Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift 2024: route rumours and what we know so far

An alpine finale beckons after a busy start in the Netherlands and a journey through France

Clock12:44, Tuesday 24th October 2023
The final podium at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift in 2023

With the official route of the 2024 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift set to be announced on Wednesday, rumours of its route and stages have been swirling for several weeks now, and an overview of the race is starting to come together.

Now in its third year, the race is continuing to grow, and we already know that next year will feature its first foreign Grand Départ in the Netherlands, but perhaps more excitingly is what the end of the race is going to look like. After visits to the Vosges and the Pyrenees in 2022 and 2023, the race looks set to tick off a third major mountain range in 2024, with a visit to the Alps. And not just any part of the Alps, but a stage 8 finale atop the Alpe d’Huez in what should be a thrilling culmination to the race.

Read more: Tour de France Femmes: A brief history of the events which paved the way

Between the Netherlands and the Alps, the race is set to traverse northeastern France, with a possible visit to Belgium on the way, as well as a return to the Vosges region. All will be officially revealed on Wednesday, but here’s what we can expect ahead of ASO’s presentation.

A foreign Grand Départ packed full of racing

The only concrete detail we have about the 2024 Tour de France Femmes route is that it will start in the Netherlands, the race’s first-ever foreign Grand Départ and something of an homage to the previous winners of the race, Demi Vollering and Annemiek van Vleuten.

Unlike with Grand Départs in the men’s race, ASO have not released the full stages that will make up the start of the race, but they have confirmed some details. We know the first stage on August 12 will start in Rotterdam and finish in The Hague which, owing to the geography and terrain of the area, is likely to be some sort of sprint or at the very most a puncheurs’ stage.

On August 13 we’ll see a split day of racing, as ASO try to fit a three-stage Grand Départ into just two days, and keep the race at technically eight stages long, despite taking place over just seven days this year.

What that day will look like will be a road stage from Dordrecht to Rotterdam in the morning, followed by an individual time trial in Rotterdam in the afternoon. The two stages could be the other way around, but this seems to be the expected way. It’s likely that the time trial will be longer than prologue length, but probably not especially long, and will be largely flat, and it remains to be seen whether these two stages will be stages 2 and 3, or stages 2a and 2b.

Traversing into France

From the Netherlands, the next part of the race will be about returning to France. Rumours of a long road or air transfer south swirled at first, but it looks like stage 4 won’t be as far away as expected. Local newspaper Republicain Lorrain have reported that Amnéville, just north of Metz, is set to host a stage finish, and as a northerly town, this would make sense to be the end of the first stage into France. It’s about 400km away from Rotterdam, so there would be some travelling involved, but it seems that a stage possibly from Belgium towards Amnéville is possible.

However, with few rumours surrounding stage 5, it’s also possible that Amnéville features on this day, with a more Belgium-based stage on stage 4, which could insert some Classics-type terrain - something that is often popular in the Tour. The information around the middle part of the race is scarce, but based on the direction of travel it is likely to feature stages in the Vosges and Alsace-Lorraine area, similar to where much of the 2022 race took place, and could feature some rolling, challenging days in the northeastern hills.

The next stage for which there are concrete rumours is stage 6, which looks set to start in Remiremont and finish in Morteau, according to Vosges Matin. This would be a heavily Vosges-based stage, which would move the race south towards the Alps.

An alpine finale

Perhaps the most interesting part about the race, and where most rumours have focused, is on the finale. Previously, many thought that the start in the Netherlands may preclude a visit to the Pyrenees or Alps - it’s a long way to travel in just seven days - but recent reports have suggested that a finish in the Alps is indeed on the cards.

According to the Dauphiné Libéré, the race won’t visit just any climb in the Alps, but perhaps the most famous of them all: L’Alpe d’Huez. According to some local intel and hotel bookings, Dauphiné Libéré reports that the final stage will culminate on the Alpe in what would be a tough and spectacular finish to the race, and a continuing step up in difficulty and prestige after the Tourmalet finish in 2023.

The newspaper also reports that Saturday’s stage will visit the Alps, with a finish in Le Grand Bornand their predictions. This would be the flat finish, but the stage would likely include several climbs, and ASO have a lot to choose from in this area, with the Col de la Colombière - 7.5km at an 8.5% gradient - the traditional pick for Grand Bornand finishes. This would be a hard but slightly more medium day, before the race heads to Alpe d’Huez on Sunday.

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