Now that the route for the 2024 Excursion de France Femmes has been introduced, with the Alpe d’Huez as its crowning climb, the time has come to inspect which riders are more likely to upward thrust to the highest on this 3rd version of the race, which takes position from August 12-18.
The primary 4 phases and 3 days of the 946km race play out within the Netherlands and Belgium, with the flat terrain enjoying to the sprinters’ palms for the primary two, then a little while trial that might begin to pull out some gaps within the general sooner than the race heads into the undulating terrain for level 4 and level 5, the place it after all reaches France. Then the labeled climbs will begin to make their presence felt on level 6, however this can be a downhill run to the end at Morteau. Despite the fact that after that, there’s no reprieve, with level 7 completing atop Le Grand-Bornand and level 8 at the iconic climb of Alpe d’Huez.
With only some time trial kilometres, 6.3 to be precise, and two climb-heavy summit-finish phases to give you the finale, there’s no doubt it’s the riders who thrive at the lengthy steep slopes that can be in high place because the 3rd version of the Excursion de France Femmes heads in opposition to the Alps for the primary time.
In particular after her tough efficiency at the Col du Tourmalet in 2023, protecting champion Demi Vollering (SD Worx) has to stay firmly on the most sensible of the favourites listing. Nonetheless, given there’s no concluding time trial this yr the place the tough time trialist can claw again any missteps within the mountains there’s alternative for challengers to show up the power cooker on the ones ultimate two brutal days.
The route has set the scene for a construct towards an exhilarating however unpredictable finale so it is time to take a more in-depth have a look at the riders which might be more likely to be the megastar avid gamers because the drama unfolds.
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- Group: SD Worx
- Age: 26
- Excursion de France effects: 1st general in 2023, 1x level win in 2023, 2d general in 2022, mountain classification in 2022
Demi Vollering strains up because the protecting champion on the 2024 Excursion de France Femmes after appearing her power and consistency around the early phases of ultimate yr’s match, dominating the decisive Col du Tourmalet after which completing 2d within the remaining time trial to win the whole name.
She is sponsored by way of the arena’s no. 1 workforce SD Worx, which supported her absolute best season up to now with victories at Strade Bianche, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Vuelta a Burgos and Excursion de Romandie. Whilst in 2024 she won’t have Lotte Kopecky, who stood along her at the 2023 Excursion de France Femmes general podium, the workforce has an outstanding array of mountain climbing ability to behave as back-up, together with the growing younger riders of Anna Shackley and Niamh Fisher-Black.
The Dutch rider additionally confirmed her talents within the prime mountains and lengthy completing ascents, specifically with wins atop Lagos de Covadonga and Mirador de Peñas Llanas at Los angeles Vuelta Femenina, Lagunas de Neila at Vuelta a Burgos, Col du Tourmalet on the Excursion de France Femmes, and at Torgon on the Excursion de Romandie.
She can be embarking on her 6th season of racing, her fourth at the Girls’s WorldTour, and has grown into one of the most global’s absolute best one-day racers, time triallists and basic classification contenders.
Vollering has now not showed her 2024 season objectives, however it will be no wonder to look her victorious at Los angeles Vuelta Femenina, Giro d’Italia Girls and Excursion de France Femmes, must she select to focus on all 3 Grand Excursions.
At 26, Vollering is simply realising her greatest strengths and we will be able to look forward to her to steer the Dutch dominance of girls’s world-class motorcycle racing for any other decade.
- Group: Canyon-SRAM
- Age: 29
- Excursion de France effects: third in 2023, mountains classification in 2023, third general in 2022
Kasia Niewiadoma has two times completed 3rd general at the podium on the Excursion de France Femmes, and whilst each have been hard-fought achievements, it used to be the 2023 version that actually confirmed her growth as a basic classification contender.
In 2022, Niewiadoma said that she spent a lot of her low season coaching strengthening her talents within the lengthy, prime mountains, whilst in 2023, it used to be her time trial power that she tapped into.
She additionally took extra dangers, none extra obvious than her assault at the Col d’Aspin descent in a brave bid for victory atop the Col du Tourmalet. She completed 2d, handiest to Demi Vollering, after which used her well-trained energy within the remaining time trial to complete 9th. Even though Lotte Kopecky jumped forward of her within the general classification at the ultimate day, she completed 3rd general, protecting off the former yr’s winner Annemiek van Vleuten in fourth.
