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Asked at the end of the Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift what one thing she would take away as a memory from this year’s event, race director Marion Rousse gave a short, succinct answer. “That we succeeded.”
That conclusion has been reinforced by viewership figures for the first edition of the race which show very impressive numbers.
Organizers ASO reported this week that there was a peak audience share of 5.1 million viewers, or 45.6 percent of the audience, for the La Planche des Belles Filles finale of the race on Sunday July 31.
The company said that average daily viewership across the eight stages were 2.25 million viewers per day, a share of 26.4 percent.
These compare to a peak of 8.4 million viewers for the men’s race, plus an average 4 million viewers per day.
Given the men’s Tour de France is over a century old and is one of the most well-established events in the world, the figures for the first running of the Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift are very encouraging.
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Rousse spoke on French TV prior to the release of the latest stats, and said she was very pleased with how things went.
“We have to savor what we managed to do,” Rousse said. “It was a great show every day, and the organization was also great. The ASO team really treated this Tour as being a real Tour de France.
“I think we don’t realize what we’ve done yet, it will take us a few days to realize,” she said. “I was backstage with Van Vleuten, Vos and other girls, and everyone, at all levels of the race, is happy.”
That feeling will be reinforced by the viewership figures.
In total 75 million hours of the women’s event were watched across seven European countries. There was a reach of more than 14 million viewers on Eurosport.
In the Netherlands the average numbers of those following the performances of overall winner Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) and double stage winner Marianne Vos (Jumbo Visma) comprised 45 percent of the total audience.
The digital audience was also impressive. There were 1.2 million views of videos on the France.tv site, 22 million views on the various official platforms, and the LeTourFemmes.fr website had a total of 2.8 million visits plus 1.5 million unique visitors.
ASO added that the social media accounts @LeTourFemmes jumped 90 percent since the start of the race to 209,000 followers.
The endorsement by US First Lady Jill Biden of the race on Twitter helped boost its status, as did similar posts by French President Emmanuel Macron and French prime minster Elisabeth Borne.
“We’ll take stock in a few days, but the base is very solid,” Rousse said on French TV. “It was just great, we had an incredible week. Right now, I don’t at all want to think about what to change. We want to celebrate what we achieved.”