Tour des Femmes 2023: "Tour is less in favor of Van Vleuten, but there is only one favorite"

Fireworks in the Pyrenees and a final time trial. That’s what the 2nd edition of the Tour de France Femmes has in store for the women’s peloton. “I am satisfied and hope that there will be more opportunities for other riders to make it even more difficult for Annemiek van Vleuten,” says co-commentator Ine Beyen.

The Tour de France Femmes in a nutshell: four very hilly stages, two stages for the sprinters, one mountain stage and one time trial.

“I would have preferred a prologue, because then you can immediately create tension on the first day,” says Ine Beyen. “Because now stage 2 (from Collonges-la-Rouge to Montignac-Lascaux) is already a “Liège-Bastogne-Liège” course, which Annemiek van Vleuten will set her sights on.”

“I am sorry that there is no transition stage. Either it is an “Ardennes” stage or a mountain stage, but they skip the middle mountains exactly. It is wonderful that you have a finish on the historic Tourmalet. That is even more beautiful then La Planche des Belles Filles.”

“I am generally satisfied and hope that there will be more opportunities for other riders to make it even more difficult for Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar).”

“The Tour is now less in favor of Van Vleuten, because you only have one mountain stage,” said Beyen. “From stage 2, the punchers have an advantage. The ranking will be somewhat fixed here.”

The Tour is less in favor of Annemiek van Vleuten, because you only have one mountain stage

Ine Beyen, co-commentator women’s cycling

“I see Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Suez-Futurscope) and Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) put some pressure on Van Vleuten there as well. In stage 4 (to Rodez) the same story will be written.”

“Here, especially the teams that are strong across the board will have an advantage. There are more opportunities for the challengers here.”

“With two cols on the penultimate day – the Aspin (7 km climb) and the Tourmalet (12 km) – the Tour falls into place here.”

“I think it’s a bit of a shame that the time trial comes on the last day, because the day before you had all those long climbs. Then you wonder: what does it matter?”

Van Vleuten is still favorite number 1 for Ine Beyen. “She will have a harder time. There are more chances to challenge her with different teams, but still it will be very difficult.”

“In the final time trial, podium places can still be divided, I’m sure of that. In that sense, there will still be some suspense.”

Which rider does Ine Beyen see as other podium candidates?

It is open for places 2 and 3. “I estimate Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) a little higher than this year because she is the type of rider who punchy climbs have to have. That is more to her advantage.”

Marta Cavalli (FDJ – SUEZ – Futuroscope) is recovering from her concussion after a fall in the last Tour de France. “If she achieves her highest level again, she will still be one of the riders who can follow Van Vleuten the longest on the long climbs. But if you look at her victory in the Amstel Gold Race, she can punchy climbs too.”

Beyen sees a role for Demi Vollering (SD Worx) as the third candidate. “De Waalse Pijl, with the slightly shorter climbs, is more for her. She has focused on the longer climbs, but if it is really long, she still has to let Van Vleuten drive.”

Serious reinforcements at Movistar

Movistar has strengthened itself for next season with Lianne Lippert and Floortje Mackaij. “Ride 2 can digest Floortje Mackaij very well.”

“With Mackaij’s strong engine, Van Vleuten has a huge advantage. Lippert can do that too, but I see her getting more opportunities of her own.”

It is the very last season for Annemiek van Vleuten. “Many riders will be happy that Van Vleuten is starting her last year. This year Van Vleuten stood head and shoulders above the rest.”

“In addition, five riders were very evenly matched. Maybe we should focus on that fight. But of course something can always go wrong with Van Vleuten. You know that her descents are not great. Especially the descent from the Aspin to the Tourmalet is also dangerous for Van Vleuten.”

Especially the descent from the Aspin to the Tourmalet is also dangerous for Van Vleuten.

Ine Beyen, co-commentator women’s cycling

“Sprinters at a disadvantage with only 2 chances for a bunch sprint”

SD Worx will have two sprinters in their ranks next season, each with their own terrain, with newcomer Lorena Wiebes and Lotte Kopecky.

“The real sprinters are at a disadvantage with only two chances,” Beyen continues.
“In stage 2 (from Collonges-la-Rouge to Montignac-Lascaux) and stage 6 (from Albi to Blagnac), where Wiebes has a chance to score.”

“Maybe in stage 1 (Clermont-Ferrand – Clermont-Ferrand), but there is still a nasty climb 10 kilometers from the finish. See if Wiebes gets over it with the first ones.”

“Otherwise I see it in Kopecky’s favor.”

“Lotte Kopecky is more of a sprinter than an Uttrup Ludwig or Vos, who has to take her chances in that punchy climbs. Stage 2 (to Mauriac) 2500 vertical meters with 6 slopes are waiting for the peloton. Constantly up and down, I also see it in Kopecky’s favor,” concludes Beyen.

Tour de France Femmes 2023
Sunday 23 July ride 1 Clermont-Ferrand – Clermont-Ferrand 124 km
Monday 24 July ride 2 Clermont-Ferrand – Mauriac 148 km
tuesday 25 july ride 3 Collonges-la-Rouge – Montignac-Lascaux 147 km
wednesday july 26 ride 4 Cahors – Rodez 177 km
Thursday 27 July ride 5 Onet-le-Château – Albi 126 km
friday 28 july ride 6 Albi – Blagnac 122 km
Saturday July 29 ride 7 Lannemezan – Tourmalet 90 km
sunday july 30 ride 8 Pau – Pau (ITT) 22 km

Source: Sporza

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