Profiles. From the 12th to 18th August the Tour de France Femmes 2024 will be on the road. After it's return, it has quickly become one of women's cycling most important and attractive events, and the 2024 edition promises to deliver with a route that is packed with surprises.
The race will feature two stages that are purely for the sprinters, three hilly days, a very short flat time-trial and two mountain stages to end the race. A mix for all types of riders - at the end of the day, organizers want all the stars present. The overall classification will most likely be decided at the queen stage which tackles two massive mountains but the previous seven days feature plenty traps in which GC contenders can lose time.
PREVIEW | Tour de France Femmes 2024
The Grand Depart takes place in Rotterdam. The first three days will be in the Netherlands and in pan-flat roads. The first day of racing will have 125 kilometers on the menu and the first yellow jersey should be given in a bunch sprint at La Haye (The Hague).
The second day of racing features two different stages. The first of which from Dordrecht to Rotterdam, only 68 kilometers which should end in another bunch sprint.
The second stage of the day is the race's sole time-trial. It is a very short one and will have less influence then previous years. Still in Rotterdam, the riders will tackle 6.3 kilometers where small differences will be created.
Stage 4 will be the race's own Ardennes classic. This will be a very special one, the start of the stage is in the Valkenburg area where Amstel Gold Race takes place. Here four of the race's most famous climbs will be ridden right from the start. Then, after crossing the border to Belgium, the riders tackle the final ascents of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. La Redoute, Forges and Roche-aux-Faucons will provide terrain to create differences on the road before the mountains.
Stage 5 will be another hilly day. This one not as hard. The finale in Amneville should see quite an open race until then. The riders find a few hilltops in the run-up to the finish, and inside the final kilometer itself there is a 600-meter ramp at 5% which should put some sprinters under difficulties.
Another difficult day on stage 6. The route from Remiremont to Morteau features 161 kilometers and quite a lot of climbs. 2200 meters of climbing and four ascents in the second half of the day. All of them are not overly hard and allow for plenty riders to try their luck. It's rolling terrain, where tactics can be quite important. The general classification can be played for on a day like this, but outsiders and even some sprinters may also thrive - as well as breakaway opportunists.
The race arrives at the Alps on stage 7 with the longest day of the race. 170 kilometers with a summit finish at Le Grand-Bornand. The Col de la Croix de la Serra will be hard in the first half of the day, but the spectacle should be in the final summit finish - which features two climbs separated by a very quick descent, with 5.5Km at 5.2% and finally 8.5km at 4.8%.
Finally, the queen stage. Two ascents to kick off the hardest day of the race's history perhaps. With long distances present, the final day of racing sees the riders climb up the Col du Glandon which is 19.9 kilometers at 7.2%. After a rolling descent the riders take the valley road to the base of the Alpe d'Huez. There the Tour de France Femmes will end. The 21 hairpins over the 14 kilometers at 7.9% will be critical and create massive gaps which can ultimately decide the race.