Her constant finishes over the mountain passes all the way through the Excursion de France Femmes additionally supposed that she took house the mountain classification’s polka-dot jersey.
Niewiadoma is likely one of the maximum constant athletes a few of the girls’s peloton, steadily completing a few of the most sensible 3 and most sensible 5 on the greatest races throughout one-day races and level races. Alternatively, she continuously appeared to be edged out for the victory. Her ultimate large highway race win used to be at Amstel Gold Race and a level on the Girls’s Excursion in 2019.
In a impressive flip of occasions this autumn, Niewiadoma powered to victory on the UCI Gravel Global Championships, claiming the arena name and donning the rainbow jersey in Veneto. It used to be ‘a victory that repays a complete season‘ she mentioned
- Group: Lidl-Trek
- Age: 31
- Excursion de France effects: DNF 2023, sixth general in 2022
Elisa Longo Borghini’s all-in strategy to racing steadily makes her a favorite for any one-day race or level race right through the season. Likewise, her consistency within the time trials and on lengthy mountain passes additionally makes her one of the most absolute best basic classification riders on the planet.
In her first Excursion de France Femmes in 2022, Longo Borghini completed within the most sensible 10 in six of the 8 phases, and used to be one of the most match’s megastar protagonists. Difficult back-to-back mountain phases at Le Markstein and Los angeles Planche des Belles Filles, which closed out the development, then again, price her dearly within the general classification, as lots of the absolute best climbers struggled on the prime tempo set by way of the whole champion that yr Annemiek van Vleuten. Because of this, Longo Borghini dropped from 4th to 6th general.
Her performances within the Grand Excursions may also be unpredictable, every now and then, however she has steadily proven her greatest strengths on the Giro d’Italia Girls the place she completed 2d general in 2017 and 3rd general in 2020.
She used to be in nice shape this yr, sitting in 2d general as certainly one of Annemiek van Vleuten’s greatest challengers for the maglia rosa when she crashed on level 5 and used to be pressured to desert. She returned to festival for the Excursion de France Femmes however used to be additionally pressured to abandon forward of level 7 because of a pores and skin an infection.
There are a few phases that glance well-suited to Longo Borghini’s puncheur-style, hilly mid-stages that come with level 4 from Valkenburg to Liège, level 6 from Remiremont to Morteau, and her talent to muscle over the most important climbs will stay her in competition on level 6 into Le Grand Bornand and on level 7 to the highest of Alpe d’Huez.
Longo Borghini did not get the danger to actually display her true possible within the two large level races of the 2023 season, however she is going to definitely go back wholesome in 2024 and in a position to race at her absolute best.
- Group: Group dsm-firmenich
- Age: 24
- Excursion de France effects: 4th general in 2022, Fifth general in 2023
Juliette Labous has turn out to be the French fan favorite at her house Excursion de France and a podium hopeful, as soon as once more, for the 2024 version.
She is a quiet contender, having slowly however incessantly risen to turn out to be one of the most absolute best riders on the planet over the former seven seasons with the more than a few variations of workforce Sunweb, Group DSM and now Group dsm-firmenich.
The workforce helps Labous’ ambition to compete in her favorite Ardennes Classics whilst hanging a big focal point at the Spain-based Girls’s WorldTour races Vuelta a Burgos, Itzulia Girls, and summer time level races Giro d’Italia Donne and Excursion de France Femmes with an end-of-season focal point at the Global Championships.
Her stable growth has paid off, because the Frenchwoman has completed 4th on the Excursion de France Femmes in 2022 and Fifth in 2023. Whilst the ones effects are spectacular, it’s been the in-between performances the place we will be able to in point of fact gauge her good fortune with the whole victory at Vuelta a Burgos in 2022, the summit level 7 victory atop Passo del Maniva on the Giro d’Italia Girls, and a telling 2d position general on the Giro in 2023.
She has made a aware effort to enhance her energy at the climbs and within the time trial, which has made her a extra whole rider fitted to the longer level races.
