The queen stage of the 2022 Tour de France Femmes is also the last stage of the Tour. The GC is likely out of doubt already by the previous stage’s results but every rider will have kept an eye on the finish on La Super Planche des Belles Filles.
It’s not the most brutal of stages up to that point, it certainly could’ve been harder. The Côte d’Esmoulières is a nice warm-up at 2.3km at 8.5% before a drop into Le Thillot. The Ballon d’Alsace is next up and will see the peloton proper thinned out after 8.7km at 6.9%. Any riders still on here will have 30km to relatively relax before the climb we’ll have spent all week waiting for.
We’ve already seen La Super Planches des Belles Filles in the men’s Tour de France this July and it proved brutal. Lennard Kämna was caught and passed just a few hundred metres from the finish on the brutally steep section. The women’s peloton has never done the extra Super Planche in a race but it has visited the shorted Planche des Belles Filles previously. Elisa Longo Borghini won the 5th stage of the 2015 La Route de France, pretty comfortably at 45″ ahead of Amber Neben and 1’03” from Claudia Lichtenberg.
The headline figures of 7km at 8.7% hide the sheer steepness of the Super section. There are parts which are 20% right near the end and will be absolute torture for any rider who has attacked early only to find the legs aren’t quite there. It feels like an Annemiek van Vleuten stage win k but it could equally be tough enough to be a rare moment that breaks the Movistar favourite. Only the best will contest the win here. Riders who weren’t at the front of the race yesterday will give themselves a roll of the dice in the break.
After 8 days of racing, the rider with the most left in the tank, having managed their efforts, will take the stage and probably the first rebooted Tour de France Femmes winner’s yellow jersey to take home.
Tour de France Femmes 2022 Stage 8 Profile
Tour de France Femmes 2022 Stage 8 Climb Profiles
Tour de France Femmes 2022 Stage 8 Favourites
Elisa Longo Borghini
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig