2023 Tour de France Femmes Overview and Stage Guide
The route for the 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift has now been announced. Following on from the success of the first race in 2022, the second edition will see the female peloton battle out over 8 stages to crown the next Women’s yellow jersey holder. With a start in the city of Clermont Ferrand the riders will traverse three regions in France, before finishing at the city of Pau. This route contains a good mix of flat, rolling and mountainous stages, and will also include an Individual Time Trial stage. The racers will also get to tackle some Tour de France history when stage 7 takes them over the Col d’Aspin before a summit finish on the famous Col du Tourmalet at 2115m! Read on for a detailed breakdown of each stage and everything you need to know about the 2023 Tour de France Femmes.
When is the Tour de France Femmes 2023 being held?
The 2023 Tour de France Femmes runs from the Sunday 23rd to Sunday 30 July 2023. Once again the women’s race starts just as the men’s edition of the Tour de France comes to an end. If last year is anything to go by we can look forward to another 8 days of action packed women’s racing on crowd lined roads through some of the most picturesque regions in France.
Where is the 2023 Tour de France Femmes starting from?
Clermont Ferrand has been chosen as the host city for the Grand depart for the 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. In 2017 this vibrant city was also voted as the most attractive city in France to live in. Set within the Auvergne region of France, Clermont Ferrand is no stranger to holding large events, regularly hosting major film and music festivals. It also has some previous pedigree in relation to the Tour de France. Now in 2023, it will be time for the women’s peloton to shine and make history on the roads in the area.
Where does the Tour de France Femmes 2023 finish?
The city of Pau in the Pyrenees has been selected as the finish location of the Tour de France Femmes 2023. This city has played host numerous stage starts and finishes of the Tour de France. In fact after Paris and Bordeaux no other city in France has hosted the Tour de France more times. The Tour Féminin, which was the original women’s Tour de France race, visited the city of Pau three times. twice for a stage finish in 1984 and 1986 and also as a host to the stage start in 1988. In 2023 the city of Pau will host the final stage of the 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift – a 22km Individual Time Trial.
How long is the route?
The 2023 Tour de France Femmes route will cover a total distance of 956kms over 8 stages. The longest stage is 177kms in length on stage 4. The Individual Time Trial on stage 8 is the shortest of the event being just 22kms in length.
Tour de France Femmes 2023 Stage by Stage breakdown
Stage 1: Clermont Ferrand – Clermont Ferrand
Riders in the Tour de France Femmes 2023 will set off for stage one from the main square in Clermont Ferrand, thePlace de Jaude. The first stage will see them ride a loop through the surrounding countryside. But rather than finishing on the steep slopes of the infamous Puy de Dome, the riders will instead tackle the short Côte de Durtol with an average gradient of 7% over 1.7kms, before finishing back in the city centre on the Avenue Carnot. With a very lumpy profile, this stage is well suited to a ‘puncheur’ rider.
Stage length: 124kms
Stage start location: Place de Jaude, Clermont Ferrand
Stage finish Location: Avenue Carnot, Clermont Ferrand
Stage 2: Clermont Ferrand – Mauriac
Stage two of the 2023 Tour de France Femmes will see the peloton riding over no less than 6 climbs, with a total of 2400m of elevation gain. Riders will depart once again from Clermont Ferrand but this time leave the city behind them as they make their way to the finish in Mauriac. A stage profile with this much elevation will certainly provide plenty of opportunity for the general classification favourites to show themselves.
Stage length: 148kms
Stage start location: Clermont Ferrand
Stage finish location: Mauriac
Stage 3: Colonges-la-Rouge – Montignac Lascaux
The course which has been set for stage three of Tour de France Femmes covers some very hilly terrain. This time there are five categorised climbs on the profile as the riders make their way towards the Dordogne region in France. If a sprinter can hold on over this lumpy terrain they may like their chances of contesting the finish.
Stage length: 147kms
Stage start location: Colonges-la-Rouge
Stage finish location: Montignac Lascaux
Stage 4: Cahors – Rodez
Stage 4 of the 2023 Tour de France Femmes is the longest of all 8 stages with a total disance of 177kms. Leaving the city of Cahors, located on the banks of the River Lot, the peloton once again will be tackling some quite lumpy terrain and there will be no respite for the sprinters amongst them with over 2400m of elevation gain in store for this stage. Indeed, the final 40kms feature no less than 4 successive climbs before the stage finish just beyond the short climb of the Côte Saint-Pierre.
Total distance: 177kms
Stage start location: Cahors
Stage finish location: Rodez
Stage 5: Onet-le-Chateau – Albi
Finally a stage for the sprinters on stage 5 of the 2023 Tour de France Femmes or is it. After successive hilly stages the route profile for the day is on first glance seems mostly downhill, but there are several short climbs 23kms from the finish which could prove too hard for the faster women in the Peloton. Perhaps this stage will see a breakaway make it all the way to the finish instead?
Total distance: 126kms
Stage start location: Onet-le-Chateau
Stage finish location: Albi
Stage 6: Albi – Blagnac
The city of Albi will host the start of stage 6 of the Tour de France Femmes 2023. Albi has some cycling pedigree and has earned three bikes on the Tour de France City Cycle rating scheme. This is the first truly flat stage profile and will undoubtedly be one which the sprinters will have earmarked. But with the flat terrain also comes the potential for crosswinds. Blagnac will once again play host to the women’s peloton – having previously welcomed riders from the original Women’s Tour de France, the Tour Féminin, on no less than 5 occasions.
Total distance: 122kms
Stage start location: Albi
Stage finish location: Blagnac
Stage 7: Lannemezan – Col du Tourmalet
Stage 7 of the Tour de France Femmes is undoubtedly the Queen stage of the event, with a summit finish on the Col du Tourmalet. The flat terrain from yesterday’s stage will be quickly forgotten as the peloton sets out on a route steeped in French cycling history. Two mountains await, the first of which is the Col d’Aspin which is 12kms long and has average gradient of 6.5%. Once over the top there is a quick descent before the riders head for the finish at the top of the Col du Tourmalet at 2115m. What this stage lacks in length it makes up for in elevation. 17kms at an average gradient of 7.3% the Col du Tourmalet is a tough ask for any rider yet alone in a race. The climb is certainly no stranger to the Tour de France. Indeed both the Aspin and Tourmalet have the honour of featuring in the most editions of the Tour de France. The atmosphere on the mountain slopes will surely be electric and we can’t wait to watch the crowds cheer on the women’s peloton.
Total distance: 90kms
Stage start location: Lannemezan
Stage finish location: Col du Tourmalet
Stage 8: Pau – Pau
Stage 8 of the 2023 Tour de France Femmes is an individual time trial starting and finishing in the city of Pau. This race against the clock will see the riders take on a 22km circuit around the city on a punchy course. The women’s peloton has long been calling for more Time Trial stages to be included in the women’s race calendar, so it is great to see this one featuring in the Tour de France Femmes. The time trial in Pau is very similar to the one held here in 2019 during the men’s Tour de France. But this time the women are doing the route in reverse. Perhaps this race around the clock will decide the winner of second edition of the Tour de France Femmes?
Total distance: 22kms
Stage start location: Pau
Stage finish location: Pau
The Tour de France jerseys
There are four different competitions within the Tour de France the overall winner (yellow jersey), best sprinter (green jersey), best mountain climber (polka dot jersey), and the best youngest rider (white jersey). It is possible for a rider to win more than one jersey in a single race. In the 2022 edition of the race, Jonas Vingegaard won the Yellow and Polka Dot jerseys while Mark Cavendish won Green Jersey and Tadej Pogacar won the White jersey. We will explain each of these in turn below.
1. Yellow Jersey – this is the jersey everyone wants to win and is the overall winner of the Tour de France. The yellow jersey is awarded to the rider with the shortest overall time when all the stage times are added up. Riders can also be awarded bonus seconds for finishing in the top 3 of a stage where they are awarded 10, 6, or 4 seconds bonus for finishing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.
2. Green jersey – this jersey is won based on an accumulation of points awarded to riders through intermediate sprint points during the stage and at the finish line. The first 15 riders are awarded points which vary based on the type of stage. For example, on a flat stage, the first over the line is awarded 50 points while on a mountain stage only 20 points are awarded for first place. This jersey rewards rider consistency and is awarded to a rider who can sprint well but also gain intermediate points.
3. Polka Dot jersey – this jersey is awarded based on the accumulation of points awarded at the top of climbs. The harder the climb the more points are on offer for the win. This jersey is suited to those riders who are good climbers.
4. White jersey – only riders under the age of 26 are eligible for this jersey and it is awarded to the rider with the shortest overall time in this category.
How much prize money is there for the Tour de France Femmes?
The overall prize money on offer for Tour de France Femmes is 250K Euro. The winner of the General Classification will take home a 50k euro paycheck, second place 15k Euro and third place 10k euro. Individual stage winners receive 4K euro. There are also smaller amounts awarded for categories such as intermediate sprint points, mountain points, aggressive rider as well the teams classification.
Watching the 2023 Tour de France Femmes live
If you are a cycling fan than nothing will beat watching a race live by the roadside. The atmosphere during the race, with the helicopters buzzing overhead, fans cheering roadside and the whir of the wheels is a great experience. Watching the athleticism of the riders racing at speeds we can often only dream of ourselves is a sight to behold. Read our guide about watching the Tour de France where we outline some top tips to watch a cycling event live by the side of the road.
We can help plan your trip
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We first visited France for a cycling holiday in 2013 and returned numerous times before moving here permanently in 2021. Over the years we have travelled by plane, train and hire car with our bikes and learned lots of lessons about visiting France generally as well as travelling around with a bike. We enjoy both road cycling and cycle touring and look forward to being able to help you plan that perfect trip.