Tour de France Femmes 2023: A Look at the Riders to Watch in the Eight-Stage Race
The much-awaited Tour de France Femmes is set to return in 2023, featuring an exciting eight-stage race edition. Last year marked its official comeback as a stage race after a long absence, and now, the event is back for its second edition this weekend.
Kicking off in Clermont-Ferrand on 23 July, the same day the men’s edition concludes in Paris, the race will conclude in Pau on 30 July. Unlike the previous year’s route, this year’s tour will take the peloton to new regions in France, mainly in the southwestern parts of the country.
The competition comprises four flat stages, perfect for sprinters to showcase their skills, two hilly stages, a challenging queen stage finale atop the Tourmalet climb, and culminates with a thrilling final-day time trial.
Here’s a stage-by-stage guide to some of the top riders to keep an eye on during the Tour de France Femmes 2023:
General Classification Contenders:
Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar):
Defending Tour champion Annemiek van Vleuten returns as the clear favorite to claim her second consecutive title and the coveted yellow jersey. As a former Olympic and current world champion, Van Vleuten has dominated stage racing over the past decade. Despite a somewhat slow start to the season, she recently secured her fourth Giro d’Italia Donne title, showing she’s in top form for the Tour. With retirement looming, the 40-year-old is determined to add another women’s grand tour hat-trick to her impressive record.
Demi Vollering (SD Worx):
Hailing from the Netherlands, Demi Vollering is Van Vleuten’s most formidable challenger. Having blossomed into a well-rounded rider, Vollering boasts an outstanding record in 2023, including victories in the spring classics. Her performances against Van Vleuten have been impressive, winning five out of their last ten head-to-head races. Backed by the powerhouse team SD Worx, Vollering’s strategic play and strong support from her teammates make her a serious contender for the yellow jersey.
Juliette Labous (Team DSM):
A rising star among the French riders, Juliette Labous, has shown immense promise as a stage racer in the past year. Just missing the podium last year by less than a minute, she secured a notable second place in this year’s Giro. Her strengths lie in demanding hilly races like those found in the Ardennes, which bodes well for the rolling stages through the Massif Central on this year’s course. Labous will face a true test with the challenging Tourmalet climb but has the potential to reach the podium.
Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek):
The versatile Italian rider, Elisa Longo Borghini, is a force to be reckoned with in the peloton. Her extensive palmares boasts victories in major classics, highlighting her prowess on various terrains. Though not her preferred terrain, Longo Borghini’s strategic attacks before the Pyrenees can help her secure a substantial GC buffer. Her partnership with Lizzie Deignan on the Lidl-Trek team adds further depth to their overall strength.
Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (AG Insurance – Soudal Quick Step):
The tenacious South African climber, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, decided to extend her career after an encouraging 2022 season. Her focus is now firmly set on the 2023 Tour, as she aims to leave a mark after an early departure due to illness last year. With a strong training plan and in-depth knowledge of this year’s stages, Moolman Pasio has her sights on a successful run in the mountainous terrain.
Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx):
Dutch sprinter Lorena Wiebes has been unmatched in recent years, earning her the title of the fastest woman in the peloton. With a remarkable record of 62 professional wins, including two stage victories at last year’s Tour, Wiebes’ speed makes her a standout in sprint stages.
Charlotte Kool (Team DSM):
Wiebes’ primary rival, Charlotte Kool, has already secured 11 victories this season, surpassing Wiebes’ eight wins. The former speed skater, now excelling in cycling, is in top form and has displayed impressive performance during the Baloise Ladies Tour, where she won four consecutive stages.
Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma):
A legend in the cycling world, Dutch cyclist Marianne Vos played a significant role in bringing back the women’s Tour de France. Despite her numerous achievements, the 36-year-old continues to participate with great passion. Her recent stage wins at the Vuelta showcase her sprinting prowess, making her a strong contender for stage victories and the green jersey.
As the Tour de France Femmes 2023 unfolds, these talented riders will undoubtedly make the race a thrilling and memorable spectacle for cycling fans around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about tour de france femmes 2023 riders
What is the Tour de France Femmes 2023?
The Tour de France Femmes 2023 is the second edition of the women’s cycling race, returning as an eight-stage race after a long absence. It takes place in different regions of France, predominantly in the south-west, and features a mix of flat, hilly, and mountain stages.
When and where does the Tour de France Femmes 2023 take place?
The Tour de France Femmes 2023 begins on 23rd July in Clermont-Ferrand and concludes on 30th July in Pau. The race coincides with the conclusion of the men’s Tour de France in Paris.
Who are the top General Classification contenders for the Tour de France Femmes 2023?
Some of the top General Classification contenders include:
- Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) – The defending Tour champion and a dominant force in stage racing.
- Demi Vollering (SD Worx) – A well-rounded rider with an impressive record in 2023, challenging Van Vleuten’s supremacy.
- Juliette Labous (Team DSM) – An emerging French talent, showing promise as a stage racer.
- Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) – An experienced all-rounder with a versatile skill set.
- Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (AG Insurance – Soudal Quick Step) – A strong climber determined to make her mark in the mountains.
Who are the top Sprinters to watch in the Tour de France Femmes 2023?
The notable Sprinters in the race are:
- Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx) – Known as the fastest woman in the peloton with numerous victories.
- Charlotte Kool (Team DSM) – A rising star, excelling in sprint stages with impressive wins in 2023.
- Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) – A legendary cyclist and experienced sprinter with a love for the sport.
What is the significance of the Tourmalet climb in the race?
The Tourmalet climb is a crucial stage in the Tour de France Femmes 2023, taking place on stage 7. It will play to the climbing strengths of riders like Annemiek van Vleuten. The challenging ascent will be a test of endurance and determination for all participants.
What are the expectations for the women’s Tour de France in terms of popularity and competition?
With the Tour de France Femmes gaining momentum and recognition, the expectations for the 2023 edition are high. As more fans and viewers tune in, the popularity of women’s cycling is likely to increase. Additionally, the presence of strong contenders like Van Vleuten, Vollering, and Vos promises a competitive and thrilling race.
More about tour de france femmes 2023 riders
- Tour de France Femmes Official Website
- BBC Sport: Tour de France Femmes returns with an eight-stage race in 2023
- Cycling News: Annemiek van Vleuten wins her fourth Giro d’Italia Donne title
- Cycling Weekly: Demi Vollering’s success in the spring classics
- Team DSM – Juliette Labous profile
- Elisa Longo Borghini’s victories and achievements
- Ashleigh Moolman Pasio’s decision to continue her cycling career
- Lorena Wiebes’ impressive sprinting record
- Charlotte Kool’s recent victories
- Marianne Vos’ contributions to the return of the women’s Tour de France