The 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift came to its conclusion with a 22.6km individual time trial around Pau on Sunday. Five riders from AG Insurance Soudal Quick-Step completed the famous race.
The final day saw the riders tackle a mainly lumpy route, with a small climb up to the first time check. The riders then had to negotiate a brutally steep finishing ramp up to the town of Pau, a course that was mastered Marlen Reusser of SD Worx. Maaike Boogaard recorded the best time for team AG Insurance Soudal Quick-Step, coming home in 24th place.
After her combative performances over the 8 days of the race, many eyes were on team leader Ashleigh Moolman Pasio. Despite being disappointed with her personal performance against the clock, Ashleigh secured a top 50 place on the stage, placing herself in 6th on the general classification. The overall victory would go to Demi Vollering.
Reflecting on her final ride of the stage race and on the Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift as a whole, Moolman Pasio said, “Today I gave everything I could, but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t a great time trial. It’s a tour and you never know how the body is going to respond and unfortunately today I paid the price of yesterday. The team have been absolutely fantastic this week. It has been a great vibe and environment and we will keep fighting for more results and more good experiences together.”
After 8 days of hard racing, emotions and the many challenges that come with riding the Tour de France Femmes, the team can look back on their week with pride. Ashleigh spent most of the week sitting in second place on GC, with her teammates either protecting her, or putting in their own attacking displays. One of the team’s riders was almost always prominent in the race.
Sports Director Jolien D’Hoore concluded, “It has been a really good race. We have been riding with the green jersey for the whole week, even though we did not own the jersey. It was special for the team and great for our brand visibility. Ashleigh looked strong for the whole week and the team did everything that they could to support her. She was second in GC, right up to the last weekend, and then it was up to her for the Tourmalet and the time trial. It was a matter of if she had strong legs, and it was an honest way to finish. She has a good result yesterday and then today in the TT she went down a spot, and become 6th overall. Maybe this is a little of a disappointment on the day, but overall we can be happy with our performances all week. We have come along way from last year, where we were a small team, and now this year we stepped up. Everybody knows us now and we proved that we belong here, in the biggest stage race of the year. Hopefully next year we can come back even stronger and fight for a top 5, or even a podium!”