Tour de France Femmes - Stage 3

Flat finish should suit the pure sprinters, but breakaway success possible

Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) wearing yellow during the 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift

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Tour de France Femmes - Stage 3
Tour de France Femmes - Stage 3
  • Dates 25 Jul
  • Race Length 147 kms
  • Start Collonges-la-Rouge
  • Finish Montignac-Lascaux
  • Race Category Elite Women

After the climb-heavy, puncheur-friendly parcours on stage 2, the third stage of this year’s Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift offers an easier profile, and a long, flat run-in that will have the sprinters feeling grateful. Starting in the picturesque town of Collonges-la-Rouge, this stage sees the race enter the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region for the first time, heading west to the finish in Montignac-Lascaux.

Though it should be a sprinters’ day, the stage is not completely flat, featuring five categorised climbs. It is the Tour de France, after all. But unlike the preceding stages, the climbs on stage 3 come early on in the race, with all the categorised escents complete by the 50km-to-go mark. There is one last gentle rise with around 20km to go, but nothing that should get in the way of the sprint teams’ plans.

The final 12km of the stage are completely flat, and should produce a fast and furious run-in to the line, the first chance for the sprinters to take on a truly uncomplicated finish. There is relatively little to contend with in the final 5km as the road gently winds into Montignac-Lascaux. There are roundabouts to cross with 2km and 1km to go, and then there is a left-hand turn into the finishing straight. The drag to the line is completely straight for the final 600m, and the road starts wide but narrows slightly in the final 300m so positioning in the front will be key, as well as timing when to launch a sprint.

The key climbs to look out for will be the first one, the Côte de Peyroux, a 4.8km effort that could help if a breakaway hasn’t gone yet, and the last, the 6.2% Côte de Saint-Robert which kicks up for a kilometre. Though none of the climbs in these early stages are particularly big, they’ll be important for the Queen of the Mountains competition, so expect to see the early polka dot jersey wearer and hopefuls in action on this day.

The GC riders should see this stage as the first chance to take it somewhat easy and relax in the bunch, though of course at the Tour even the most nondescript stages can become hectic. This day should be about sitting back and letting the sprint teams do their thing.

Grace Brown’s inside view

“I think this is one of the more likely sprint stages, but it’s still not an easy stage,” FDJ-SUEZ’s Grace Brown said about stage 3. “Overall there’s a lot of climbing in the day. The climbs aren’t difficult, but it will be taxing, definitely for a pure sprinter it will be a really hard day. But someone like Lorena Wiebes should be fine, I would think. It’s sort of one of those days where there’s not really any standout features, it’s a lot of small, winding roads, up and down all day. It could also be a day for a breakaway, just because it doesn’t have those standout features.

“Because of the nature of the terrain, you can’t rely on putting your team on the front and bringing it back. You lose momentum with the up and down nature of it. But because it’s one of the only stages where it’s possible to be a sprint, the sprint teams will really want to bring it back together, because otherwise there are no opportunities apart from stage 6 maybe.”


  • km 27 - Côte du Peyroux, 4.8km at 4% (cat 3)
  • km 31 - Côte du Pératel, 2km at 5.3% (cat 4)
  • km 58 - Côte de l’Escurotte, 2.6km at 4.7% (cat 4)
  • km 89.5 - Côtes des Andrieux, 2.6km at 4.1% (cat 4)
  • km 92 - Côte de Saint-Robert, 1.1km at 6.2% (cat 4)

We’ll be showing live and on-demand coverage of all eight stages of this year’s Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift from Sunday, July 23 to Sunday, July 30, plus daily expert analysis on The Breakaway. Head over to GCN+ now to check the start times of each broadcast so that you don’t miss out on a moment of the action! As always, territory restrictions will apply.

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