Preview: Tour de France Femmes 2023 stage 2

Everything you need to know about the second stage of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.

Stage 2: Clermont-Ferrand to Mauriac – 151.7 km

Date: Monday, July 24, 2023

Stage type: Hilly

What to watch for: Fireworks from the GC favourites.

Stage Summary: The second stage is a doozy. 151.7 km long with a series of climbs that are sure to test the peloton. Although none of the climbs are crazy long, the roads throughout the entire day are tight and technical which will make the climbs seem harder as positioning will be key. The entire day pitches and rolls, and Demi Vollering after the first stage referred to the upcoming day as the Queen Stage, possibly as critical as that seven on Saturday.

This stage in particular will have a lot of small technical downhills before every climb, if riders are positioned well they will be able to save energy on the climbs but for women who struggle in the peloton they will have to constantly be thinking about closing gaps. While it’s only the second stage, every climb will take energy from the legs.

The finale is also not easy, with a 3.4 km climb followed by an 800-meter ascent to the line. Altogether it’s a 5 km climb to the line, and given how much damage the 1.7 km climb on stage 1 did, more than double might see some GC gaps already in the race.

My pick: If Lotte Kopecky wasn’t in yellow this would have been an okay day for her, but with the way the first stage was raced the final climb might be more suited to Vollering. A few GC favourites quietly showed themselves to be in great shape: Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Mavi Garcia, and Veronica Ewers among them.

I am looking at Moolman Pasio to take the stage. The AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step rider was strong on the first stage and we’ve seen this season that she’s been working on her kick. If a small group of GC favourites comes to the line together, she might be taking the victory.

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