By Jonathan Colon
Today, July 31, 2022 concluded the first edition of The Tour De France Femmes Avec Zwift. It was an exciting eight days of cycling through some iconic regions in France. It started in Paris riding from the Eiffel Tower towards the Champs-Élysées where the cyclists did several laps before finishing. The tour continued through the Champagne regions of France, and ended with a spectacular finish at La Super Planche des Belles Filles. It was a much needed refresher in a sport that is typically dominated by men. Different Styles of riding was a major highlight of the tour. While many team names were familiar to those of us that have watched the Tour De France in the past. Jumbo Visma, Movistar, Trek-Segafredo, EF Education, were some of the more familiar names. SD Workx, and Le Col Wahoo, were some of the newer ones unfamiliar to those who have not followed women’s cycling in the past. The entire tour was available to stream live on NBC’s Peacock streaming platform. The energy of this much anticipated race was at 100 from start to finish. Over the eight days the fans also came out to support the women cyclists in the same fashion as they do when the men cyclists ride through. Such a successful race gives hope to the many young women out there who have watched the men for so long and perhaps dreamt of having that coveted yellow jersey on their shoulders.
This year, in this first edition the Netherlands swept every jersey category, yellow, green, polka-dot, and white. For those who are unfamiliar with what each means, the yellow jersey is the overall winner of the tour. This person needs to finish in the fastest cumulative time. The green jersey, also known as the SKODA jersey, because of the sponsor SKODA, is the sprinters jersey. The person who accumulates the most points on each sprint will wear this jersey. The polka-dot jersey is the Queen of the Mountains in the Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift, having accumulated the most KOM points, or QOM in this case, in each of the categorized climbs. The most points gets to wear the jersey. Lastly, the white jersey is for the best young rider. For this tour it is sponsored by Liv Cycling, as opposed to Krys which sponsors the men. The way you obtain this jersey is similar to the yellow jersey with the exception that you need to be a young rider. Typically this means being under 26 at January 1. This year the Yellow Jersey went to Annemiek Van Vleuten of team Movistar, the Green Jersey went to Marianne Vos of team Jumbo Visma, the Polka-dot Jersey went to Demi Vollering of team SD Workx, and the White Jersey went to Shirin Van Anrooij of team Trek-Segafredo. All four women hail from the Netherlands, and all four of them deserve the jersey’s they won. Each putting on a spectacular display of riding skills and strength.
So much can be said about what goes on in the background for both the women’s race and the men’s race, but for now, as the sunsets on this final day of the Tour De France Femmes Avec Zwift, let us all bask in the glory of these cyclists and all that they have accomplished, along with their teammates. I for one hope to see much more in the future, from them, and from those that were inspired by watching them make history. As they say in France, Bonne Nuit La Tour!