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Tour de France Femmes 2022

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Tour de France Femmes route 2022

Tour de France Femmes 2022 (Image credit: ASO)

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme made a long-awaited confirmation that Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) will launch a women's Tour de France avec Zwift in 2022. 

Zwift announced that it will become the title sponsor of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift that will be held from July 24-31 in 2022, and begin on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in conjunction with the final stage 21 of the men's Tour de France.

ASO along with newly appointed race director Marion Rousse revealed the route for the eight-day race at the Palais des Congrès on October 14 in Paris. The eight-day race is set to start at Eiffel Tower and end atop La Planche des Belles Filles.

The event is set to become the richest race in the women's peloton next year, with a total of €250,000 up for grabs over the course of the eight-day race and €50,000 in prize money for the winner.

The route

The Tour de France Femmes will cover 1,029 kilometres and include back-to-back mountain stages, two stages for the puncheurs, a stage packed with gravel sectors, and four flat stages that could either end in bunch sprints or breakaway wins. 

  • Stage 1: Paris Eiffel Tower to Paris Champs-Élysées, 82km
  • Stage 2: Meaux to Provins, 135km
  • Stage 3: Reims to Épernay, 133km
  • Stage 4: Troyes to Bar-sur-Aube, 126km
  • Stage 5: Bar-le-Duc to Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, 175km
  • Stage 6: Saint-Dié-des-Vosges to Rosheim, 128km
  • Stage 7: Sélestat to Le Markstein, 127km
  • Stage 8: Lure to Super Planche des Belles Filles, 123km

History

The women's peloton raced their first official launch of the women's Tour de France until 1984 won by American Marianne Martin. It was an 18-day race held simultaneously as the men's event and along much of the same but shortened routes with shared finish lines. The Société du Tour de France, which later became part of ASO in 1992, managed both men's and women's events. 

The women's Tour de France ended in 1989, and while ASO went on to organise women's one-day races like La Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, La Course, and the inaugural Paris-Roubaix (in 2021), the women's peloton had not been included as part of the official Tour de France for the past 30 years.

Other women's stage races in France, not run by ASO, took place including the Tour Cycliste Féminin, which had started in 1992, and the re-named Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale, until it came to an end in 2009. 

ASO have not revealed the stages or distances of the women's Tour de France Femmes, however, the eight-day women's race will start in Paris on the same day the men finish their stage 21 of Tour de France on the Champs Élysées on July 24 and end on July 31. The official return of the new Tour de France Femmes will be sponsored by Zwift.

La Course: A stepping stone

ASO's marquee men's Tour de France has thrived over a hundred years but the organisation had been repeatedly criticised for not offering an official women's Tour de France since the original stage race was cancelled in 1989.

La Course by La Tour de France was created in 2014 following a petition to ASO calling for a women's Tour de France. Le Tour Entier's petition was led by Kathryn Bertine, Marianne Vos, Emma Pooley and Chrissie Wellington and secured 97,307 signatures. 

The inaugural La Course was held as a circuit race on the Champs Elysees on the final day of the Tour de France. The sprinter-friendly format saw victories for Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen and Chloe Hosking in the first three editions.

Organisers shifted to a two-day experiment in 2017, which saw a summit finish on the Col d'Izoard, held on the same day as stage 18 of the men's race, followed by a handicapped time trial in Marseille. Annemiek van Vleuten won both stages and the overall title.

The race then shifted back to just one day in 2018, as a mountainous road race that linked Annecy and Le Grand-Bornand. Van Vleuten won that edition as well, which was held in conjunction with stage 10 of the Tour de France. The race remained a one-day event held on circuits in Pau in 2019 won by Vos and a hilly circuit race in 2020 in Nice won by Lizzie Deignan. 

The eighth and final edition of La Course by Le Tour de France was held as a 107.4km race from Brest to the finish line atop the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups in Landerneau.

Despite its controversy, La Course had become one of the most showcased events on the Women's WorldTour,  and although  the wait was longer than anyone anticipated, it finally became the stepping stone to the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.

Stages

  • Tour de France Femmes 2022
    24 July 2022 - 31 July 2022 | France | Women's WorldTour
    • Stage 1 | Paris Eiffel Tower - Paris Champs-Élysées
      2022-07-24 82km
    • Stage 2 | Meaux - Provins
      2022-07-25 135km
    • Stage 3 | Reims - Épernay
      2022-07-26 133km
    • Stage 4 | Troyes - Bar-sur-Aube
      2022-07-27 126km
    • Stage 5 | Bar-le-Duc - Saint-Dié-des-Vosges
      2022-07-28 175km
    • Stage 6 | Saint-Dié-des-Vosges - Rosheim
      2022-07-29 128km
    • Stage 7 | Sélestat - Le Markstein
      2022-07-30 127km
    • Stage 8 | Lure - Super Planche des Belles Filles
      2022-07-31 123km

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