Team Jayco AlUla has confirmed its line-up for the biggest race on the women’s calendar, the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift 2023. The team will head to France with both confidence and ambition.
After displaying superb form at the Giro Donne, Ane Santesteban will lead the team’s general classification charge. She will be spearheading a seven-rider formation full of talent that will both assist the Basque rider and also attack individual stages of this second edition of this prestigious stage race.
Australia’s Alex Manly will provide Santesteban with vital general classification support and comes into the race fresh and motivated off the back of a big training block. The 27-year-old will also aim to fight for top results herself. Both Alex and Ane return with valuable experience, having ridden the inaugural edition of the race last year.
Dutch super domestique Nina Kessler brings vast experience and strength to the team. Her selfless riding will be another crucial asset, as proven at the recent Giro Donne. Alongside Kessler, also in an all important supporting role, will be Australia’s Jess Allen, with both riders eager to make their debut appearance at the event.
Ane Santesteban said, “After the Giro Donne I’ve had some ‘easy’ days to recover from all the hard work done in Italy. The legs feel good and my motivation is really high before travelling to France with the team.
I’ve studied the course and we reconned some stages too. Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift is a special race. It is a dream and a major goal for most of the girls.
It’ll be a really hard race, but we are prepared for it. Every stage will be important for the GC, but especially the seventh stage with Col d’Aspin and the Tourmalet – that will make big differences.”
The Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift kicks into gear in Clermont-Ferrand this coming Sunday 23rd July and will conclude one week later with a 22km individual time trial in Pau as the eighth and final stage
The fight for the GC is expected to really ignite – and most likely be defined – on the punishing Col du Tourmalet. At 17km in length and with an average gradient of 7.3% the infamous Col will take no prisoners on the penultimate day.
The final race against the clock on TT day is being specifically targeted by former rower and the team’s new 2023 recruit from Australia, Georgie Howe, who along with the team has put massive effort into preparing for what promises to be an exciting finale to the prestigious race.
Brent Copeland – General Manager said, “I expect that the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift will offer an extraordinary show and we are very proud to be part of it. This year’s route will excite the many cycling fans, and features the climb to the Tourmalet, one of the most iconic climbs in the history of world cycling.
I also expect eight extremely engaging stages and I am convinced that our girls will be out there giving their all. I can’t wait for this great race to start.”
Trinidad and Tobago rider Teniel Campbell will be another critical support element throughout all eight stages for the team’s objectives. Ready to line-up for her first ever time at this race, Teniel is bursting with excitement and is as determined as ever. She has returned to full strength following a long rehabilitation period after a crash suffered at the end of the 2022 season.
Another debutante, Australia’s Amber Pate completes the team line-up, having built up important experience throughout the spring. This was most notably with an outstanding ride at Paris-Roubai. Amber will take on a dual role of support and opportunist, if the right move goes up the road.
Martin Vestby – Sport Director added, “The biggest race of the year is coming up and we are looking forward to it a lot. It will be a challenging Tour with lots of hard stages. Our riders are well prepared, and we expect to see them perform at their highest level.
Ane Santesteban will be our GC rider and we are looking forward to seeing her perform at her best in the big mountain stages. Her Giro Donne performance, where she finished in the top 10 overall, gives us confidence she will deliver with support from the team.
There are multiple harder finishes that especially suit Alex Manly and Ane. These two will be our key riders. For the final ITT stage, we have big expectations for Georgie Howe. The team and herself have targeted this stage and we are excited to see what it can bring.”
Team Jayco AlUla at the 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift
Jessica Allen (AUS) – debut appearance
Teniel Campbell (TTO) – debut appearance
Georgie Howe (AUS) – debut appearance
Nina Kessler (NED) – debut appearance
Alex Manly (AUS) – 2nd appearance
Amber Pate (AUS) – debut appearance
Ane Santesteban (ESP) – 2nd appearance