AG Insurance-NXTG has been invited to take part in the very first edition of the Tour de Frances Femmes avec Zwift that will take place from 24 July.
The Tour de France Femmes is a new stage race on the women’s calendar but already has the fame and status of an established event. AG Insurance-NXTG sports director Jolien D’hoore was delighted with the wildcard invitation from ASO.
“I am very happy AG Insurance-NXTG gets this wonderful opportunity to take part in such a mythical race like the Tour de France. I think we deserve our place despite the fact we will most likely be the youngest team at the start line.”
The Tour de France Femmes starts on 24 July on the Champs Elysées in Paris on the final day of the men’s race. Then the peloton heads eastwards with seven stages that include options for both the fast women of the peloton and the puncheurs. The final weekend of the race includes iconic climbs like Ballon d’Alsace and Planche des Belles Filles. The race will be broadcasted live on television around the world.
“It will be a big challenge,” D’hoore continues. “An eight-day stage race is something most of our riders have never done before and that’s why we need to balance. It’s not comparable to eight one-day races where you go à bloc every day. You have to pick your moments. I think our goal should be to show ourselves and race aggressively but I also feel we should aim for the white jersey classification of best young rider. It’s for sure that this is an amazing opportunity for our riders to race and inspire new generations around the world.”
Lone Meertens is one of the few riders on the AG Insurance-NXTG team who has experience with the Giro Donne, the longest stage race on the women’s calendar with ten stages in a row.
“I got to race the Giro twice,” she says. “I know it’s hard but it’s also a wonderful learning experience. That goes from when to eat and drink to when and how to rest properly before the next stage. You have to pick your moments to shine and to recover. That’s what my younger teammates get to experience too.
“Getting an invitation to the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift is a step above. I think the Tour is the highest of the highest and being part of the first one is huge. This really is a big step for equality in our sport. We can now show the team on the biggest podium in the world. It’s really a big deal.”
Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift 2022
Stage 1: 24 July Paris – Paris (82km)
Stage 2: 25 July Meave – Provins (135km)
Stage 3: 26 July Reims – Épernay (133km)
Stage 4: 27 July Troyes – Bar-sur-Aube (126km)
Stage 5: 28 July Bar-le-Duc – Saint-Dié-des-Vosges (175km)
Stage 6: 29 July Saint-Dié-des-Vosges – Rosheim (128km)
Stage 7: 30 July Sélestat – Le Markstein (127km)
Stage 8: 31 July Lure – La Planche des Belles Filles (123km)