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Cycling: Tour de France Femmes preview

The second edition of the women’s Tour de France is set to get underway on Sunday and just like the men’s race it looks set to be a two-cyclist race.

The Tour de France Femmes, as it is known, will take place over eight stages and once again superstar Annemeik Van Vleuten looks the rider to beat.

The defending champion is the hot fancy, but she should be pushed all the way by Demi Vollering, who finished second in 2022.

22 teams are set to battle it out over the eight days and all fans of cycling will be glued to their television screens to witness more history being made.

The teams

22 teams will take part in the Tour de France Femmes and each team will consist of seven riders.

Annemeik Van Vleuten rides for the Movistar team, who will be targeting two wins in a row, while arch rival Demi Vollering is part of Team SD Workx.

There are some familiar teams in the peloton in 2023, including Jumbo-Visma, EF Education, Soudal Quickstep, Team DSM and UAE Team ADQ.

The 2023 route

The peloton is set to cover a total of 956 kilometres over the eight stages and will also take in some brutal climbs.

Out of the eight stages, there are four flat stages, two hilly stages, one mountains stage and one individual time trial.

Stage 4 from Cahors to Rodez will be the longest of the race, stretching 177kms.

The first stage of the Tour de France Femmes will start and finish in Clermont-Ferrand. The race will then head south across the Massif Central and towards the Pyrenees.

The final stage will be an individual time trial, starting and finishing in Pau.

The mountains

The peloton will make their way from one side of the Massif Central to the other during the race, and that means some big climbs.

Stage 7 will be the toughest day for the riders as they must tackle the Aspin and Tourmalet passes. The Tourmalet is an iconic climb and stage 7 will finish at the top of it.

It is the highest the peloton will venture in the race with an altitude of 2,110 metres.

The riders

Annemeik Van Vleuten is the defending champion and is priced at 2.25 to go back-to-back.

The Movistar rider is the biggest star in women’s cycling in recent years, winning everything there is to be won.

The 40-year-old has won the Tour, Giro, Vuelta and world championship and has 98 career wins to her name.

Retirement looks to be on the cards and the Dutch superstar will be aiming to go out on a high.

Demi Vollering is the biggest threat to Van Vleuten and is priced at 1.83 to take the win.

Vollering is in her sixth season as a pro and looks sure to be the next Dutch superstar when Van Vleuten finally steps aside.

She will be out to go one better in 2023 by winning the Tour and will have the backing of a very strong looking SD Worx team.

Elisa Longo Borghini is part of a very strong Lidl Trek team that also includes the likes of Lucinda Brand and Elisa Balsamo.

Borghini has just won a stage at the Giro Donne so should be full of confidence heading into the Tour.

She is priced at 21.00 to win the Tour de France Femmes.

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