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Here Comes the Future

Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift

The momentum in the women’s peloton has been building; the excitement has been rising; the number of women vying for the podium has multiplied; the fans are numerous – and they are hungry for more. 

On July 31, 2022, history was made as athletes crossed the finish line on the final stage of the innaugural Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift (watch the 2022 tour highlights here). In 2023, the eight-day women's stage race is back. This time, the tour turns south, taking the riders to the Massif Central and then the Pyrenees. Who will be battling for the Maillot Jaune? The anticipation starts now. 

Tour de France Femmes is not just the making of history – it's the making of the future.

2023 Route

July 23-30, 2023

Tour de France Femmes Route 2023

Click to View the 2023 Tour de France Femmes Route

The 2022 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift was broadcasted in 190 countries, providing the most media coverage for any women's road cycling race in history.

Follow the Femmes

Meet our Athletes

Our two Women's WorldTour teams - Liv Racing Xstra and Team BikeExchange-Jayco competed in the 2022 Tour de France Femmes. Get to know the riders behind the results. 

Silke Smulders | Liv Racing Xstra

Smulders is a former ice skater and student at the University of Eindhoven. She began her road cycling career in 2020 and was invited to be part of the Dutch national squad for the U23 road race at European Championships.

She took quickly to the WorldTour, finishing in the top-20 in high-profile stage races like Giro d’Italia Donne in 2021. In 2022, Smulders is looking to take the next step in her career.

At just 20 years old, Smulders is in contention for the Liv white jersey in the young riders classification at Tour de France Femmes.

Kristen Faulkner | Team BikeExchange-Jayco

A former rower during her time at Harvard University, where she graduated with a B.A. in Computer Science, Faulkner started cycling competitively in 2017 alongside her job at a venture capital firm, before turning pro in 2020.

The 29-year-old was born in Homer, Alaska and raised in the Alaskan fishing community, and only left her job in 2021. Faulkner enjoys languages and can speak both Chinese and Spanish and placed second at the junior world rowing championships.
 
Despite the late start in cycling, Faulkner hit the ground running in her debut season as a professional cyclist, taking a stage win at her first race in Europe at the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche. Faulkner has gone from strength to strength ever since in her first season on a WorldTour team with Team BikeExchange-Jayco.

Thalita de Jong | Liv Racing Xstra

The Dutch cyclist began her career in 2011 as a junior with the Rabobank-Liv team. As a part of the team, she had many successes, including stage wins at Giro d’Italia Femminile, multiple young rider classification victories, and an elite World Championship title in cyclocross.

De Jong returned to Liv in June and is looking forward to pursing the top level of the sport again. She’ll join the stage racing team, with a focus on Giro Donne and Tour de France Femmes.

“Every rider dreams of that; so do I,” said de Jong.

Alexandra Manly | Team BikeExchange-Jayco

After racing for GreenEDGE Cycling between 2015 – 2019, Alex took time away from the road to focus on her track racing and was very successful in doing so. In 2019, Alex was crowned a world champion, winning the Points race and Team Pursuit. She also went on to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for Australia, finishing in fifth place.

The rider from Adelaide has since turned her full attention back to the road and is currently enjoying a successful 2022 season in the WorldTour peloton, having claimed four stage wins and the overall title at the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour. In her time off the bike, Alex likes spending time with her family, playing cards, travelling, and listening to music.

Rachele Barbieri | Liv Racing Xstra

At 25 years old, Barbieri already has an elite World Championship title to her name in Scratch (track cycling). The Italian has a powerful sprint, which she has already put to use in 2022, with two wins and a second-place finish to her name.

After taking two years to focus on track racing, Barbieri shifted her focus to the road when she joined Liv Racing Xstra earlier this year. Her focus is to assist the team in their goals on one day races and stage races, like Tour de France Femmes.

“I feel it is now time to return to the road, at the WorldTour level,” said Barbieri. “I am very happy that Liv Racing Xstra believes in me. In the next two seasons, I definitely want to repay that trust. Liv Racing Xstra is a perfect team for me.”

History of the Women's Tour de France

The men’s Tour de France began in 1903. 81 years later, women had an official opportunity at the storied race. In 1984, the 18-day Tour de France Women was held at the same time as the men’s event and crossed the same finish lines over shortened routes. The women continued to race alongside the men until 1989, when the race was canceled. 

After a three-year drought in women’s stage racing in France, another race promoter picked up the baton and created the Tour Cycliste Féminin in 1992. Although it wasn’t considered an “official” women’s Tour de France, the race gave women the opportunity to compete over nine to 14 stages through the Pyrenees and the Alps until 1997. With a name change in 1998 to Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale, the race continued to run with 14-16 stages until 2003. When the tour returned from 2005-2009, the stages had been reduced to six and then again down to four. 

Five years later, the women’s peloton had waited long enough. A petition was created and presented to the Amaury Sport Organisation (who own the men’s Tour de France) demanding a women’s Tour de France. At the same time, Donnons des Elles au Vélo began riding the full Tour de France route, the day before the men, advocating for a women’s Tour de France. 

La Course by Le Tour de France was first held in 2014. The one-day race has been an exciting showcase on the Women’s WorldTour, held in conjunction with the men’s Tour de France. Still, the appetite for a full women’s tour in France was there, and has grown stronger with each passing year. 

The time has finally come. On October 14, 2021 the route for inaugural Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift was announced

“We’ve waited years for this,” said Marion Rousse, race director. “Women’s cycling has evolved so much over the past few years, and the women deserve it.” 

With brutal climbs, long stages, flat-out stages, and a bit of gravel mixed in, this historic race is just the start to a bright future for women’s cycling.

Image Description: July 22, 1984: Tour de France winners Laurent Fignon and Marianne Martin. Credit: Getty Images

Read more at CyclingNews.com

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