Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Marta Cavalli will co-lead the newly-named FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope team as their main overall contenders at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift that starts on Sunday in Paris.
They are two of the world's best climbers and give the French outfit a distinct possibility of securing the yellow jersey upon the event's conclusion atop La Super Planche des Belles Filles on July 31.
"The Tour de France Femmes represents our biggest goal of the season. We are embarking on this human and sporting adventure with great ambitions and a very strong motivation," said the team's General Manager Stephen Delcourt.
"This selection will not have been an easy task. With our team, the fourteen cyclists of the team had the level to claim a place on this Tour. We had to make some choices."
Delcourt built FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope, now in it's 17th season, on a dream of one day winning the women’s Tour de France. In an interview with Cyclingnews last June, Delcourt said that he believed the event will be a game-changer and has the potential to cause a massive positive shift in the popularity, security and stability of women's cycling.
Part of the team's ambition was to build a team around a GC rider. Delcourt first signed Uttrup Ludwig in 2020, and this year's Danish road race champion has renewed with the team through 2024. "We are very proud to continue the adventure with Cécilie, she embodies the new generation of women's cycling through her leadership on and off the bike," Delcourt said.
The team also brought in Cavalli in 2021, who has had an outstanding season this year with victories at Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, along with second overall at the Giro Donne.
Both riders will lead the team at the Tour de France Femmes, supported by Evita Muzic, Grace Brown, Marie Le Net and Vittoria Guazzini.
Delcourt said that selecting the team was a difficult decision but that it was designed for success at the eight-day race on home soil.
"For this challenging course, we are therefore taking the decision to field the most competitive team possible, with two of the best climbers-puncturers in the world, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Marta Cavalli," he said.
"Two raw talents, Evita Muzic and Grace Brown, will be responsible for supporting our two leaders in the most difficult parts of this Tour. Our Breton Marie Le Net and the Italian Vittoria Guazzini, who have proven their great value and their sense of teamwork throughout the season, complete this group, which is designed to obtain a result at the end of the finish at the Super Planche des Belles Filles on July 31."
Cyclingnews will have live coverage of all eight stages of the Tour de France Femmes along with race reports, galleries, results, and exclusive features and news.
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