Annemiek van Vleuten will have the support of Emma Norsgaard, Arlenis Sierra, Paula Patiño, Aude Biannic and Sheyla Gutiérrez as she targets the Tour de France Femmes, with Movistar opting for the same core squad that helped van Vleuten win the recent Giro Donne.
The men’s Movistar team has ridden the Tour de France for 40 years and the Spanish team is taking aim at the women’s race this year.
“Present at every men's edition with no absences since 1983, the Movistar Team simply couldn't miss the reboot of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, which starts in Paris on Sunday 24th and will end atop La Super Planche des Belles Filles on July 31st,” the team said when it named its riders.
“The 'Grande Boucle', which the Telefónica-backed squad hopes to turn into the zenith of its progression after five years in the bunch and a plethora of success, will be another great opportunity for most of the roster that brilliantly conquered the recent Giro Donne.”
The only change in their six-rider Movistar team for the Tour de France Femmes compared to the winning Giro Donne team is the selection of Spanish sprinter Sheyla Gutiérrez, who replaces Jelena Eric.
Norsgaard and Sierra will probably have the freedom to target stage victories on sprint and hilly days before helping van Vleuten in the decisive mountain stages. Patiño will be vital for Van Vleuten in the mountains, while Biannic will also play a supporting role.
Van Vleuten is chasing a historic Giro-Tour double but refuses to become obsessed about the new Tour de France Femmes even if it will further transform the sport.
“For me, personally, there’s not a big difference between targeting the Giro and the Tour de France but the people around me, they only talk about the Tour de France,” she said recently, trying to contain the hype and expectations around the new women’s Grand Tour.
“They need to wake up a little bit also because we have more important races than the Tour de France.”
"Although there is always going to have to be a point when I leave racing, and in my mind it’s best to stop when I’m still at the top, fighting for the wins in the biggest races,” share said.
"I want to quit while I'm at the top, and it’s best to do it when I'm with this wonderful team."
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.