The stages for the first Tour de l’Avenir Femmes were released by organizer ASO on Tuesday.
The new race, which was announced after the finale of the Tour de France Femmes last summer, will be the first women’s race in l’Avenir’s 59-year history.
The five-stage race will kick off on August 28th, the day after the men’s version finishes, and feature an array of tests upon which the next generation can prove themselves, including an opening time trial, lumpy stages across the Jura mountain range, and a difficult stage in the Alps to cap off the week. The race will cover 375 km (233 mi) over the five stages and climb over 6,800 m (22,000 feet).
As with the men’s version, the Tour de l’Avenir Femmes will be open only to U23 riders, who will compete as part of national teams. The men’s version has long been considered a crystal ball into the future of the sport and has been won by riders like Tadej Pogačar, David Gaudu, and Egan Bernal.
There are certainly some details to be ironed out. The U23 women’s category has historically been all but ignored in road cycling, even at events like the World Championships. In Wollongong last year, the U23 women raced in a combined field with elites, for example. Late August is a busy part of the calendar for many pro teams, who will need to decide whether to loan out their young riders for respective national programs.
The race is supported by a new presenting sponsor, bank and financial services company CIC, which will adorn the yellow jerseys in both the men’s and women’s races. ASO pointed to the success of the Tour de France Femmes as inspiration for adding a women’s race to the U23 version. “This is a major first that not only fits with the times but also follows the course of history,” ASO release says.
Tour de l’Avenir Femmes stages:
- Stage 1: Saint Vallier (TT)
- Stage 2: Charolles to Louhans Chateaurenaud
- Stage 3: Saint Didier sur Chalaronne to Val d’Epy
- Stage 4: Challes-les-Eaux to Megève
- Stage 5: Saint Gervais Mont Blanc to Saint Foy Tarentaise
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