Say Bonjour to the Inaugural Tour de France Femmes Cycling Race

The women’s Tour de France bicycle road race, known as the Tour de France Femmes, will take place for the very first time between Sunday, July 24th and Sunday, July 31st.   

The 1,033.6 kilometer eight-stage race is a part of the UCI Women’s World Tour and is organized by the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), which also operates the Tour de France men’s race. 

There have been several female versions of the Tour de France in the past with the first event being staged in 1955. a version of the whe women’s race was then held consistently between 1984 and 2009 but under various different names such as Tour of the EEC Women, Tour de France Feminin, Grande Boucle Feminine Internationale and the Tour Cycliste Feminin.

In 2014, the women were back on their bikes for the La Course by Le Tour de France event which was raced in conjunction with the male Tour de France. It was just a one-day race however and wasn’t promoted very well. 

The 2022 Tour de France Femmes was announced in June of 2021 by the ASO with the prize fund reaching 250,000 euros in total to set a new record for a women’s bicycle race with the winner taking home 50,000 euros.

The mixed-terrain event will basically be identical to the men’s Tour de France when it comes to classifications. For instance, the yellow jersey will be worn by the leader of the  general classification, while the leader of the points classification will don the green jersey and the leader of the mountains classification will sport a polka dot jersey. The leader of the young-rider classification will be handed the white jersey to wear.

The race will begin at the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris and end at La Planche des Belles Filles eight days later. The race will get progressively tougher each day as the degree of difficulty increases for the climbs with each stage. The course runs through eastern France and will cross through three different regions of the natiuon. Each of the 24 teams will consist of six cyclists and they will have to tackle four flat stages, two hilly stages, two mountain stages and a summit finish. 

The longest stretch of the event will be the fifth stage which is 175 kilometers from Bar-le-Duc to Saint-Diedes-Vosges. The highest point is 1,336 meters at the Grand Ballon and this will need to be crossed during the seventh stage from Selestat to Le Markstein.

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