After twelve years of absence, the Tour de France Women is back. A few days after the appointment as director of Marion Rousse, the Great Women’s Loop presented the route of its 2022 edition, Thursday, October 14, at the Palais des Congrès in Paris.
This new version will start from the Eiffel Tower on Sunday, July 24, on horseback with the arrival of the men on the Champs-Elysées, and will extend over eight stages until July 31, without a day of rest. A desired calendar situation so as not to disconnect the female event from its male counterpart, and to bring it a consistent light, while the female events are drawing more and more faithful.
>> DIRECT. Tour de France 2022: follow the presentation of the route of the 109th edition
“I think it’s great that the girls have their Tour de France again”, congratulates Thomas Voeckler. The national coach appreciates “that the race is televised and that it is not three weeks after the Tour, where we will no longer think of cycling because it will be the resumption of football”. “They deserve it, and they have a background that has nothing to envy that of the boys in terms of difficulties.” A satisfaction shared by our other consultant, Laurent Jalabert: “Ct is a consecration, it is very fair that they have again a women’s Tour, organized by the same organizer as the men. It’s a great showcase for them. “
The course will leave the capital to go east, and, like the men’s course, it will offer a rugged and varied profile. “It’s a very good course, but difficult, continues Voeckler. They will pass through legendary places: Epernay has become legendary, the Grand Ballon d’Alsace, la Planche… Çreminded me of a Tour de l’Avenir profile.” Indeed, after a first short stage in the capital (82 km), the peloton will pass through the medieval city of Provins during the second stage before heading towards Champagne and Reims, birthplace of Pauline Ferrand-Prévôt.
The arrival of the 3rd stage, located in Epernay, saw Julian Alaphilippe give himself a coup (and the yellow jersey) in 2019. “Rough terrain like this will give us a great show. In 2019, Alaphilippe went out in the Côte de Mutigny, which will also be on the program. It promises a good final”, anticipates Laurent Jalabert.
The 4th stage will offer runners an atypical setting since they will pass through the Aube by sometimes steep chalk paths between the vines. While the Men’s Tour offers more and more white paths inspired by the Strade Bianche (such as the Glières plateau), the Women’s Tour is therefore not to be outdone. The next day, the arrival in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges could give ideas to Marianne Vos, winner here during a stage of the Route de France in 2010 ahead of Annemiek van Vleuten.
The last three stages leave the Vosges to conclude this Tour de France Women in Alsace. The 6th day of the race will offer a toboggan stage with many climbs, while the 7th stage should be decisive for the general classification with the ascent of three passes: the Petit Ballon d’Alsace (9.3 km at 8.1% ), the Platzerwasel (7.1 km at 8.3%) and finally the Grand Ballon (13.5 km at 6.7%). “The Platzerwasel is a cow farm. It is a hard pass, but it will be a good stage because in addition it is very beautiful”, Laurent Jalabert analyzes.
Finally, this edition will conclude its comeback in style at the top of the Super Planche des Belle Filles (8 km at 8.7%), i.e. the so-called classic ascent lengthened by one kilometer at 10% on average unpaved, that the ‘we could see in 2019 on the men’s Tour de France. After Bradley Wiggins in 2012, Vincenzo Nibali in 2014 and Tadej Pogacar in 2020, it’s a safe bet that the one who will raise her arms at the top of the Board will be very close to final victory. “The last stage, it will hurt. The one who wins this stage could well have the yellow jersey on the back since the day before”, Jalabert supposes.
In total, 1029 kilometers of racing for the 22 teams of 6 riders. A course where versatility will be mandatory, as in the boys, stuffed them with cobblestones and wind during the first week. “It is difficult in eight days to put as many mountains as for men, but it is varied: there are white paths, the Vosges is a complicated massif, there are 1000 kilometers in the week, no rest day. It will not be a joke. For a first, it is a varied course and sufficiently selective so that we have a great champion at the end “, Jalabert concludes.
Among the favorites in the yellow jersey, we should find those who dominate the world peloton: orphans of Anna van der Breggen, now retired, the Dutch will always have Marianne Vos, Annemiek van Vleuten or Demi Vollering. Facing them, Elizabeth Deignan, recent winner of Paris-Roubaix, Elisa Longo Borghini and why not Juliette Labous, could join in the fight for the yellow tunic.
The steps in detail:
– 1st stage: Paris Tour Eiffel – Champs-Elysées (82 km)
– 2nd stage: Meaux – Provins (135 km)
– 3rd stage: Reims – Epernay (133 km)
– 4th stage: Troyes – Bar-sur-Aube (126 km)
– 5th stage: Bar-Le-Duc – Saint-Dié-des-Vosges (175 km)
– 6th step: Saint-Dié-des-Vosges – Rosheim (128 km)
– 7th stage: Sélestat – Le Markstein (127km)
– 8th stage: Lure – La Super Planche des Belles Filles (123 km)