TOUR DE FRANCE FEMMES 2022 | STAGE 1 | PARIS TOUR EIFFEL > CHAMPS-ÉLYSÉES
Champs-Élysées, PARIS (July 24th 2022) — History has been written on the Champs-Élysées as the superfast Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) and the peloton of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift covered the first stage of the race this Sunday, in Paris. After 81.6km of fast racing, the Dutch sprinter took her 16th victory of the year… the most historic, claiming the Maillot Jaune of leader of the Tour ahead of her compatriot Marianne Vos (Team Jumbo-Visma). Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) rounded out the podium of the day. The race will now set off towards the East, heading to the finish atop La Super Planche des Belles Filles next Sunday.
The peloton started from the Eiffel Tower in the early afternoon with 144 trailblazers to pave the way for the first Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. Attackers immediately set off, with riders from EF-Education-Tibco-SVB and Human Powered Health showing their intent to make the break. But the succession of attacks and counter-attacks make it hard to open a gap.
First break and first sprint
After 18 km of racing around the Champs-Élysées, Mischa Bredewold (Parkhotel Valkenburg) attacks. She is quickly joined by Emily Newsom (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) and they open the first significant gaps.
With 8 laps (54.4km) to go, the leading duo are 25’’ ahead of Morgane Coston (Arkea), trying to chase them down, and 40’’ ahead of the bunch. But the peloton accelerate towards the first intermediate sprint (km 34.8). The attackers are reeled in and Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) takes the first points of the day against Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM).
Pauline Allin (Arkea) launches a new move inside the last 45km. With many counter-attackers trying to join her, the gap is minimal. Henrietta Christie (Human Powered Health) eventually makes it a 2-woman breakaway, 15’’ ahead of the bunch. But the peloton accelerate again towards the second intermediate sprint, dominated by Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx).
Into the last 25km, Femke Markus (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Anne Dorthe Ysland (Uno-X) attack and Marta Lach (Ceratizit-WNT) joins them at the front of the race. They battle it out on the only categorised ascent of the day with the peloton chasing hard behind them. Markus takes the 2 KOM points at the summit and the first polka-dot jersey is hers.
Femke Markus: “It’s special and it’s unbelievable. We worked on this plan yesterday and it’s unbelievable. I just won this jersey [polka-dot jersey]! I really like the pressure sometimes and I was looking forward to the stage and the Tour Femmes. It’s like a dream come true and now to wear the jersey is overwhelming. I hope I can defend it tomorrow and wear it again after the stage.”
First abandon and first Maillot Jaune
The peloton immediately get back to the attackers… And Gladys Verhulst (Le Col-Wahoo) goes on the move, alone. She opens a gap of 50’’ ahead of the final 10km while Alana Castrique (Cofidis) suffers a crash and abandons the race.
Verhulst is stil 30’’ ahead of her rivals when she enters the final lap. She is eventually caught 2.3km away from the line. Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) powers to the front but Team DSM and Jumbo-Visma move past her to set a magnificent sprint between the icon Vos and the rising star Wiebes, who narrowly takes the first Maillot Jaune.
Gladys Verhulst: “I believed I could win, a little bit, because 50 seconds is a lot on the Champs-Élysées. But I knew deep down that the peloton was going to set off on the last lap. There was little chance of going to the end, but hey, on a misunderstanding, it can work! I had chills, I was alone in the lead. It was all about me, it was “go Gladys, go Gladys!”. It was super cool, it's the most beautiful avenue in the world, I think every French woman dreams of being at the front on this avenue. My attack was more or less planned. I was supposed to do the KOM, then I was told to counter-attack. It's mission accomplished. But this is only the beginning, I still have a lot to prove.”
Lorena Wiebes: “I was quite relaxed before the start, I did everything as normal, and then I became nervous towards the end but I’m very happy I could finish tis off! This is amazing and I think the whole team deserves this after the amazing season we’ve already had. It was really close but luckily I could accelerate one more time and hold it to the finish line. I’m really happy that I was finally able to race on the Champs Élysées. It was a hard race, a fast one. It feels really special to ride here around Paris and even more special to wear the Maillot Jaune.”
Other Key Points:
- While Lorena Wiebes is currently leading the Maillot Vert (Points) competition with 70 points, the jersey will be worn by Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) on Stage 2. Kopecky is currently sitting in 2nd place with 60 points, while perennial favorite Marianne Vos (Team Jumbo-Visma) is in 3rd place another 5 points back.
- By placing 6th in the stage, in the same time as Wiebes, Maike Van Der Duin (Le Col-Wahoo) is currently the leader of the Maillot Blanc (Best Young Rider) competition.
- Canyon-SRAM Racing leads the Best Team competition after Stage 1, and will be wearing yellow dossards on Stage 2, while Gladys Verhulst's (Le Col-Wahoo) attack earned her the Combativity prize for the Stage 1 and the red dossard.
Story, photos, and video all courtesy of Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.)