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Get your week started with the latest news in women’s cycling

The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift has released the media figures which show the numbers for the race’s TV and digital audiences. It was a fantastic edition of the race and the data is proof of that – details can be found here.

The UCI has approved the creation of a second division of women’s professional teams from 2025. This division will be positioned between the existing UCI Women’s WorldTeams (1st division) and UCI Women’s Continental Teams (to become the 3rd division). This change was initially scheduled for the 2026 season but was brought forward.

For the first time, a team of female cyclists who fled Afghanistan will take part in an international cycling competition. They have been preparing for the UCI Cycling World Championships in Great Britain, where they arrived in October 2022, and will be at the start ready to represent their country.

Hannah Barnes, currently riding with Uno-X Pro Cycling, has announced that she will retire at the end of 2023. The British rider found the past two years difficult, battling injuries and struggling mentally and feels she can’t achieve her best level anymore.

Sheyla Gutiérrez has extended with Movistar Team for another three years. The Spanish rider was instrumental in the strong performance of the team at this year’s Giro Donne and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.

Dutch rider Teuntje Beekhuis will leave Jumbo Visma and will ride for Uno-X Pro Cycling until the end of 2026.

Canadian sprinter Simone Boilard will join Uno X Pro Cycling for the next two years. She has been at St Michel–Auber93 team this year and completed the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift with the French squad.

Italian rider Alessia Vigilia will ride for FDJ-Suez until the end of 2025. She is known for her time trial performance and aggressive riding style.

Stina Kagevi will join Team Coop-Hitec Products for the next two seasons. She was the double junior Swedish National Champion in the ITT and road race in 2022/23.

Belgian climber Lotte Claes has signed with Arkea-B&B Hotels for next year.

Belgian rider Mieke Docx of Lotto Dstny, who broke her collarbone for the third year in a row, is back on the road after successful rehabilitation.

Team SD Worx earned nearly half of the entire prize money on offer for the Tour de Femmes avec Zwift, winning 119,450 Euros out of the 246,380 Euros available. Demi Vollering won 50,000 euros for winning the yellow jersey. Lotte Kopecky won 25,000 euros for runner-up, while Kasia Niewiadoma won 10,000 for third place. Each stage winner won 4000 euros. Canyon//SRAM was second on the prize money list, with 30,440 Euros across the eight days of racing.

The UCI has published some data on the progress of women’s cycling. It shows that in 2020 there were 8 WT teams compared to 2023, with 15; the average 2020 budget was 1.3 million Euros while this year it was 3.2 million Euros. While the minimum salary for WT riders was 15,000 Euros in 2020 it is now 32,000 Euros, and the average salary is around 76,000 Euros. The number of female sports directors in the women’s peloton has risen form 36 in 2020 to 58 in 2023.

Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini will not be able to compete at the Worlds in both the road and ITT event due to ongoing treatment for a skin infection on her left leg, which caused her to withdraw from the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift prior to stage 7. She has previously won bronze two times on the road at the Championships. We wish her all the best in her recovery.

EF Education will launch its own women’s team, EF Education-Cannondale starting at the Conti level next year. Former rider Esra Tromp, who was previously Manager of Jumbo-Visma Women’s team, will head the squad.

At the recent Congress of UCI, held in Glasgow, the names of the host cities of 14 UCI World Championships – in a total of eight countries on four continents – were unveiled. Host cities are situated in countries including Germany, Saudi Arabia, USA, South Africa and the UAE.



UCI World Championships 

Elite Individual Pursuit: Chloe Dygert (USA) ahead of Franziska Brauße (GER) and Bryoni Botha (NZL)

Elite Team Sprint: Germany ahead of Great Britain and China

Scratch: Jennifer Valente (USA) ahead of Maike van der Duin (NED) and Michaela Drummond (NZL)

500m TT: Emma Hinze (GER) ahead of Kristina Clonan (AUS) and Lea Sophie Friedrich (GER)

Team Pursuit: Great Britain ahead of New Zealand and Italy

MTB downhill: Valentina Höll (AUT) ahead of Camille Blanche (SUI) and Marine Caribou (FRA)


Zwift Blog

Franziska Koch of Team DSM-firmenich reflects on the spectacle and significance of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift in her latest exclusive blog. Read all about it here!


This week in cycling history

Audrey McElmury

McElmury became the first American rider to win the Road World Championships, when she prevailed in 1969 in Brno, Czechoslovakia. Her win was so unexpected that the organisers did not have a recording of the American anthem to play on the podium, and the ceremony had to be postponed until a recording could be found. Since there was no league or organisation for female road riders in the 1960’s in the USA, McElmury’s first exposure to racing was at the local velodrome where she developed her skills as a track rider. In order to transition to road racing, she began training with men. At the time, the American cycling federation didn’t provide much in the way of financial support for female riders and so to participate at the World Championships, she had to pay her own way, which cost her around $10,000. McElmury retired from cycling after a bad crash in 1974 but continued coaching and earned a degree in zoology and business.


Yvonne Reynder

Reynder’s birthday was on 4 August. The now 86-year Belgian road and track rider won 13 medals at the World Championships, including seven World Championship titles (four titles on the road and three on the track) and eleven national gold medals. Initially retiring in 1967, she came out of retirement at the age of 39 and won the national road championships as well as a bronze medal at the Road Worlds. She initially started her sporting career in athletics but then switched to cycling and was one of the most successful riders during the late 1950s and 1960s. When she started cycling, she needed to build up some strength, and decided to do a coal delivery run where she took bags of coal and delivered them on her transport bike to customers around Antwerp. At the time, women were banned from training at the Sportpaleis Velodrome by its owner and her only option was to disguise herself as a man. However, when one day she was unmasked in her male disguise, she was told to leave. Although Belgium is a cycling powerhouse, it lagged behind when it came to women’s cycling. The first national championship for female cyclists, recognised by the Belgian Cycling federation, only came in 1959, eight years after France and twelve years after Great Britain.

Performance Corner




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Zwift Rides of the week

Voxwomen Zwift Rides

Join, ride, share, and be inspired! Join others and celebrate women’s cycling through a women’s cycling fan club on Zwift. Be part of the journey and complete rides that cater to our busy lives, and find motivation and enjoyment through riding!

The rides are open to everyone and there are two rides every other Thursday. The next one is on 10 August. The times of the ride are 7am and 7pm GMT (8am and 8pm CET) and are 40min in duration with special guests leading the rides! The pace will be set to open, but “rubberbanding” will be turned on which keeps everyone together regardless of how hard they are pedaling – so it is a no-drop ride as long as you keep pedaling. On the ride days, one ride will be a standard group ride, while the second ride will be Zwift’s Aerobic Conditioning Workout. Find inspiration from each other and have fun challenging yourself! We hope you join us in the virtual world of cycling!

Take advantage of the club chat and be a part of the women’s cycling community also – there will be some giveaways from time to time, so be on the lookout!


From our Online Store

Women’s hoodie

This organic hoodie features the Voxwomen Club logo with the words “Join, ride, share and be inspired.” Show your support for women’s cycling and support Voxwomen, with this stylish cotton hoodie. Buy yours here!

Men’s hoodie

This certified organic cotton pullover hoodie features the Voxwomen Club logo! Show your support for women’s cycling and support Voxwomen at the same time, with this stylish hoodie. Get yours here!


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