Liv Racing TeqFind is preparing for the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. In the eight-day stage race (23 to 30 July), the purple brigade is particularly counting on Mavi García for the general classification and Rachele Barbieri for the sprint stages. Thalita de Jong will have a free role in some stages.
The second edition of the Tour de France Femmes will mostly take place in the southern part of France. The race starts on Sunday in Clermont-Ferrand and finishes a week later with an individual time trial in Pau. There are eight stages in total, of which the seventh stage is theoretically the toughest. In it, the riders will climb to the top of the famous Col du Tourmalet.
“The Tour de France Femmes is the absolute highlight of this season. Fans from all over the world have been looking forward to this race for weeks, all eyes are on the women’s peloton. That makes you extra motivated to go for a good overall classification. I want to show the Spanish champion’s jersey as best as possible at the front of the race”, stated Mavi García, who finished 10th last year.
“My preparation for the Tour de France Femmes started even before the Giro Donne with an altitude training in the Sierra Nevada. In the Giro Donne, I noticed that I became stronger every day as I gained more race rhythm. After the Giro Donne, I trained with focus and also rested, so I will go to France with fresh legs and be strong straight away. The course is tough, with the climax being the climb of the Col du Tourmalet and the individual time trial. I expect these to be the two decisive days for the general classification and it will remain exciting until then. I hope that, with the support of the team, I can compete with the strong GC riders for the top places until the end.”
Apart from Mavi García, sports director Wim Stroetinga has also selected Caroline Andersson, Rachele Barbieri, Jeanne Korevaar, Silke Smulders, Quinty Ton and Thalita de Jong. They should initially support Mavi García in her attempt to achieve the best possible position in the general classification.
“We want to give Mavi optimal support in the first days so that she heads into the final weekend with a good position. In the stage to the Col du Tourmalet, we hope Mavi can show she is one of the stronger climbers in the peloton. If she succeeds, a good classification is definitely in the cards. In the Giro Donne you saw that she got stronger every day – she missed some race rhythm after her altitude training. In the Tour de France Femmes I expect her to be in good shape from the first day”, says sport director Wim Stroetinga.
The first stages should not be considered too lightheartedly. “Most of the stages have a pretty demanding profile, although there are no really long climbs in there. You have to be constantly sharp and alert in these stages too, because time differences could happen in no time”, says Stroetinga. “The profile of the individual time trial in Pau is also tough, with a climb halfway through. Possibly the wind could put a mark on the course as well. We invested a lot of time in Mavi’s time trial position earlier this year, so I hope we can take advantage of that.”
Stroetinga is counting on at least two and possibly three bunch sprints. For that, the team has Rachele Barbieri in the team. “Rachele is not the favourite for the bunch sprints, but she is a dangerous outsider. She sprinted to a place among the first eight riders four times in last year’s Tour de France Femmes. This year she was sometimes searching for her shape, but in the final sprint at the Giro Donne I saw that she had found her legs from last year. Hopefully she can show great things again in France.”
23/07, stage 1: Clermont-Ferrand – Clermont-Ferrand (124 km)
24/07, stage 2: Clermont-Ferrand – Mauriac (148 km)
25/07, stage 3: Collonges-la-Rouge – Montignac-Lascaux (147 km)
26/07, stage 4: Cahors – Rodez (177 km)
27/07, stage 5: Onet-le-Château – Albi (126 km)
28/07, stage 6: Albi – Blagnac (122 km)
29/07, stage 7: Lannemezan – Tourmalet (90 km)
30/07, stage 8: Pau – Pau (22 km, ITT)