2023 sees the second running of the A Travers less Hauts de France. The race is full of rolling terrain without major climbs but just enough to split up the peloton into smaller groups. The first edition last year saw Mischa Bredewold take the win solo at the finish line as the young Dutch rider was 8 seconds ahead of her chasers. That was a small group trying to bring her back as 10 riders gave it their all. The majority of the other finishers last year were 4 minutes or more behind. So we should expect to see something similar this season too.
Favourites: Victoire Berteau, Julia Kopecky, Marta Lach, and Simone Boilard
Four riders emerge as the unequivocal favourites for the 2023 edition: Victoire Berteau, Julia Kopecky, Marta Lach, and Simone Boilard. Berteau, the French powerhouse, brings a blend of tactical awareness and raw power, perfectly suited to the undulating roads of Hauts de France as the French national champion. Kopecky’s strong power, in particular her finish seen at Leiedal Koerse, puts her in good stead for any small group finish. Meanwhile, Marta Lach’s one-day racing consistency and Simone Boilard’s recent victory at GP Oetingen underscore their top contender status for this race.
Rising Stars: Marthe Truyen, Sofie van Rooijen, and Quinty Schoens
Among the young talents, Marthe Truyen, Sofie van Rooijen, and Quinty Schoens stand out. Truyen’s recent performances suggest she’s on the cusp of a breakthrough result. Dutch sensation van Rooijen brings raw power and was on the podium at Grote Prijs Beerens, making her a significant threat, while Schoens’ ability to attack and maintain a gap ensures she can’t be ignored in any tactical scenario.
Emerging Talents: Valentine Fortin, Marie-Morgane le Deunff, and Matilde Vitillo
Valentine Fortin, Marie-Morgan le Deunff, and Matilde Vittilo, though relatively fresh on the pro scene, have showcased their immense potential. Le Deunff’s adaptability across terrains and stages has garnered attention, plus she was 2nd here last season. While Vitillo’s recent spurts of brilliance hint at a promising future. Fortin, too, is quickly solidifying her status as a young talent to watch closely and will work well in tandem with teammate Berteau.
UAE Team ADQ Development’s Stars: Yulia Biriukova and Linda Zanetti
Representing UAE Team ADQ Development, Yulia Biriukova and Linda Zanetti bring a mix of tenacity and sprinting capabilities, respectively. Biriukova consistently demonstrates her grit and whilst she doesn’t have an individual win so far in 2023 the Ukrainian is a regular top-10 finisher. Zanetti is ever a threat in bunch finishes and won a stage of the Tour de l’Avenir recently, both will ensure that their team remains in the spotlight.
Under-the-Radar Prospects: Alessia Vigilia, Kelly Druyts, Cristina Tonetti, and Christine Majerus
Alessia Vigilia, Kelly Druyts, Cristina Tonetti, and Christine Majerus will all be threats too and have varying seasons. Vigilia and Tonetti have been great for Top Girls Fassa Bortolo and have been signed for bigger teams for 2024 already. Both Kelly Duyts and Christine Majerus are experienced riders, with Druyts having a strong 2023 after a couple of quieter years. Majerus has been strong this year when racing for herself, most notably at the Tour de Normandie and Festival Elsy Jacobs.