Her trajectory within the ultimate two years has handiest simply begun to spike, and at 24 years outdated, she is each the existing and long term of French biking.
- Group: AG Insurance coverage-Soudal-QuickStep
- Age: 37
- Excursion de France effects: sixth general in 2023
Deciding towards retirement and switching groups from SD Worx to AG Insurance coverage-Soudal-QuickStep for the 2023 season used to be most certainly one of the most absolute best choices Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio has made in her biking occupation.
It sort of feels to have ignited a brand new bankruptcy for her that permits her to excel as an undisputed chief, choose primary season objectives with complete workforce toughen, and enjoy the joys of good fortune, whilst additionally permitting her to provide again to the more youthful riders on a three-tiered building workforce.
Virtually once she signed her new contract, she gained the Excursion de Romandie on the finish of 2022, then began the season with a victory at Setmana Valenciana, a victory at Durango-Durango, 3rd general at Vuelta a Burgos, and 2d general on the truncated CIC-Excursion Féminin World des Pyrénées.
On the Excursion de France Femmes, she in point of fact crammed the management function when she sat 3rd general from phases 2-4 and moved into 2d general from phases 5-6. She drifted right down to 5th at the summit of Col du Tourmalet on level 7 and ended a robust sixth general following the remaining time trial.
The 2024 Excursion de France Femmes might be even higher for the South African all-rounder, who additionally excels within the Ardennes Classics. She’s going to unquestionably be eyeing level 4 from Valkenburg to Liège, and level 6 from Remiremont to Morteau, however her true strengths will shine in Le Grand Bornand and on Alpe d’Huez.
- Group: FDJ SUEZ
- Age: 28
- Excursion de France effects: seventh general in 2023, seventh general in 2022, level win in 2022
One of the crucial exciting moments of observing Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig’s biking occupation used to be her level 3 win at the steep completing slopes into Épernay on the 2022 Excursion de France Femmes.
The Danish champion patiently bided her time at the decrease slopes of the ascent, as others burned their fits too quickly. She then made her well-timed successful assault from 5 wheels again in a monstrous dash up the Mur de Huy-esque ultimate climb along with her head down. Because the lovers cheered, handled to a impressive end, she handed Marianne Vos, Kasia Niewiadoma, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, and Elisa Longo Borghini to triumph in what used to be the most important win of her occupation.
It used to be additionally some of the dramatic moments of all the 2022 season.
Whilst Uttrupt Ludwig performed a lot more conservatively within the 2023 version, she ended with the similar general effects, 7th two years in a row, and on the 2024 Excursion de France Femmes possibly we can see a mix of the 2 racing kinds.
Uttrup Ludwig is a fan-favourite, now not just for her charismatic persona however for additionally hanging on a display of sturdy, competitive racing. Glance no additional than her Fifth-place efficiency on the 2023 UCI Global Championships, in the end gained by way of Lotte Kopecky, however the place she performed her playing cards the entire strategy to the end line.
Outdoor of the Excursion de France, Uttrup Ludwig’s sixth general on the Giro d’Italia Girls in 2018, 4th in 2020, sixth in 2022 and sixth in 2023, imply that she has numerous enjoy competing towards the most efficient on the hardest phases races on the planet.
- Group: FDJ SUEZ
- Age: 25
- Excursion de France effects: nineteenth general in 2023, DNF in 2022
On the first version of the Excursion de France Femmes in 2022 the good hopes for the rider who had simply taken the runner-up spot on the Giro d’Italia Donne got here crashing down on level 2. It took a while for Marta Cavalli to construct again up after that devastating coincidence however given her cast most sensible 20 within the race for yellow this season, which then led into general victory on the Excursion Cycliste Féminin World de l’Ardèche, it seems to be the rider is operating her long ago towards that glowing type of the early part of 2022.
What is extra the route this yr is person who performs to the strengths of the 25 yr outdated. The shorter person time trial in 2024 works in her favour, with the Italian rider shedding greater than 4 mins over the 22.6km in Pau in 2023. This version she’ll face simply 6.3km of racing towards the clock and the person time trial happening on the second one day in Rotterdam, when there could also be a number of time left to paintings up the whole ratings.
The power of the rider to stay tempo with one of the most absolute best climbers on the planet will hang her in just right stead for the an important duo of summit finishes, Le Grand Bornard and Alpe d’Huez, that make a decision the race.
