The 1st edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift will kick off on Sunday, 24 July, in front of the Eiffel Tower, for 12 laps of a circuit in the heart of Paris, just until the Champs-Élysées. Over the eight stages that will lead the peloton to the Super Planche des Belles Filles, all the champions will find an ideal terrain to show what they are made of.
Greeted at the Arc de Triomphe by the Centre for National Monuments, Marion Rousse, director of the event, Zwift, title partner, France Télévisions and the EBU, official broadcasters, as well as all the sponsors and communities presented the framework of the event, in the presence of reigning French champion, Évita Muzic.
MARION ROUSSE: "EXCITEMENT AND CONCENTRATION".
The director of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift has been busy since last October with her new duties. She is also aware of the historical significance of this maiden edition, which the female cycling champions have long-awaited. The challenge needs to be fine-tuned for the riders and the organisers. "We will have our expectations, and there will be excitement, but we will maintain our concentration in the 100 days leading up to the start of the race. Just like the riders who are in full preparation for the battle to wear the leader's Maillot Jaune at the end of stage one, at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, we are moving toward our goal of preparing the most beautiful stage possible for them. The first stage on an iconic Tour de France circuit will be a perfect launch into the next seven stages as the peloton sets off on its quest for the coveted Maillot Jaune. The public will continue to discover great champions".
WEB SERIES: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH THE CHAMPIONS
Long before they are due to appear on television next summer, the champions have begun to open their doors, agreeing to shares their views about the upcoming Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. A dozen have welcomed a film crew that takes viewers of this series of portraits into the heart of their daily lives: in Brittany with Audrey Cordon-Ragot, in the Piedmontese village of Ornavasso to gather the insights of Elisa Longo-Borghini, in Girona in Spain where Kasia Niewiadoma and Cecilie Utrup Ludwig have set up their training camp, and of course in the Netherlands to meet Queen Marianne Vos. The pilot episode was released as a sneak preview before all episodes are aired weekly, starting on 22 April.
For its part, Zwift is celebrating these last 100 days before the start by launching its #NewRules campaign and competition for its community to win a trip to France. The campaign aims to promote the event and, more notably, the women who make it possible. Kate Veronneau, Director of Women's Strategy at Zwift Inc. said: "This first edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift will showcase the incredible strength and personality of the women's professional peloton in the world's biggest cycling event. It is a crucial step in promoting women's racing to a wider international audience, which is essential to support our collective mission to elevate women's cycling and inspire the next generation of champions. We look forward to the world watching the women on 24 July."
A RACE BROADCAST IN 190 COUNTRIES
The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift benefits from a broad coverage, with a broadcast in France by France Télévisions, and an international relay thanks in 190 countries thanks to the Eurovision network. Concerning the national broadcast, France Télévisions will provide nearly 20 hours of live coverage of all of the event's eight stages. Laurent-Éric Le Lay, Director of Sports at France Télévisions, expresses his pride to provide extensive coverage of the race: "The Tour de France Femmes is an event that has been eagerly awaited, not only by the riders but also by the public. For eight days, Tour de France enthusiasts will be able to extend the celebration of the Tour and appreciate women's cycling, thanks to France Télévisions' coverage."
THE FIRST YELLOW JERSEY AT THE END OF THE CHAMPS-ELYSÉES
The opening stage, which follows the historic circuit of the Champs-Élysées, will mix prestige and difficulties. The peloton will have to deal with the many tiring re-accelerations that the 82-kilometre course will feature. They will need strength and daring to avoid a mass sprint, just like Anna Van der Breggen did in 2015 during La Course by Tour de France with FDJ. Franck Perque, Sporting Director of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, sees this stage as "an opportunity for the sprinters in the peloton to claim the leader's Maillot Jaune. However, beware of the race conditions that could make the stage tricky. Unfavourable weather conditions like wind or rain could favour an outsider".
ÉVITA MUZIC: "AMBITION AND IMPATIENCE"
After a difficult start to the season due to an injury sustained in a crash at the end of last season, 2021 French road cycling champion Évita Muzic returned for the Brabantse Pijl. She is now looking forward to July: "With 100 days to go before the start of the race, we are looking forward to the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope will approach the race with ambition. It's a huge goal for me, especially as a rider in a French team. The main objective is to wear the leader's Maillot Jaune, and the first stage is a great opportunity to start the Tour for the team. A mythical avenue and a demanding course that I hope will give us opportunities to excel".