This weekend will be the opening two stages of the Virtual Tour de France raced on Zwift. Our team’s line up for stage 1 will be Tanja Erath, Hannah Ludwig, Jess Pratt and Alexis Ryan.
“I’m feeling excited and slightly nervous for the first ever Virtual Tour de France. Zwift has been an integral part of our team since the beginning. Now, they’re sharing a platform with the most prestigious cycling race in the world. So this is a huge opportunity for our team and for women’s cycling to showcase our talents. I just want to make our team proud and the Zwift community proud,” said Alexis.
“Stage 1 is four laps of the Watopia hilly route reverse. This stage isn’t mountainous, but certainly not flat. The QOM each lap is only short, but can definitely burn the legs, if not split the bunch. It also happens to be very close to the finish. As usual with zwift racing, I’m expecting a hard race. However, as a team, I know we can race smart, so hopefully this will be to our advantage. Will be interesting to see how the race plays out,” said Jess.
All jersey classifications will be based on a points system with each team racing for the renowned yellow, green, polka dot and white jerseys.
For stage two our team will bring in four new riders: Alena Amialiusik, Hannah Barnes, Ella Harris and Omer Shapira.
“I think it’s going to be fast from the get-go and a very tough hour! We will take on the Epic KOM less than 4km into the race; this is the main feature of the course and will undoubtedly determine the outcome of the race, given that it almost doubles as an FTP test. I raced this climb a couple times in the Zwift Tour for All but unlike this previous event, we will be climbing even further onto the Radio Tower – a daunting extra 5 minutes of very steep grinding where I am already hoping for a featherweight purely to survive,” explained Ella.
“There will likely be large gaps across the field at the top, but it will be exciting to see if a small bunch can gather themselves together to contest the finish during the long descent and remaining rolling kilometres. It will be interesting to see how many of the teams approach the race and Zwift as a whole, given that they have not previously been involved in the racing and don’t necessarily have much experience on the platform. In saying this, there will be some incredibly strong on-road riders lining up so I’m looking forward to seeing them getting involved and increasing the already high-level of the racing. I’m feeling a little rusty on Zwift and with high-intensity efforts in general at the moment, but I did a SRAM Zwift race earlier in the week as a warm-up which I thoroughly enjoyed, so really excited to do another event!” added Ella.
Stage one racing starts at 15:00CEST and stage two at 15:0CEST. Watch all the action live from various broadcasts:
Where to watch the stages
Globally on GCN app or Zwift.com here. Or choose your local broadcast in more than 130 countries including:
Pan-Europe (incl UK): Eurosport & GCN
Denmark: TV2 Sport
Norway: TV2 Sport/TV2 Sumo
Belgium Walloon: RTBF
Belgium Flemish: VRT
Sub-Saharan Africa: Supersport
Japan: J Sports
New Zealand: SKY Sport
Pan-Asia-Pacific: EurosportAsia & GCN
The stage details
- Saturday 4 July, stage 1: Nice, 36.4 km (4 x 9.1km, hilly stage)
- Sunday 5 July, stage 2: Nice, 29.5 km (682m of ascent, mountain stage)
- Saturday 11 July, stage 3: North-East France, 48km (flat stage)
- Sunday 12 July, stage 4: South-West France, 45.8km (2 x 22.9 km laps, hilly stage)
- Saturday 18 July, stage 5: Mont Ventoux, 22.9km (finish at Chalet-Reynard, mountain stage)
- Sunday 19 July, stage 6: Paris Champs-Elysées, 42.8km (6 laps of the circuit)