From Holland to Dutch Bend: Heading East for the 2024 Women’s Tour de France

Like the men’s competition, the third edition of the Women’s Grand Ball Competition takes place in Paris on Wednesday 25 October and is strongly influenced by the hosting of the Paris Olympic Games (26 July to 11 August).

The incident even gave director Marion Rousse a headache, as he first needed to find a place in the disrupted sports calendar. The men’s Tour de France was unable to start as usual due to the Olympics and used the momentum to hit the road to a hugely popular success with 20 million spectators and gatherings around the world.

“The most important thing is to continue to be part of the French festival so that it can continue to be a popular celebration,” insists Marion Rouss.

Organizers were eventually granted an exemption to hold events between the Olympics and Paralympics, a space they hope to protect every four years.

We then had to deal with the huge demands from the police, which were already heavily mobilized for the Olympics. A first trip abroad soon became necessary, and it would start in the Netherlands, women’s cycling’s flagship country, which had already hosted the first international men’s cycling race in Amsterdam in 1954.

Half of the eight stages of the 2024 event will be held outside France, with the final stage finishing in Liège, Belgium.

Finally, the last restriction, departures on the day after the Olympics close on Monday, means that in order to keep the same number of stages (not least a requirement of some contracts), organizers have to offer two on the same day.

Queen completes it in one step

The race will take place on Tuesday, August 13, with riders taking on a flat-as-a-flounder 67-kilometre stage before continuing with a 6.3-kilometre time trial on the streets of Rotterdam at noon the next day.

Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme insisted: “We could have started on Sunday but because of the Olympics it won’t be televised so that’s not possible.” This so-called “game” will be criticized by some. Half of the discounts occur abroad.

The fact remains that this straight route from north to south is meant to be alluring and varied, first flat and obviously, in the Netherlands, the following stages reminiscent of the one between Valkenburg and Liège The classic routes include Bemelbeg and the Bemelbeg ascent. The Cauberg, the symbol of the Amstel Golden Race, and the Côtes de la Redoute and Roche-aux-Faucons, the myth of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

A unique final weekend in the Alps, starting with the long trek to Grand Bornand. It then ends with the Queen Stage, with a positive altitude difference of 3,900 meters, on the steepest side (19.7 km, 7.2%) to the Grand Pass (19.7 km, 7.2%) and finally to the Alpe d’Huez (13.8 km , 8.1%), a year after the success of the New Legend Women’s Tour at the 2023 Tour de Marais, Dutchwoman Demi Vollering has consolidated her success.

“This is the hardest stage we have ever done, and for me Grandon is also the hardest stage in France,” emphasizes Marion Rousse, after the Vosges in 2022 and Tourmalet last year , we really wanted to go to the Alps. “

“If you want to attract attention in the Olympic year, you have to work hard. In Alpe d’Huez we worked hard,” insists Christian Prudhomme.

Source: France24

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