In 2022, the Tour de France Femmes officially marked its return as a stage race to the annual calendar, for the first time since 1989.
The second edition of the race is set to kick off on Sunday, 23 July, in Clermont Ferrand, located in central southern France.
The race, spanning eight stages, includes a variety of flat stages, hilly terrains, a time trial, and culminates with a climactic mountain-top finish at the Tourmalet in the Pyrenees.
Last year’s champion, Annemiek van Vleuten, is back to defend her title in her final racing season before retiring.
Regular updates will be provided on this page throughout the Tour, featuring the winner of each stage along with a concise report.
Ashleigh Moolman Pasio participated in the 2022 Tour de France Femmes, but was forced to withdraw before the final stage due to illness.
Van Vleuten enters the Tour fresh off her dominant victory in the Giro d’Italia Donne three weeks prior, similar to last year.
However, she will face stiff competition again in France, particularly from SD Worx teammate Demi Vollering, last year’s runner-up. Lidl-Trek’s Elisa Longo Borghini and France’s Juliette Labous, a member of Team DSM, are also expected to put up a tough fight.
Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, another potential yellow jersey winner and a rider with AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step, has dedicated her entire season to the Tour following her withdrawal from last year’s race due to illness.
In an interview with Sport Newes Center, the South African climber discusses the route and sheds light on where the title could potentially be decided.
Sunday, 23 July – stage 1: Clermont Ferrand – Clermont Ferrand, 124km
The Tour kicks off in Clermont-Ferrand, a commune in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region of France.
Monday, 24 July – stage 2: Clermont Ferrand – Mauriac, 152km
The second stage presents the peloton with an opportunity to seize the initiative with a hilly route to Mauriac.
Tuesday, 25 July – stage 3: Collonges-La-Rouge – Montignac-Lascaux, 147.5km
Stage three transports the riders westwards to the commune of Montignac-Lascaux.
Wednesday, 26 July – stage 4: Cahors – Rodez, 177.5km
Rodez, frequently featured as a finishing point in the men’s race, provides an ideal terrain for a breakaway attack.
Thursday, 27 July – stage 5: Onet-Le-Chateau – Albi, 126.5km
The fifth stage sees the peloton journey to Albi, situated on the Tarn river.
Friday, 28 July – stage 6: Albi – Blagnac, 122.5km
The Tour proceeds towards the Pyrenees to Blagnac, likely to offer the sprinters a final chance for a stage victory.
Saturday, 29 July – stage 7: Lannemezan – Tourmalet Bagneres-de-Bigorre, 90km
The riders will conclude atop the Tourmalet, a location with a long-standing association with the Tour de France.
Sunday, 30 July – stage 8: Pau – Pau, 22.6km (ITT)
The race wraps up with a 22km time trial in Pau, incorporating some of the same routes featured in the 2019 edition of La Course by Le Tour de France, won by Marianne Vos.
Interviewed by Sophie Hurcom.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Tour de France Femmes 2023
When does the Tour de France Femmes 2023 begin?
The Tour de France Femmes 2023 starts on Sunday, July 23 in Clermont Ferrand, central southern France.
How many stages are in the Tour de France Femmes 2023?
The Tour de France Femmes 2023 consists of eight stages. These include a mix of flat stages, hilly stages, a time trial, and a concluding mountain-top finish on the Tourmalet in the Pyrenees.
Who is the returning champion for the Tour de France Femmes 2023?
Annemiek van Vleuten, who won the previous year, is returning to defend her title in the Tour de France Femmes 2023.
Who are some of the key competitors in the 2023 Tour de France Femmes?
Aside from last year’s winner Annemiek van Vleuten, other strong contenders include Demi Vollering from the SD Worx team, Elisa Longo Borghini from Lidl-Trek, Juliette Labous from Team DSM, and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio from AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step.
Where could the 2023 Tour de France Femmes be won or lost?
South African climber Ashleigh Moolman Pasio highlights the seventh stage ending atop the Tourmalet in the Pyrenees as the crucial point where the race could be won or lost. She also notes that the last day time trial in Pau could be decisive.
How can I keep track of the race progress?
This page will be updated throughout the Tour following each stage with the winner and a brief report.