Team BikeExchange-Jayco is ready to take on the inaugural edition of Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift starting this Sunday, with a stellar six-rider line-up that brings an array of talent to the showpiece event of the women’s racing calendar.
Leading the team’s General Classification charge will be Kristen Faulkner. The American has blazed a trail this season in her first year with the team, most recently winning two stages at the Giro Donne from which she took home the mountain classification jersey.
The team will be focusing on the GC but also targeting opportunities across all eight stages of the race with the diverse skillset it brings to France.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up:
Kristen Faulkner (USA)
Alexandra Manly (AUS)
Ruby Roseman-Gannon (AUS)
Ane Santesteban (ESP)
Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Urška Žigart (SLO)
Strength & Depth
Faulkner has a perfectly balanced support team with her in France, with the vastly experienced Amanda Spratt back from a short lay-off due to Covid, which cut short her own Giro Donne when she was sitting in sixth on GC.
The Australian will work with Spanish climber Ane Santesteban and recently crowned Slovenian national time trial champion Urška Žigart, to provide Faulkner with a solid back-up on the demanding eight-stage race.
This support will be reinforced even further by Alex Manly, who has also enjoyed superb form this season and comes into the race off the back of a solid training block, and sprinter Ruby Roseman-Gannon will be eyeing the opening stage as an early opportunity for a big result.
A Challenging Parcours That Offers Plenty of Chances
The race starts in Paris with circuits of the French capital, finishing on the iconic Champs-Élysées, before heading east towards the Vosges massif and a spectacular summit finish for the eighth and final stage on La Super Planche des Belles Filles.
Encompassing four flat, two hilly and two mountain stages at its climax, the race will offer a variety of opportunities for all riders.
The first edition of Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift will have all eight stages broadcast live for two hours each day, across a range of international channels, and you can follow the race on the team’s social media channels and by following #watchthefemmes on social media.
Brent Copeland – General Manager
“We are looking forward to beginning this first edition of Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. For a team like ours, that has always been keen to have equal opportunity for the men’s and women’s teams, this is an extremely exciting time. Women’s cycling is improving in an impressive way and we are honoured to be a part of these big changes.
We enter this Tour de France Femmes with lots of confidence after a strong Giro Donne. We had some unfortunate situations with some of our riders due to Covid, but we do hope and believe we can be amongst the protagonists in this event too. We will certainly play our best cards at every opportunity we have.”
Martin Vestby – Head Sport Director
“Our objective is to have Kristen targeting the GC, and to see how far she can go after a great Giro and showing some really good form and strength. We will not let that distract from taking opportunities in other stages with different riders.
The course in the Tour this year is really nice. There are chances for all kinds of riders and we’re starting with a strong team who can take chances more or less every day.
We will give the opportunities to different riders and create them ourselves. It’s going to be a great Tour with lots of possibilities for the team.”
“I am beyond excited to be racing in this first edition of the Tour de France Femmes. To be a part of this first edition is really special and meaningful to me. It definitely is a big day for not just me, but also women’s cycling and women’s sports around the world, and I think that it’s going to catalyse a pretty big movement and bring a lot of new followers. It’s not just a bike race, it’s a historical moment.
I think a lot of teams and a lot of riders are treating this as the most important race of the year and so they’re coming in on peak form with high pressure and expectations, and that they’re really going to put their best foot forward. We’ll see some of the best racing we’ve seen all year.
We are bringing a really deep team and I’m really excited to see what we can do, because this year there’s a lot of different types of racing. We have pure sprinter stages, we have a Queen stage and then we also have some stages that are more like a classics style course, and I think with the versatile team we’re bringing it gives us opportunities to do well across a variety of different stages.”
“There is so much excitement building before the start of Tour de France Femmes. It really feels like an amazing moment is coming for our sport and it’s just going to be such a special day standing on the Champs Élysées and starting our Tour de France. In this moment so many of us will begin living out a childhood dream!
Obviously I had to stop the Giro because of Covid when I was in a really high GC place and the form was the best it’s been. Unfortunately it knocked me out good so I had 11 days where I couldn’t train. I’ve just started again now. This of course has had a big impact on what my original goals were at Tour de France, so I will just take it day by day and hope to ride into it and be the best support possible for my team.
Nonetheless we have a really strong team. I’m looking forward to supporting Kristen and seeing what she can do as our GC leader. Alex has been stepping up in every race so I think she can surprise some people as well. I think we can look for opportunities in every stage and we will be ready to fight every day!”
2022 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift – Stage Details:
Sunday, 24th July, Stage 1: Paris (Tour Eiffel) – Paris (Champs-Élysées), 81.7km
Monday, 25th July, Stage 2: Meaux – Provins, 136.4km
Tuesday, 26th July, Stage 3: Reims – Épernay, 133.6km
Wednesday, 27th July, Stage 4: Troyes – Bar-Sur-Aube, 126.8km
Thursday, 28th July, Stage 5: Bar-le-Duc – Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, 175.6km
Friday, 29th July, Stage 6: Saint-Dié-des-Vosges – Rosheim, 128.6km
Saturday, 30th July, Stage 7: Sélestat – Le Markstein, 127.1km
Sunday, 31st July, Stage 8: Lure – La Super Planche des Belles Filles, 123.3km