The third edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift will begin in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on 12 August, the day after the finish of the Paris Olympics. There will be eight stages before the finale which takes riders to the celebrated climb up Alpe d’Huez…
Marion Rousse presented the route for the third edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift overnight in Paris. In 2024, instead of starting on the final day of the men’s race, the dates have been pushed back to mid-August because of the Olympics in Paris (26 July to 11 August 2024).
In the official summary of the women’s race, Rousse outlines the itinerary of the eight-stage 946km race. “The north-south route that awaits the racers will be suffused with the history of their sport,” says the race director while highlighting that next year will feature the first foreign start, as well as stages in Belgium, before arriving in France during stage five.
“Valkenburg, Liège, Bastogne and Le Grand-Bornand are all stage towns of great prestige, sites that are steeped in the Tour’s memory where the riders will be eager to create their own piece of history. And the climax promises to be grandiose.
“After the judgement on form and ability served up by Super Planche des Belles Filles in 2022 and the Tourmalet this year, the riders will pit themselves against Alpe d’Huez, ‘Dutch mountain’, the most mythical of all climbs, and now the final setting in the battle for the yellow jersey. The level of suspense promises to be intense and the atmosphere exhilarating.”
The route for #TDFF2024
|Stage||Day||Date||Start and finish||Distance|
|1||Monday||12/08/2024||Rotterdam to La Haye, the Netherlands||124km|
|2||Tuesday||13/08/2024||Dordrecht to Rotterdam, the Netherlands||67km|
|3||Tuesday||13/08/2024||Rotterdam (time trial), the Netherlands||6.3km|
|4||Wednesday||14/08/2024||Valkenburg to Liège, Belgium||122km|
|5||Thursday||15/08/2024||Bastonge to Amnéville||150km|
|6||Friday||16/08/2024||Remiremont to Morteau||160km|
|7||Saturday||17/08/2024||Campagnole to Le Grand Bornand||167km|
|8||Sunday||18/08/2024||Le Grand Bornand to Alpe d’Huez||150km|
A Dutch start then onwards to Belgium and France
Starting on a Monday with a 124km stage from Rotterdam to La Haye, the peloton will face flat roads in the south-west of the Netherlands before a two-stage day on the Tuesday: a short road stage (67km) from Dordrecht back to Rotterdam, followed by a 6.3km individual time trial in the Dutch port city.
It is fitting that the first foreign visit for the stage race is in the Netherlands. Dutch riders have been dominant in the first two editions of the #TDFF – with Annemiek van Vleuten and Demi Vollering claiming the titles in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
Van Vleuten, the superstar of cycling in recent years, will surely be on hand to watch the racing unfold but the Dutchwoman who recently celebrated her 41st birthday has now retired from racing. Despite her absence, the domination of riders from the Netherlands is likely to continue.
Vollering won no less than 15 times in 2023, including the GC of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift (beating the recently crowned world champion Lotte Kopecky from Belgium by over three minutes) as well as the overall titles of the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas and Tour de Romandie Féminin.
At 27, the defending champion will be the rider to watch as she attempts to win another yellow jersey in August. She was the runner-up in the inaugural edition, champion this year… and only appears to be getting stronger as she approaches her sixth season as a professional.
“As a little girl I dreamt about riding up Alpe d’Huez,” says Vollering on a social media post by her SD Worx team after the route announcement. “Now I can finally race up the famous mountain.”
The Dutch start adds extra motivation for Vollering who is pleased to be racing in her home country at the start of the third Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
“It doesn’t get more special than this,” she said. “None of my friends and family need to travel… they can just step out of their house and see me pass.”
With a grin, she goes on to explain that the whole route pleases her, with the visit to the Ardennes something she’s looking forward to especially considering her trio of conquests in the one-day Classics earlier this year, winning the Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April.
It was also in the hilly southern hook of the Netherlands that she claimed the Dutch road race title shortly before this year’s TDFF.
There’s a mix of terrain on the itinerary but Rousse has repeated the formula of the first two editions by including two challenging mountain stages on the final weekend: first to Le Grand Bornand, then Alpe d’Huez.
The buzz has been created and now it’s a case of waiting for the action to begin a day after the Olympics conclude in Paris.
RIDE Media, publisher of the Official Tour de France Guide (Australian edition) will again include a comprehensive preview of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, with the magazine on sale in mid-June 2024.
– By Rob Arnold