Stories of Commitment: Bonnie Tu and the Inaugural Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift

On July 24, 2022, 142 professional women road cyclists took to the start line in Paris, France at the first-ever Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. The women who raced the action-packed 82 km circuit from the Eiffel Tower to the Champs-Élysées, race organizers, sponsors and fans in attendance were all a part of history in the making.

Cheering loudly from the sidelines was one woman who is no stranger to making history. Bonnie Tu, the chairperson of the Giant Bicycle Group, has been an advocate for women’s equality in cycling since she founded Liv in 2008. After taking on the Tour of Taiwan in 2007 at the age of 57, Bonnie was shocked by the lack of bikes and gear for women. Creating the Liv brand and designing bikes and gear for women, by women, with women, her mission is to welcome more women into the sport of cycling. 

“Ultimately, my mission is to have more women on bikes, because cycling is such a good sport,” said Bonnie.

Bonnie Tu at the inaugural Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift

Supporting women’s road racing at the highest level of competition has always been a part of Bonnie’s vision for Liv. From sponsoring the Rabobank women’s team and seeing Liv-supported rider Marianne Vos sprint to victory at the London Olympics in 2012, to sponsoring both Liv Racing Xstra and Team BikeExchange-Jayco Women’s WorldTour Teams in 2022, Liv has a history of supporting the best women riders and teams in the world.

When the opportunity came to become a major partner of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, Bonnie was on board – seeing her vision for greater equality in cycling coming to fruition.

“Sponsoring the White Jersey of the Best Young Rider Classification at the inaugural Tour de France Femmes was a perfect fit for Liv,” said Bonnie. “The White Jersey means the future. With the sponsorship of the White Jersey, we are demonstrating our commitment to women’s professional cycling and the future of the sport.”

Bonnie Tu TdFFaZ

To underscore that commitment, Bonnie traveled to France, presenting the White Jersey to the winner of the young rider classification at the end of the first three stages of the Tour. More than a representative for the Liv brand, Bonnie is a fan of women’s racing. She even took the opportunity to ride in the team car, jumping out to stand roadside, cheering on the peloton with vigor. 

Bonnie also came to France as a committed participant of the first Tour de France Femmes ProAm. The ProAm is an invitational event for bike industry professionals and influencers to get a firsthand experience on the same course the athletes were racing. The route covered 66km from Bar-sur-Seine to Bar-sur-Aube, a portion of stage four.

“When I received the invitation, I was so excited,” said Bonnie. “I decided to hire a coach and set a training plan. I spent months preparing for it, riding the same route virtually.”

Bonnie Tu riding the ProAm at the Tour de France Femmes

The ProAm route included significant gravel sections and, having never ridden a bike on gravel before, Bonnie showed strength and resilience to finish the ride – accomplishing her goal at 72 years old. 

“What kept me going through the hard times during the ride was my strong commitment,” said Bonnie. “I knew I could do it, because I had already done it during my virtual training. Having the support of pro riders Chelsie Tan (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) and Ayesha McGowan (Liv Racing Xstra) during the ride gave me a boost. Then I knew I definitely could do it!”

Bonnie Tu at the finish line of the ProAm at TdFFaZ

Bonnie hopes that her own commitment inspires women to pursue their cycling dreams and that Liv’s multi-year support of the Tour de France Femmes encourages other brands to get involved. She would like to see more opportunities for women to race tours that are equal in exposure to the mens’ races. 

“Giving women the chance to compete in the most prestigious race in road cycling shows young girls they too can achieve their dreams and aspire to compete at cycling’s highest level—something Liv has been committed to since day one.” said Bonnie.

Bonnie Tu on the podium after the ProAm at the Tour de France Femmes