but dense and spectacular.
The key steps
We shouldn’t be bored on this women’s Tour de France, with stages designed to dynamite the race every day. If a favorite could take advantage of the Champagne hills to take the yellow in Epernay on the evening of the 3rd stage or the chalk paths between Troyes and Bar-sur-Aube (4th), the last two stages should constitute the highlights of the Grande Boucle .
Between Sélestat and Markstein, on the eve of the finish, the peloton will face a mountainous triptych of first choice over 127 km: the Petit Ballon (9.3 km at 8.1%), the Col du Platzerwasel (7 .1 km at 8.3%) and the Grand Ballon (13.5 km at 6.7%). Enough to draw a hierarchy that can still evolve the next day, during the final stage towards the Super Planche des Belles Filles (7 km at 8.7%), before which it will have already been necessary to swallow the Ballon d’Alsace (8, 7km at 6.9%). A finish at the top for an explosive last stage, where anything could be decided.
“Football is a sport that is played 11 against 11, and in the end, Germany wins”said Gary Lineker. The Women’s Tour de France is a sport that is played by 24 teams of 6, with a good chance that it will be a Dutch woman who wins. It remains to be seen which one. Untouchable on the Giro despite his 39 years, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) will be the big favorite.
However, she will have to be wary of her compatriot Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma, 35 years old and three Giros on the clock), also twice victorious in a stage on the Tour of Italy 2022, before giving up to recharge her batteries in sight. of the Big Loop. Younger, Demi Vollering (SD Worx, 25) could well grill the politeness of her elders, within the best team of the peloton.
However, the Netherlands will not be guaranteed to bring the yellow jersey home. The Italian Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) and her compatriot Marta Cavalli (FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope), very prominent on the Giro, will seek to dynamite the race to get out of the game. Just like the Italian world champion Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo), or the Danish Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Suez). Also watch out for South African Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SD Worx), an outstanding climber.
Crowned champion of France, Audrey Cordon-Ragot offered herself the pleasure of taking the start of this women’s Tour de France with the tricolor tunic on her back. The Breton will therefore be expected and scrutinized, even if the Trek-Segafredo rider will above all seek to win a stage victory if she is released from her role as a teammate. The observation is the same for Evita Muzic and her compatriots from FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope.
For the general classification, the French hopes rest rather on the shoulders of Juliette Labous (Team DSM). At 23, the Bisontine is aiming for the top 5 of this first edition, she who finished 7th in the Giro 2021 and 9th this season, offering herself the queen stage, at the top of the Passo del Maniva. A good omen for the one who won the Tour de Burgos this season in May, her first race won on the World Tour.
The stages of the Tour de France women 2022 can be followed every day live on france.tv, on France 2 (Sunday) then on France 3 every afternoon.