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Tour de France Femmes

Who will win the Tour de France Femmes?

Van Vleuten or Vollering? Wiebes or Vos for the sprints? Our team looks into their crystal balls for the most-anticipated race of the year.

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It’s finally here: the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift starts Sunday.

No other women’s race has had this level of focus and profile in the build-up, and rightly so. It has the potential to shake up the sport.

Our team at VeloNews has cast their eyes over the route and favorites, and made some bold predictions. Let’s see how we do.

Also read:

Sadhbh O’Shea

Vollering versus Van Vleuten: due a big duel at the Tour de France Femmes (Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Who are your top three for the podium?

1. Annemiek van Vleuten
2. Demi Vollering
3. Elisa Longo Borghini

Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) has dominated the stage races she’s been in this year and her performance at the Giro d’Italia Donne was impressive.

Her biggest challenge will be facing off against fresher riders like Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) in the GC. I think it will be a close fight between them with Van Vleuten taking top honors.

Who will be the surprise package for GC?

Juliette Labous of Team DSM. The 23-year-old French rider has put in some brilliant performances this season and has been able to mix it well with the big-name riders in the peloton. If she can avoid losing time early on, she could be well up there in the top 10 by the end of the race.

Which sprinter will dominate?

It’s hard to look past Lorena Wiebes as the top sprinter. She’s been sublime this season and comes into the Tour de France Femmes with almost double the wins this season of any other rider. Teams will have to race smart to stop her from winning.

Who will win the other jerseys?
I think that Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) could take home the young riders’ classification. For the mountains classification, I think it will be hard to beat the GC contenders but someone like Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon//SRAM Racing) could do it.

What do you think of the route and which stage stands out the most?
I think the route is good and will keep the GC battle open all the way until the end. There’s plenty of pinch points along the way but I think the gravel stage on day four could prove to be one of the most interesting.

What else are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to what should be a festival of women’s cycling. After years of knocking on the door of ASO to have a women’s Tour de France back on the calendar, it’s here and hopefully it will be around for the foreseeable future.

Andrew Hood

Lorena Wiebes
Lorena Wiebes has proved unbeatable in most sprints this year. Will she be bettered in France? (Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Who are your top three for the podium?

1. Annemiek Van Vleuten
2. Marianne Vos
3. Marta Cavalli

Who will be the surprise package for GC?
What’s surprising is that SD Worx isn’t tapped to sweep the entire podium, but the team will have someone challenging for a top spot, with Vollering possibly beating the climbers at their own game.

Which sprinter will dominate?
Wiebes is on fire, with Balsamo keeping things very interesting.

Who will win the other jerseys?
Yellow jersey and KoM to the same rider, Van Vleuten, with Wiebes winning green.

What do you think of the route and which stage stands out the most?
Eight stages is a good starting point. Belles Filles is a fitting finale, with the final three stages setting up some fireworks in GC.

A time trial or prologue early in the race would complete the race, perhaps for next year and expand it to 10 days.

What else are you looking forward to?
The backing of ASO and Zwift will put the race on a higher level, so it will be fabulous to see the peloton getting its proper due. Here’s hoping for a big success and gripping racing.

Betsy Welch

Marta Cavalli attacking Annemiek van Vleuten at the Giro d'Italia Donne
Betsy picks Cavalli, who did her utmost (above) to challenge Van Vleuten at the Giro d’Italia Donne (Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Who are your top three for the podium?

I’m never good at these types of lists, it’s sort of like picking a favorite song from your favorite band – impossible! The peloton is so deep right now, and this course doesn’t favor one particular type of rider. I’m making up my own rules and picking my top five. Sorry, not sorry.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and NOT choose Annemiek van Vleuten for the overall win. I feel like this course isn’t climby enough for her, plus it’s fun to pick an underdog. That said, I’ll pick her for the podium, just not the top step.

1. Marta Cavalli
2. Annemiek van Vleuten
3. Demi Vollering
4. Elisa Longo Borghini
5. Kasia Niewiadoma

Who will be the surprise package for GC?



Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx). Maybe it’s not really fair to call her a surprise package because at this point she’s a known commodity, but I want her name in the list of strong contenders.

Which sprinter will dominate?

Tough call, but I’ll say Wiebes with Elisa Balsamo hot on her heels.

Who will win the other jerseys?



Queen of the Mountains to Kristen Faulkner.

What do you think of the route and which stage stands out the most?

I have to say the gravel stage, right? I’m looking forward to all of them, stage 4 certainly, but really, I think that this course lends itself to near daily shakeups to the GC, which will make each stage important in its own right.

What else are you looking forward to?

I’m psyched to be in France to see how it all shakes out. I’m really curious to see what it’s like on the ground with fans and host cities. To hear from the peloton daily about how they’re faring with everything – the hotels, transfers, fans, feedback.

There’s so much hype around this race right now, to be here to see how it unfolds is a real treat.

Jim Cotton

Annemiek van Vleuten is the woman to beat, showing her form with glory and attacking racing at the Giro d’Italia Donne (Photo by Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Who are your top three for the podium?

1. Annemiek Van Vleuten
2. Elisa Longo Borgini
3. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig

Who will be the surprise package for GC?

Uttrup Ludgwig’s sidekicks at FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope all have strong shouts for this. I’m saying Marta Cavalli.

Which sprinter will dominate?


Heart says Marianne Vos, head says Lorena Wiebes.

Who will win the other jerseys?

