Did ASO succeed with the route of the Tour de France Women 2022? – .

Did ASO succeed with the route of the Tour de France Women 2022? – .

The unveiling of the Tour de France Women 2022 route was a historic moment, but the journey fits the occasion?

In short, yes. But let’s not anticipate on ourselves.

Over the years, fans of women’s cycling have grown accustomed to a tinge of disappointment that accompanies any progress made by organizer ASO in the women’s field of sport.

Read also : Tour de France Women: A course to make history from Paris to Belles Filles

La Flèche Wallonne, ASO’s oldest women’s race, lacked any coverage and reluctance to broadcast Liège-Bastogne-Liège. His treatment of La Course by Le Tour de France more as an afterthought than a race of any importance also caused a great deal of frustration.

However, cycling’s biggest organizer seems to have turned a new leaf.

Aside from the silver prize of the first Paris-Roubaix Women, ASO put a lot more effort into their women’s race, especially in the course design. Rather than designing courses that seem to lack confidence in the capabilities of the women’s peloton, he offered journey that give runners the opportunity to show what they are capable of.

The first Paris-Roubaix Women course was a very solid opening which delivered a difficult test with a lot of paving stones. The same goes for next year’s Tour de France Women journey – just replace the pavers with gravel this time.

Annemiek van Vleuten is a rider who is not afraid to voice her opinion on the way the organizers treat women’s races and whether a course has been underestimated. While she was not wowed by the inclusion of four gravel sectors as the race crosses the Champagne region on Stage 4, she was mostly happy with what was unveiled last week.

Read also : The eight stages of the inaugural Tour de France Women with Zwift

“Obviously I like mountain stages, but there are also other aspects that I see very well. Starting on the Champs-Élysées is a nice way to connect the Men’s Tour to ours, starting when they end, ”said van Vleuten of the course. “I like different types of stages: days for sprinters, days with climbs and stages with a difficult last mile. It has all the ingredients for what a Tour de France should be.

“It’s true that there is no time trial, but I’m not too sad because the two finals in the mountains suit me well. The only thing I don’t like, and it’s something no other stage race does, is the gravel stage. I don’t think it’s necessary in a Tour de France. This only increases the “luck” factor because you can get a flat tire. It’s a bit like a lottery.

Van Vleuten was not the only one to have positive things to say about the unveiled course, with a largely positive response from the women’s field. Indeed, some riders have seen their expectations exceeded with what is a good course that should offer a suspenseful fight for the title.

Balanced with a punch at the end

The 2022 race opens with a flat circuit race around Paris, connecting the start of the women’s race to the end of the men’s race. It’s a good way to start the race with a bang and hopefully prevent it from disappearing in the post-Tour lull that can sometimes follow the men’s competition.

The course which follows the curtain raising in Paris sticks to the north-west of France, a necessity given that the race lasts only eight days. Huge transfers would have been necessary – adding an additional cost for teams and ASO – to include iconic climbs of the Pyrenees or the Alps.

While it would have been great to include the mysticism brought by an ascent like Tourmalet, Galibier, Alpe d’Huez or Mont Ventoux, the big opening match in Paris will probably do more for the race, in terms of audience, than a trip to the south of France.

Read also : What will be the purse of the Tour de France Women?

The stages following the opening sprint provide opportunities for the hard-hitting climbers, while the gravel roads in Champagne are an opportunity for the classically styled riders of the peloton. There are a few stages that could go either way between sprinters and breakaways, while Stage 5 also has the auspicious honor of the women’s longest day of racing at 175km.

ASO had to get special permission to have a stage that extended this far, as the women’s races are limited to a maximum of 140 km of stages in a multi-day race with a maximum average of 120 km. While the journey is not too taxing, the extended distance will test runners and bring the extra fatigue factor we usually associate with big laps.

The race ends with a trip to the Vosges.

While the Vosges don’t have the same historical impact as the mountain ranges of southern France, there is more than enough in the final two mountain stages to provide an explosive end of the race next summer.

Read also : Why Zwift is switching from virtual races to supporting the Tour de France Women in real life

Unlike the end of the men’s race, there is no filling in this eight-day competition. The race for yellow will go to the end with the Planche des Belles Filles, and its maximum slope of 24%, a brutal end to the event.

Perhaps the only big omission is the lack of a time trial among the eight stages. However, there is a method for omitting the so-called “race of truth” from this edition.

By abandoning the yellow competition only at the road stages, ASO has almost ensured that the victory will be played in the final stages. As we have seen in both men’s and women’s races, the TT can be so decisive that it cushions the overall standings fight in the latter part of the race.

With this race without TT, the suspense of knowing who will return home with the legendary yellow jersey should go to the end.


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