Tour de France Femmes
Date: Monday August 12, 2024 - Sunday August 18, 2024
Start: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Finish: Alpe d’Huez
Total distance: 946.3km
The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift kicks off on Monday August 12, 2024, the third 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 its multi-stage Tour de France Femmes. Now the women's peloton battle it out over eight stages for the coveted maillot jaune. The previous two editions have been hugely successful for both riders and spectators who have tuned in from all over the world.
Unlike the previous editions, this year’s race will no longer overlap with the men’s Tour de France. Instead, the Tour de France Femmes will take place in August, as the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris takes place in early August. This will make this year’s race completely separate from the men’s race, something it tried to achieve before by moving its opening stage to Clermont-Ferrand instead of Paris. This marks another step in the right direction for the women’s race continuing to progress and break free from the Tours shackles.
Annemiek van Vleuten won the race’s first edition, and tried to defend her title in 2023. However, Demi Vollering secured herself the yellow jersey after an incredible display of strength on the Col du Tourmalet. Her SD Worx teammate Lotte Kopecky took the green jersey and Kasia Niewiadoma won the polka dot jersey, both placing second and third on the overall podium too.
Tour de France Femmes 2024 teams
The Tour de France Femmes welcomes the world's best cycling teams to the race. With 22 teams, each with seven riders, heading to the start line, the battle for the prestigious yellow jersey is a must-do event for any rider. The full team lineup for 2024 is yet to be announced.
Tour de France Femmes 2024 route
Stage one: 124km, Rotterdam - La Haye
Stage two: 67km, Dordrecht - Rotterdam
Stage three: 6.3km, Rotterdam - Rotterdam
Stage four: 122km, Valkenburg - Liège
Stage five: 150km, Bastogne - Amnéville
Stage six: 160km, Remiremont - Morteau
Stage seven: 167km, Champagnole - Le Grand-Bornand
Stage eight: 160km, Le Grand-Bornand - Alpe d’Huez
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.
Cover images by Zac Willaims/SWPix.com