Shirin van Anrooij for young rider, AVV for the polka dots.

What do you think of the route and which stage stands out the most?

It’s a bold and exciting route for an inaugural edition. The mountaintop finish and gravel stages are the obvious big hits. I think the extra long 176km race for stage 5 may not make a spectacle but could prove crucial in how the back half of the Tour plays out.

What else are you looking forward to?

The general occasion and level of stoke will be a spectacle in itself. I hope France throws equal applause at the TDFF as it did for the men’s race.

Daniel Benson

LAGUNAS DE NEILA, SPAIN - MAY 22: (L-R) Liane Lippert of Germany and final race overall winner Juliette Labous of France and Team DSM celebrate after the 7th Vuelta a Burgos Feminas 2022 - Stage 4 a 125,1km stage from Covarrubias to Lagunas de Neila 1867m / #VueltaBurgos / #BurgosFem / #UCIWWT / on May 22, 2022 in Lagunas de Neila, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Team DSM talent Juliette Labous (right) could give France a lot of joy with a breakthrough performance. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) 

Who are your top three for the podium?

1. Annemiek van Vleuten
2. Demi Vollering
3. Marta Cavalli

Who will be the surprise package for GC?

Juliette Labous. The 23-year-old French rider has put in some brilliant performances this season and has been able to mix it well with the big-name riders in the peloton. If she can avoid losing time early on, she could be well up there in the top 10 by the end of the race.

Which sprinter will dominate?

Lorena Wiebes is the fastest rider in the race. She has dominated the sprints this year and looks destined to add to her tally of 15 victories in 2022. She’s my favorite for stage 1 and the first yellow jersey. I can see her winning the following day but her run is likely to end on stage 3.

Who will win the other jerseys?

Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM Racing) won’t be as marked as some of the main favorites and could build up a buffer of mountains points through a series of breaks.

She missed out on the jersey in the Giro d’Italia but has already won mountain jerseys in two major races this year.

For the white jersey, Shirin van Anrooij. She’s been riding really well this year and could be set for a breakout GC performance.

What do you think of the route and which stage stands out the most?

It’s a really well balanced route and provides opportunities for every type of rider. I think that versatility will be key, and tactics will play a massive part on the hilly and intermediate stages because riders know that if they just wait for the summit finish they’ll lose to van Vleuten.

That means that van Vleuten’s opponents have to race dynamically and take the race to Movistar.

I think the summit finish on the last day will be spectacular but it is the stage before where I think that the race could be won. There are three brutal climbs with little time to recover between them. There’s also the gravel stage that stands out for obvious reasons.

What else are you looking forward to?

I really liked the idea that Lizzie Deignan talked about in her recent interview with VeloNews. She mentioned the extra coverage this year would give more attention and storytelling around the domestiques of the women’s sport, who are often overlooked because of the format or lack of television coverage.

There are some great stories out there that will see greater attention because of the race.

I’m also really excited about our overall coverage plans. We have Sadhbh O’Shea and Betsy Welch on the ground for us throughout the race, as well as an excellent team backing them up in the US and UK.

We also have Ruth Winder writing race analysis for us, just like Dan Martin did for the men’s race this year.

Andy McGrath

BERGAMO, ITALY - JULY 06: Marianne Vos of Netherlands and Jumbo Visma Team celebrates winning ahead of Lotte Kopecky of Belgium and Team SD Worx Pink UCI Women’s WorldTour Leader Jersey and Silvia Persico of Italy and Valcar - Travel & Service Team during the 33rd Giro d'Italia Donne 2022, Stage 6 a 114,7km stage from Sarnico to Bergamo / #GiroDonne / #UCIWWT / on July 06, 2022 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Dario Belingheri/Getty Images,)
Vos has been the boss for well over a decade. Andy expects more success for her in the inaugural edition of the Tour de France Femmes (Photo by Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Who are your top three for the podium?

1. Annemiek Van Vleuten
2. Demi Vollering
3. Kasia Niewiadoma

Who will be the surprise package for GC?

I don’t count Cavalli as a surprise after her Giro d’Italia Donne and spring feats. I’m interested to see how Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), still comparatively new to cycling but with a big engine, fares. Pauliena Rooijakkers could be up there too.

Which sprinter will dominate?

I think it’d be a surprise if Lorena Wiebes didn’t win the first two stages, but Marianne Vos has the edge for the punchier ones, getting over hills that her younger compatriot cannot. Two stage wins apiece for them.

Who will win the other jerseys?

Queen of the Mountains: Van Vleuten
Points: Vos
White jersey: Barbara Malcotti (Human Powered Health), to be different!

What do you think of the route and which stage stands out the most?

It’s a blank canvas for enterprising racing and putting pressure on in unexpected places, with crosswinds possible and punchy climbs likely to illuminate the finale of most stages that appear flat.

Stage 7 will make the difference. It is going to be absolutely savage, likely every woman for herself if someone like Annemiek Van Vleuten hits the power early, and then will set the tone and the battles for the final day on Super Planche des Belles Filles.

What else are you looking forward to?

The battle between Vollering and Van Vleuten. The Vosges being a main battleground rather than the Alps or Pyrenees; it’s good to see that ultimate Tour veteran, the Ballon d’Alsace being a queenmaker.

And lastly, I’m done with the hype: this race has been overdue, now let’s see some full-on racing to corroborate the attention and raise the question of a different and potentially longer route in the future.