The global online fitness and racing platform Zwift will be the presenting partner of the event whose official name will be “Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift”. The eight-stage race will start on the Champs Elysees on the same day as the conclusion of the men's race before continuing on and tackling some of the iconic locations and climbs familiar to those who watch the men's event.
In a press release, Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), the Tour de France organisers, said its aspiration for the women’s Tour de France is to achieve the same heights as the men’s race, to provide women a greater opportunity to showcase their talents on tough courses.
“This is a huge moment for professional women’s cycling,” said reigning UCI road and TT world champion Anna van der Breggen. “The Tour de France is the most famous race in cycling and it’s long been a dream for many of us to compete in a women’s Tour de France. I’m hopeful that the race will help us grow our sport even more by providing us with a media platform to take the excitement of women’s cycling to new audiences.”
"We are particularly glad to launch this new women's race with a partner like Zwift, who have considerably developed cycling around the world thanks to their connected platform," said Yann le Moënner, General Director of Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), organisers of the men’s and women’s Tours de France.
"We constructed a Virtual Tour de France together last year which turned out to be an immense success. Our respective teams learned to work together and now target the same objective: to develop women's cycling by introducing an unmissable event, the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift."
LCL, E.Leclerc, Liv Cycling, FDJ and Tissot were also confirmed as major sponsors of the 2022 edition of the race in the same announcement, but the Zwift commitment headlined the fanfare of the women's race.
“This is an incredibly important announcement for us as we look to build on our investment in women’s cycling and really help grow and develop the sport. Building on the success of the Virtual Tour de France on Zwift last year, this has been many months in the making and both Zwift and the A.S.O are delighted to make the dream a reality," said Eric Min, CEO & co-Founder of Zwift.
"I’ve long been a fan of the attacking style of women’s racing. I really believe the women’s peloton puts on some of the most exciting bike racing to watch and it deserves a much bigger platform to exhibit these talents and skills.
"I’m proud that we can play a big part in making the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift a reality in 2022. Together we can bring women’s cycling to a larger audience and inspire new generations of female cyclists for years to come.”
SBS Cycling Central has a sponsorship arrangement with Zwift, but this article is not related to that agreement.
Every moment of the 2021 Tour de France will be live on SBS, with the ŠKODA Tour Tracker app, SBS TV and the SBS Cycling Central the place to be to catch all the pulsating action from France from June 26 to July 18.