After a nearly 3-month one-day race hiatus the UCI Women’s World Tour (WWT) heads to France for one of its most iconic races, La Course by Le Tour de France avec FDJ. Le Tour de France will witness the 13th round of the UCI Women’s World Tour on Thursday 20 July 2017.
Three years after its inception, La Course by Le Tour de France will be held again under a newborn format, switching scenarios, moving from the Champs-Élysées to Briançon, from where the international peloton will tackle the demanding slopes of the iconic Col d’Izoard.
The newborn format will have second stage on Saturday 22nd July, restricted to those riders who finish within 5 minutes of the winner and/or the first 20 competitors in the previous stage. With a start and finish inside Orange Vélodrome in Marseille, sharing its race course with the men’s individual time trial, riders will battle for the overall La Course victory under a new pursuit format. Riders will start based on their time differences recorded in the stage ending at the Col d’Izoard. Once the start is given, racing becomes plain and simple, the first one to reach the finish line becomes the winner of the new La Course format.
With Australian Chloe Hosking (Alé Cipollini) and Dutch Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) out of contention, Marianne Vos (WM3 Energie) will have the opportunity of becoming the first winner under both La Course formats.
Find out more about the new format here
Thursday, 20 July 2017, local time from 10:00 until 12:15 approx (UTC+2)
Route 67.5km: Briançon – Izoard
La Course by Le Tour de France will feature the same start and finish as the men’s Tour de France 18th stage. Departing in Briançon riders will head towards Saint-Clément-sur-Durance where the women’s race deviates from the men’s course, turning directly to Guillestre, from where the road gradually goes upwards. Thus, with its shorter loop the women’s race misses both Côte des Demoiselles Coiffées (3.9km long at an average 5.2% gradient) and Col de Vars (9.3km long at an average 7.5% gradient) climbs. With 14.5 kilometres to go the international women’s peloton will start to tackle the first slopes of Le Col d’Izoard. After a relatively reachable 7-kilometre segment the real thing will start. With only 7.5 kilometres to main contenders will entered they most demanding part of the climb, tackling double-digit slopes and an average gradient close to 10%. On the final part of the ascent, with only 2.5 kilometres to go, riders will have a short break as they’ll be facing a 500 meter descent before tackling the final two kilometres at an average 9% gradient.
Favourites & Outsiders
Megan Guarnier, Amanda Spratt, Elisa Longo-Borghini
Karol-Ann Canuel, Tatiana Guderzo, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, Shara Gillow
Ane Santesteban, Marianne Vos, Sabrina Stultiens, Lauren Stephens, Claudia Lichternberg
Our favourite: Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio
Our outsider: Lauren Stephens
Who to follow
15 riders to watch at La Course by Le Tour de France
Australian rider Chloe Hosking (Wiggle High5) won in Les Champs Elysees, Paris La Course by Le Tour, the 12th round of the 2016 UCIWWT. It was her second UCI WWT round victory after winning Tour de Chongming Island in May. Unlike the previous edition of La Course, the race ended with a bunch sprint from a reduced group, mainly due to the various crashes on the final kilometres of the race. Finish rider Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo Bigla) finished second, while Dutch rider Marianne Vos (Rabobank Liv), winner of the inaugural edition of race in 2014, completed the podium.
How to follow the race
Similarly to previous years, the race will have live broadcasting:
A few Twitter accounts and hashtags (among others) to follow the race:
A few Facebook accounts: