Thirty years after the last of the five editions of a variant of the women’s Tour de France, the runners finally have their own test. On the programme: eight stages between Paris and the Vosges, broadcast every day on france.tv and France 3. Before the big start, Sunday 24 July, there is a review of the 24 teams in the peloton, to know the strengths. in presence
The leaders of the platoon
SD Worx : look no further for the Tour scarecrow, it will be pink, purple and orange. “This is the team where everyone can win”, confirms Marion Hérault-Garnier, France Télévisions consultant. The Dutch team looks like an invincible army, with Demi Vollering at the head of the cable car, or Lotte Kopecky as a stage hunter. “They will be the team to watch every day, they have a lot of cards to play”add Marion Hérault-Garnierthinking in particular of South African Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, a formidable climber, and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak.
The best UCI Continental women’s teams in 2021
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Movistar : In just four years, the women’s version of the famous men’s team has grown rapidly. With heavy favorite Annemiek van Vleuten in her ranks, she will have the onus of managing the race. The Breton Aude Biannic should often be at the head of the peloton, to control the events, “even if van Vleuten doesn’t need anyone to win”smiles our consultant.
Trek-Segafredo: Powered by their Italian duo, the American team has big ambitions for this Tour. The world champion Elisa Balsamo could do several stages in the sprint, when her compatriot Elisa Longo Borghini, crowned in the last Paris-Roubaix, will aim for the general. Throw in French champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot and you have a formidable line-up. “The Trek is used to racing, you can count on it to wreak havoc”assures Marion Hérault-Garnier.
Team Jumbo-Visma : on the men’s side, the Dutch line-up will be in the foreground, as they aim for the final victory with Marianne Vos. “Her teammates are lesser known, but Anna Henderson is also very fast. They will be on the lookout all the time,” inform our consultant. After Jonas Vingegaard’s victory over the men’s team, Jumbo will aim for the double. And he has the means.
The DSM team : another Dutch stable, Team DSM will, like its men’s section, bet on a French leader. After Romain Bardet’s good Tour, it is Juliette Labous who will be in charge of looking for the final podium. As for the stages, it will be the prerogative of the formidable Batavian sprinter Lorena Wiebes. Therefore, black and blue shirts will often be at the forefront.
Canyon-SRAM Racing : with twenty years of presence in women’s cycling, it is one of the pioneering teams. Inevitably, the German team will be waiting at the front with a runner aiming for victory: Katarzyna Niewiadoma. Well surrounded, the Pole will be one of the serious outsiders to watch for Annemiek van Vleuten and Movistar.
BikeExchange Jayco: with the American Kristen Faulkner (two stage wins at the Giro), the Australian formation could weigh in the race, even if it looks less armed than the rest of the riders. Amanda Spratt and Ane Santesteban will also be seen.
FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope : A pioneer in France, the team launched in 2006 is now one of the leaders of the peloton. With Marta Cavalli and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, the team from Haute-Vienne has two serious cards for the podium, and maybe even for the top step. “It is the only women’s team in the World Tour de France, with a very solid squad. They will be in front every day and they will want to do well“, promises Marion Hérault-Garnier.
Arkéa Pro Cycling Team : younger sister of the men’s team, the Breton team, created in 2020, is one of the newcomers to the women’s peloton. But she could still shine chasing mountain stages with Morgane Coston and Yuliia Biriukova. “Also watch out for Amandine Fouquenet on the white paths“slides our consultant.
Cofidis women’s team : born this year, the northern team, linked to the men’s group, is one of the last to arrive in the peloton. But fast forward and could shine. Marion Hérault-Garnier is betting on Victoire Berteau and Valentine Fortin.
Saint-Michel-Auber 93: the Ile-de-France team will start at home in a Tour de France where they will attempt shots. “It seems complicated. Especially since the team wants to join the World Tour. No one expects them: they will be uninhibited“, promises our consultant.
La Rochelle Charente-Maritime Stadium: second French team from a historical point of view, Luc Soenen’s formation will be there, like many, to try shots. “They are those who have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Third in the French championship, Noémie Abgrall has shown that she has what it takes to shine”, recalls Marion Hérault-Garnier. The yellow and black jerseys should therefore be invited to the escapades, with the youth of Maeva Squiban and the experience of Séverine Eraud.
The secondary roles
Team AG Insurance-NXTG : Founded in 2019, the Dutch team is backed by Patrick Lefevere’s Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. With quite young riders, he will be there mostly to learn and continue his development. “I’m still putting a coin on New Zealander Ally Wollaston, she’s my nugget of the year” predicts Marion Hérault-Garnier.
EF Education-Tibco-SVB: is still a team linked to a men’s stable, but this was founded in 2005. The riders of the American formation should suffer the events.
Ceratizit-WNT : a well-known partner of the women’s peloton, which notably sponsors the Vuelta, Ceratizit is a German team that is little talked about, that should not star. However, runners could cheer the race, like the French Laura Asencio.
Human-Driven Health: another American formation, and another that should be a week up to date with the times. It was released in 2007, but it is part of the World Tour teams and therefore cannot be taken lightly. No name stands out, but experience could pay off.
Parkhotel Valkenburg: Founded in 2013, this other Dutch team is a respected institution in the women’s peloton. However, we should not see it in his advantage in this Tour.
Plant Pure : Belgium could not be absent from the peloton. He will be present with this modest formation born in 2020. But the best possibilities of the Flat Country are expatriates in foreign formations.
Roland Cogeas Edelweiss team : a beautiful mountain-smelling name for the only Swiss team in this Tour. He will bet everything on the Russian Tamara Dronova, 76th in the world. But the team’s Swiss DNA could catch up, as their performance should be fairly neutral.
United Arab Emirates Team ADQ: the female section of Tadej Pogacar’s squad arrives at this Tour with a triumph: Mavi Garcia, third in the last Giro. Launched in 2011 before being taken over by the United Arab Emirates, the World Tour team is one of the chosen outsiders.
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team: new, the small Norwegian team will be there to learn, with their leader, the British Joscelin Lowden. Their red and yellow jerseys will contrast with the rest of the peloton, but we shouldn’t see them on the podiums.
Valcar-Travel Service : The Italian team is well known to women’s cycling enthusiasts, but not for its results. Launched in 2017, it has made a name for itself by training several renowned brokers, explains our consultant: “It is mainly a training team, probably the best from that point of view elsewhere”. But difficult in these conditions to influence the race.
Liv Racing Xstra: the Dutch World Tour team has been traveling for over fifteen years. However, unless there is a bump in a stage, its riders have to be content with appearing behind the leaders of the peloton.
The Col-Wahoo: with six years of experience, the British team is gradually imposing itself on the world gratin. But he should take a back seat, even if Habs Gladys Verhulst is capable of putting up quite a few numbers on her own.