Tour de France Femmes
Date: Sunday July 23, 2023 - Sunday July 30, 2023
Total distance: 956km
The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift kicks off on Sunday July 23, 2023, the second edition to be staged by the men's Tour de France organiser ASO.
Since 2014 the women's peloton has had to settle for the one-day race La Course by Le Tour de France, but in 2022 ASO launched it's multi-stage Tour de France Femmes. Now the women's peloton battle it out over eight stages for the coveted maillot jaune. The inaugural edition was hugely successful for both riders and spectators who tuned in from all over the world.
While the women's Tour de France will continue to overlap with the men's by one day, the race will break the shackles that tie it to the men’s race by beginning in Clermont-Ferrand rather than Paris, meaning it will open as a stand-alone event rather than one held concurrently with the finale of the men on the Champs-Élysées.
Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) won the first edition, leading the week-long race by nearly four minutes. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) took the green jersey for the points classification, and Demi Vollering (SD Worx) won the polka dot jersey while also coming second in the general classification. All three riders are returning ck for the second edition of the Tour de France Femmes this year to defend their titles or secure a first-place podium.
Tour de France Femmes 2023 teams
The Tour de France Femmes welcomes the world's best cycling teams to the race. With 22 teams heading to the start line, the battle for the prestigious yellow jersey is a must-do event for any rider. While last year only six riders were allowed in each team, for 2023, teams will be allowed to choose seven riders to take with them to ride the Tour de France Femmes.
- AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step
- Arkéa Pro Cycling Team
- Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
- EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
- Human Powered Health
- Israel Premier Tech Roland
- Liv Racing Teqfind
- St Michel-Mavic-Auber93
- Team Coop-Hitech Products
- Team DSM
- Jayco Alula
- SD Worx
- UAE Team ADQ
- Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
Tour de France Femmes 2023 route
The Tour de France Femmes 2023 route may only be eight stages, but it packs enough tests within it to make for a thrilling second edition of the women's Tour de France.
A change of location from the previous year's grand départ, the race this year will begin in Clermont-Ferrand with a flat stage over 124km. Just 9km from the end of the stage, the peloton will face the steep slopes of the Côte de Durtol, and will be the final decider of the yellow jersey wearer.
Having settled into the race, stage two brings with it the hills. Starting again in Clermont-Ferrand, the 148km route south towards Muariac is a day of constant undulations. With no rest bite for the peloton, there is six categorised climbs including the Côte de Merlac, 1.5km from the finish.
This is followed by a flat stage – welcomed by the sprinters of the bunch. The 147km route from Collonges-la-Rouge to Montignac-Lascaux does have some challenging roads and five categorised climbs, but it's in the final third of the race where the sprinters can really put their foot down.
The halfway point of the race sees the longest stage, sitting at 177km. The first half doesn't provide much action for the peloton, but it'll warm up the riders legs for the second half of the stage where they will face a number of gruelling climbs in quick succession. The route will finish on the short but punchy Côte Saint-Pierre.
Stages five and six are both flat stages as the peloton heads for the Pyrenees, where they will arrive at mighty Col du Tourmalet – a 17km climb with an average gradient of 7.3% – for the penultimate. Stage seven has been set at 90km to ease the difficultly, but it will still be one of the hardest stages across the whole race and one which will determine in overall GC leader. Before they hit the Col du Tourmalet, the peloton will have to get up and over the Col d'Aspin – a 12km climb at an average gradient of 6.5%.
The final stage of the Tour de France Femmes will get the blood pumping back into the legs following the previous day's gruelling climbs. The race will finish on an individual time trial which is mostly on flat terrain. At 22km, it's long enough to generate late changes if there are still close time gaps despite the Tourmalet.
Stage one: 124km, Clermont-Ferrand - Clermont-Ferrand
Stage two: 148km, Clermont-Ferrand - Mauriac
Stage three: 147km, Collonges-la-Rouge - Montignac-Lascaux
Stage four: 177km, Cahors - Rodez
Stage five: 126km, Onet-le-Chàteau - Albi
Stage six: 122km, Albi - Blagnac
Stage seven: 90km, Lannemezan - Tourmalet (Bagnères-de-Bigorre)
Stage eight: 22km, Pau - Pau
Tour de France Femmes history
In 1984 the women's peloton raced their first women's Tour, which was an 18 day race held at the same time as the men's but at a short distance. American cyclist Marianne Martin won the first race. However, this race was short lived and only continued to run until 1989.
Between then and 2009, a number of stage races for women took place in France. However, none of these were run by ASO, the men's Tour de France organisers. These races included the Tour Cycliste Féminin which was later renamed to Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale. Unfortunately this only lasted until 2009 and the women's peloton had to wait until 2014 to race in France once again.
Following a petition to ASO for a women's Tour, La Course by La Tour de France was introduced. The petition secured over 93,000 signatures including some of the best female cyclists, and the La Course race became a vital stepping stone to the launch of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
In 2021, ASO announced the launch of a new multi-stage women's race to be held in France. Having learnt from previous failed attempts for a women's Tour de France, the launch of the Tour de France Femmes would be the start of a WorldTour race that would be long lasting. The announcement was a huge moment for women's cycling, and the first edition of the race was well received.
How to watch the Tour de France Femmes 2023
In the UK
The UCI Women’s Continental Team, Lifeplus-Wahoo, is offering 10,000 GCN+ passes for cycling fans in the UK to watch every unmissable moment of the Tour de France Femmes for free, both live and on demand.
The free GCN+ passes are available for the full eight days of the Tour de France Femmes and can be redeemed at any time between 23/07/23 and 30/07/23. They will be available to the first 10,000 people who sign up, and will only work for those based in the UK. Those wishing to sign up and receive their free GCN+ Pass can visit here: lifepluswahoo.com/embraceeverymoment
Around the world
In the USA you can watch the Tour de France Femmes on CNBC and on the Peacock Premium streaming service.
In Canada, cycling subscription platform Flobikes holds the rights to the race and will have live coverage of every stage.
Cover images by Zac Willaims/SWPix.com