The first ever Tour de France Femmes starts on 24 July and features eight stages, consisting of two spectacular mountain stages, two punchy stages and four flat stages. The event commences with a 82 km long stage, starting from the Eiffel Tower from where the riders take on 12 laps of the city circuit and finish on the iconic Champs Elysées.
On the following day, the peloton heads to the Brie region where the riders depart from Meaux on a 145 km long route and eventually roll over the finish line in Provins.
The 133km long stage 3 will be more suited for the climbers with five categorised ascents including the 900m long and 12 per cent steep climb at Mutigny before an uphill finish in Epernay.
The 126km long stage 4 with a start in Troyes in the Champagne region and a finish in Bar-Sur-Aube awaits with six climbs and four unpaved sectors in the last 60 km making this a tough stage.
After the previous day’s challenging route, stage 5 from Bar-Le-Duc to Saint-Dié-Des-Vosges features a somewhat easier terrain but the distance of 175 km will nevertheless present a challenge to any rider with tired legs.
The next day, the riders will set out on a 128 km long course from Saint-Dié-Des-Vosges to Rosheim in the Alsace region where either a sprinter or an attacker could net the day’s win.
The 127km long penultimate stage from Sélestat to Le Markstein is a true mountain stage with three tough climbs. After 40 km, the riders will face the 9.3 km long and 8.1 per cent steep Petit Balloon, followed immediately by the 7.1 km long and 8.3 per cent steep Col du Platzerwasel before the final ascent up to the 13.5 km long Grand Balloon which features a gradient of 6.7 per cent.
And finally stage 8, a course of 123 km from Lure to La Super Planche des Belles Filles which also features a very steep gravel sector. After 1,029 km of racing through the north east of France, the winner of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes will be crowned on 31 July 2022.