For the first edition, we had to visit symbolic locations. They will start in the City of Light. From the foot of the Eiffel Tower to the Champs-Élysées, now part of the Tour’s mythology. They will climb the Ballon d’Alsace, which in 1905 became the first recognised pass to feature in the ‘grande randonnée’ so cherished by Tour founder Henri Desgrange and at the top of which stands a memorial recalling the exploit of its first conqueror, René Pottier. They will reach the finale of eight days of confrontation at the highest point of La Planche des Belles Filles, where the conquest of the yellow jersey has conferred upon the Vosges massif cycling’s highest distinction.
From the foundation of the past and present of the Tour de France, the riders at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, will write their own history, adding the tomorrow in the form of the white roads, the stony sectors on the Champagne hillsides which the men’s peloton will perhaps tackle one day.
Yesterday, today, tomorrow...
It will be the grandest of premières at the end of July 2022, even though some will remember the epic duels of the 1980s, when Jeannie Longo finally ended up beating Maria Canins by three women’s Tours to two! Those valiant pioneers raced in what was a kind of curtain-raiser to the men’s race. This new race will thrive on its own and will maintain the intense focus that the Tour always receives through the course of another week of intense battle. Designed to hold a permanent place on the racing calendar, to produce and perpetuate exploits and deep emotions of its own, this new summer event will receive undivided attention as well as support from the Tour’s major and historic partners.
The champions will also feel the same way, knowing that this race will become the highlight of their season. And for one hundred seasons to come. And even more if they wish. Above and beyond these wishes for every success, there lies a well-considered desire that owes nothing to the times, an intention to open up a new era in universality. An era that will extend and enrich the legend... of the Tours!