Tour de France Women with Zwift: Stage 1 gallery – Weibes sprints in the first yellow jersey

The last Sunday of the 109th Tour de France coincided with the first day of the Women’s Tour de France with Zwift. Before the arrival of the men’s peloton on the Paris street circuit, 144 women lined up for the start of a new era for cycling.

Zac Williams was in Paris for the historic opening leg of the women’s race. Here is her gallery from the first day of the Tour de France Women with Zwift.

– Tour de France Women with Zwift Gallery, by Zac Williams: stage 1, Paris (81.7km)

Trek-Segafredo World Champion Elisa Balsamo wears bib number one in the inaugural edition of the Tour de France Women with Zwift. The 24-year-old Italian was joined on the start line of the first stage, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower (above), by the national champions of Belgium (Lotte Kopecky, Team SD Worx), Austria (Christina Schweinberger, Plantur-Pura), Slovenia (Eugenia Bujak, UAE Team ADQ), France (Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Trek- Segafredo)), South Africa (Frances Janse Van Rensburg, Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime), Australia (Nicole Frain, Parkhotel Valkenburg), Switzerland (Caroline Baur, Roland Cogeas Edelweiss), Spain (Mavi Garcia, UAE Team ADQ) and Denmark (Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope).

Ellen van Dijk, the European champion who would lead the peloton down the finishing straight for the sprint at the end of the 81.7km race in Paris, was also front row on the ‘grid’ in a display case from a quality field that assembled for the #TDFF.

It’s an exciting time for cycling and although one race ended yesterday another has just started.

As expected, the opening stage of the women’s race was a sprint and – as has been a tradition for 15 years – Marianne Vos was chasing victory. The Dutchman took first place in the first of two intermediate sprints over the Hauts des Champs, and although she insists she is not favorite for the title of the eight-stage race, it is clear that she is in good shape again in July. .

Vos has played a pivotal role in helping to establish this race, campaigning for greater visibility for women’s cycling when she’s not on the bike, and reminding everyone of her extremely versatile talents every time she participates.

On the first day of the Women’s Tour de France with Zwift, however, the 35-year-old from Team Jumbo-Visma had no response to the punishing sprint of her compatriot Lorena Wiebes from Team DSM.

In the end, it was a drag race on the cobblestones of the Champs-Élysées between Vos and Wiebes and the younger of the two took the lead in the final meters of what had been a lively race.

Lorena Wiebes seals her victory: first in stage 1, ahead of Marianne Vos. (Pictures: Zac Williams)

On the podium, on the yellow jersey… and with a young company, a friend’s baby.

It’s Wiebes’ 15th win this year (not counting his three-stage Ride London Classic GC win). She is the sprinter in form at the moment, and an undisputed favorite of the Parisian stage. The 23-year-old finished second behind Vos in the first intermediate sprint (after 34.8 km of racing), picking up 20 points.

With 50 more points for his stage victory, Wiebes also leads the race for the green jersey with 70 points, 10 more than Kopecky (winner of the second intermediate sprint).

“We expected Marianne to do a long sprint,” Wiebes said of the finish, “but I was able to hit one more shot, so it’s good to win.

“I was quite relaxed before the start, we did everything normally. We saw it as a normal race. Of course, I was a little nervous towards the final but I’m really happy to have finished it. It’s special to wear the yellow jersey. I think the whole team deserved it after the amazing season we’ve already had. We are ready for the next few days now.

There has been a lot of talk about the addition of the Tour de France Women with Zwift to the competition calendar and much of it has to do with the need for a better gender balance in professional cycling. ASO’s commitment to creating this event, and ensuring that it is not just a prop to the men’s event, is encouraging. And now is the time for cycling fans to show their support, tune in and watch – and keep the conversation alive about #TDFF and all it means for our sport.

The crossing of the men’s and women’s races was only for one stage and, he hoped, would entice spectators to the roadside in Paris early on the last Sunday of #TDF2022. Those who showed up early to watch the women in the early afternoon were treated to aggressive runs and a volley of attacks from the best in the world.

It will be interesting to see what reaction the next steps of the #TDFF will get from the public on the side of the road, and with TV ratings for an event that enjoys live coverage every day.

For now, we salute Wiebes for her success in stage one and look back on what was a great ride in the French capital on the day the sun shone on women’s cycling.

Zac Williams, a young photographer from Perth, follows the Tour from the Grand Départ in Copenhagen earlier this month. He will continue his journey through France for another week, sending a collection of images from each stage of the Tour de France Women with Zwift. If you like what you see, be sure to share it with your friends and offer feedback on our social media pages.

Zac Williams Tour de France Galleries

Follow this Australian photographer on Instagram: @z_w_photography

The Tour 2022:

• Step 1 • Step 2 • Step 3 • Step 4 • Step 5 • Step 6 • Step 7 • Step 8 • Step 9 • Step 10 • Step 11 • Step 12 • Step 13 • Step 14 • Step 15 • Step 16 • Step 17 • Step 18 • Step 19 • Step 20 • Step 21 •

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