Women's Tour de France to return for first time in 33 years
Last Updated: 14/10/21 12:53pm The women's Tour de France returns next year, 33 years after it was last staged and will take place from July 24 to 31, 2022. The route for the Tour de France Femmes wit
The Tour de France Femmes with Zwift will feature eight stages, starting in Paris and finishing at the top of the Super Planche des Belles Filles climb; it will start on the day that the men's Tour ends and both routes have been announced by the organisers
Last Updated: 14/10/21 12:53pm
The women's Tour de France returns next year, 33 years after it was last staged and will take place from July 24 to 31, 2022.
The route for the Tour de France Femmes with Zwift was announced on the same day as the route of the 2022 men's Tour.
The women's Tour will start from Paris and finish at the top of the Super Planche des Belles Filles climb. In total, it will be an eight-stage ride through eastern France.
"It's a balanced route, that will suit several types of riders," Marion Rousse, the race director, told reporters.
Christian Prudhomme, who is the men's Tour director, said the biggest challenge was to make the race a financially sustainable event.
"If it had been [sustainable], the women's Tour would have been held for 40 years," he told reporters on Thursday, ahead of a presentation ceremony for the 2022 men's and women's Tours.
"The biggest challenge is to broadcast the race. I think we've done a good job, with the race starting the same day as the men's race ends in Paris," Prudhomme said, adding the event would be broadcast in 170 countries.
2022 Women's Tour de France Route
|July 24||Stage One||Paris Tour Eiffel - Champs Elysees||82km|
|July 25||Stage Two||Meaux - Provins||135km|
|July 26||Stage Three||Reims - Epernay||133km|
|July 27||Stage Four||Troyes - Bar sur Aube||126km|
|July 28||Stage Five||Bar le Duc - St Die des Vosges||175km|
|July 29||Stage Six||St Die des Vosges - Rosheim||128km|
|July 30||Stage Seven||Selestat - Le Markstein||127km|
|July 31||Stage Eight||Lure - La Super Planche des Belles Filles||123km|
While more than 300 towns apply and pay to host a stage of the men's Tour every year, Prudhomme had to approach candidates himself for the women's race.
"But they are all paying an entry fee and to give you an element of comparison, it's more than for [the week-long men's stage races] Paris-Nice and the Criterium du Dauphine," he added.
"The goal is to organise a race that will stay, that will still exist in 100 years, that I can watch when I'm old and using a walker," Prudhomme, who is now 60-year-old, said.
The 2022 women's Tour will run from July 24 to 31 and it commences two weeks after the end of the longest women's race on the calendar, the Giro Donne.
'Versatile' riders and strong teams needed for men's tour
Tour de France organisers have also designed a treacherous route for the 2022 men's edition, which will feature rides in gusting winds, cobblestones and punishing mountain stages.
The race will start with a 13km individual time trial in Copenhagen, before the second stage takes the peloton over the 18km Great Belt bridge.
"It's windy 364 days a year, here," Tour director Prudhomme said on Thursday. "This Tour can be lost as early as the second day."
Those who get past the three-day opening block in Denmark and fourth stage through the Flanders hills must cope with the fifth stage through cobbled sectors between Lille and Arenberg.
That is when light climbers are expected to suffer on a day that could be marred by crashes and mechanicals, due to the tricky terrain which usually favours one-day race specialists.
"To go through these stages and hope to win the Tour, you will need to be a versatile rider and have a strong team at your disposal," Thierry Gouvenou, the Tour deputy, commented.
2022 Men's Tour de France
|July 1||Stage One||Copenhagen (Individual time trial)||13km|
|July 2||Stage Two||Roskilde - Nyborg||199km|
|July 3||Stage Three||Vejle - Sonderborg||182km|
|July 4||Transfer to France|
|July 5||Stage Four||Dunkirk - Calais||172km|
|July 6||Stage Five||Lille - Arenberg Porte du Hainaut||155km|
|July 7||Stage Six||Binche - Longwy||220km|
|July 8||Stage Seven||Tomblaine - La Super Planche des Belles Filles||176km|
|July 9||Stage Eight||Dole - Lausanne||184km|
|July 10||Stage Nine||Aigle - Chatel Les Portes du Soleil||183km|
|July 11||Rest day|
|July 12||Stage 10||Morzine - Megeve||148km|
|July 13||Stage 11||Albertville - Col du Granon||149km|
|July 14||Stage 12||Briancon - L'Alpe d'Huez||166km|
|July 15||Stage 13||Bourg d'Oisans - St Etienne||193km|
|July 16||Stage 14||St Etienne - Mende||195km|
|July 17||Stage 15||Rodez - Carcassonne||200km|
|July 18||Rest day|
|July 19||Stage 16||Carcassonne - Foix||179km|
|July 20||Stage 17||St Gaudens - Peyragudes||130km|
|July 21||Stage 18||Lourdes - Hautacam||143km|
|July 22||Stage 19||Castelnau-Magnoac - Cahors||189km|
|July 23||Stage 20||Lacapelle Marival - Rocamadour (Individual time trial)||40km|
|July 24||Stage 21||Paris La Defense Arena - Paris Champs Elysees||112km|
The first test for climbers will come on the seventh stage, with the first of five summit finishes at the top of the Planche des Belles Filles.
The race will reach its highest point at the top of the lung-busting ascent to the Col du Galibier, 2,607 metres above sea level, on the way to a summit finish at the Col du Granon (2,413 metres).
The 12th stage starts from Briancon and ends atop the iconic Alpe d'Huez (13.8km at 8.1 per cent), taking the same route as the 1986 Tour, when five-time winner Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond crossed the line hand-in-hand for a famous one-two.
After two brutal stages in the Pyrenees, the race will be completed with a 40km individual time trial in Southwestern France and the mostly processional ride to the Champs Elysees in Paris.