The news was announced Thursday morning.
The race is set to kick off on Sunday, July 24 2022 in Paris and run for eight stages. It will be part of the 2022 UCI Women’s WorldTour.
Financial details of the sponsorship were not immediately available, but the presenting deal should give the race a financial boost as it heads into its inaugural year. It also sheds light on the race’s official name, which will be the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
“We are particularly glad to launch this new women’s race with a partner like Zwift, who have considerably developed cycling around the world thanks to their connected platform,” said Yann le Moënner, general director of Amaury Sports Organization, in a release. “We constructed a Virtual Tour de France together last year which turned out to be an immense success. Our respective teams learned to work together and now target the same objective: To develop women’s cycling by introducing an unmissable event, the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.”
The announcement comes one year after Zwift hosted the inaugural Virtual Tour de France, which saw stars of the men’s and women’s WorldTour battle with Zwift elite racers in a stage race format. The race saw American team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank take the women’s overall, with Lauren Stephens winning the yellow jersey.
In a release, ASO said its aspiration for the women’s Tour de France is to achieve the same heights as the men’s race, to provide women a greater opportunity to showcase their talents on tough courses. The race hopes to tackle some of the most iconic climbs in France.
“This is a huge moment for professional women’s cycling,” said reigning UCI road and TT world champion Anna van der Breggen in a release. “The Tour de France is the most famous race in cycling and it’s long been a dream for many of us to compete in a women’s Tour de France. I’m hopeful that the race will help us grow our sport even more by providing us with a media platform to take the excitement of women’s cycling to new audiences.”
Eric Min, CEO for Zwift, said the partnership represents the company’s latest investment aimed at growing women’s cycling.
“’I’ve long been a fan of the attacking style of women’s racing,” Min said. “I really believe the women’s peloton puts on some of the most exciting bike racing to watch and it deserves a much bigger platform to exhibit these talents and skills. I’m proud that we can play a big part in making the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift a reality in 2022. Together we can bring women’s cycling to a larger audience and inspire new generations of female cyclists for years to come.”