Working to her merit, additionally, is the workforce Cavalli can be surrounded by way of. Being French, FDJ-Suez will surely do no matter they are able to to be at the entrance foot on the Excursion de France Femmes and they have got some critical muscle on their roster to lend a hand their key riders on the ones summit end phases with riders like Évita Muzic and Grace Brown at the roster along possible workforce leaders Uttrup-Ludwig and Cavalli.
- Group: Lidl-Trek
- Age: 22
- Excursion de France effects: But to debut
In 2023 Gaia Realini controlled to achieve the rostrum of each the Giro d’Italia Donne and Los angeles Vuelta Feminina, and it kind of feels just a subject of time till the proficient younger climber will upload the Excursion de France Femmes to that listing.
The rider who joined Lidl-Trek from Isolmant-Premac-Vittoria initially of this season has but to debut on the French race. Elisa Longo-Borghini has been a meriting chief for the squad within the race for yellow the ultimate two years, regardless that her 6th position general in 2022 grew to become to a DNF in 2023 after a difficult run in. In particular with the route , that is most certainly an consequence that can inspire a multi-option technique for the workforce in 2024.
The workforce has quite a few mountain climbing choices, with Amanda Spratt for one taking 10th general in 2023, however Realini turns out made for them. The Italian is any other a type of riders who can be satisfied to look some significantly tricky mountain climbing days to complete the excursion and occasional time trial kilometres.
Her prowess on difficult summit used to be made all to transparent initially of the season when, in her first race along with her new workforce, she used to be instrumental in supporting Elisa Longo Borghini to victory at the Jebel Hafeet climb on the UAE Excursion, additionally taking 2d at the level with the tough effort. The robust effects persevered during the season, as on most sensible of the Giro d’Italia Donne and Los angeles Vuelta Feminina, there used to be any other 3rd position general on the Excursion de l’Avenir Femmes, plus Realini additionally made it ito the rostrum at Los angeles Flèche Wallonne Femmes the Excursion de l’Avenir Femmes and gained a level of Los angeles Vuelta Feminina and the Trofeo Oro in Euro.
- Group: Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi
- Age: 32
- Excursion de France effects: eighth general in 2023, sixtieth in 2022
Ane Santesteban stepped up as a key a part of the mountain climbing workforce when she joined Jayco-AlUla 3 years in the past and with the Australian workforce this season she stepped into the highest ten general at each the Giro d’Italia Donne and Excursion de France Femmes. What is extra the 8th position end within the race for yellow used to be delivered after a formidable efficiency on Col du Tourmalet, the place she got here 7th.
That highlighted her talent at the lengthy climbs, which might be taking centre level within the 2024 version. Alternatively, there’s any other component at play in 2024. No longer handiest does the route swimsuit her however after years of calling for a house workforce, she now has the danger to play a headlining function at Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi, the place she has signed for the following 3 years.
The Basque workforce did not race the Excursion de France Femmes in 2023, however they plan to step up the extent considerably in 2024, strengthening the price range and roster and making use of for a Girls’s WorldTour licence. There may be little, then again, that might do extra to turn out their arrival as a global category workforce than a robust appearing as the arena watches the struggle for yellow spread on the Excursion de France Femmes.
- Group: Canyon-SRAM
- Age: 23
- Excursion de France effects: ninth general in 2023, level win in 2023
It used to be one memorable debut on the Excursion de France Femmes in 2023, with a win on level 5 and a powerful 10th at the Col du Tourmalet. It used to be a efficiency that adopted on from a 5th general at Los angeles Vuelta Femenina, plus the robust effects persevered on via the rest of the season, with 7th general on the Excursion of Scandinavia and 6th on the Excursion de Romandie Féminin.
It’s an outstanding construct via her first yr as a certified, with the German rider briefly leaping to note when Bauernfeind began out with the Canyon-SRAM building workforce in 2022 with podium spots on all 3 phases of the Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Ruta Del Sol and general.
The short stand up the ranks has delivered a robust 2d card for the WorldTour workforce, as whilst Niewiadoma is more likely to take the brunt of the highlight in 2024 it might properly transition over within the years forward.