After the most extended season, the women’s WorldTour calendar concludes this weekend with the first Tour de Romandie. The three-day event begins in Lausanne and ends in Thyon 2000 before the final jersey is presented in Geneva on Sunday.
The Women’s WorldTour will end with the inaugural Tour de Romandie Féminin, which will take place from October 7-9 in Switzerland. The three-day race in the surrounding mountains will be anything but simple, with a crucial stage 2 summit finish at Thyon 2000.
The Tour de Romandie is a long-running men’s WorldTour race that celebrated its 75th anniversary this year and was won by Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe).
It’s an excellent addition to the top-tier women’s calendar Tour de Romandie Féminin. Even though there are only three stages, as opposed to the men’s six, the terrain spans from steep to mountainous and will surely cater to aggressive racing.
All three stages have a considerable amount of climbing, with the second stage culminating atop a long, unpleasant hill, so any climbers who have yet to take home top honors have one last chance in 2022.
The race concludes the women’s WorldTour Tour de Romandie Féminin calendar, which includes various stage races like the Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift, Itzulia Women, the Tour of Scandinavia, and the rebuilt RideLondon Classic. Furthermore, the racing style will be a little more fluid with the World Championships behind them.
The Route Tour de Romandie Féminin:
Stage 1: Lausanne (134.4 km) | Friday, October 7
The women will race a 134.4-kilometer loop beginning in Lausanne and ending just past where they started.
The circle features four category-three climbs and a few uncategorized peaks. However, the finish is after around 15 kilometers of flat.
It will be an excellent start to the race and a pivotal day for those vying for the leader’s jersey.
Stage 2: 2000 km from Sion to Thyon | Saturday, October 8
With the climb to Thyon 2000 on stage two, a significant general classification battle awaits. If you look at the number of kilometers the ladies will travel, it’s a short stage, but because more than 20 kilometers of the 104.5-mile stage is uphill, the trip will seem much longer for those competing.
The ladies race up a category one climb that tops out 71.7 kilometers into the stage before even reaching the second sprint point that would herald the start of the mountain top finish. That initial ascent might be a launching pad for anyone who doesn’t want to compete with the most excellent climbers on the final climb, or it could decide the race before the following ascent ever begins.
The general classification will most likely be completed once the race concludes on Saturday.
Stage 3: From Fribourg to Geneva (147.6 kilometers) | October 9
The last stage also has the least amount of climbing and may result in a smaller bunch if some opportunistic riders do not take the day for themselves.
The 147.6-kilometer journey from Fribourg to Geneva contains a category two climb early in the stage and a category three climb with 32.7 kilometers remaining. The peloton descends to the finish at the summit of the second climb.
How to watch Tour de Romandie Féminin:
According to GCN, all three stages will have live coverage, but the exact hours are still unknown. More information will be available on Thursday. The event will also be broadcast on Paramount+
- Broadcast: fuboTV
Tour de Romandie Féminin Top Contenders:
Many clubs that began the season with smaller rosters are struggling at this point. With the Worlds completed, several cyclists have called it a season. On the other hand, some riders appear to have peaked for the year’s final races. Veronica Ewers, for example, will ideally be chosen to lead EF Education-Tibco-SVB. In both the Giro dell’Emilia and the Tre Valli Varesine, the American finished second to Elisa Longo Borghini.
Ewers has drawn attention after winning the second stage of the Ceratizit Festival Elsy Jacobs in May, followed by a victory in the Navarra Women’s Classic in Spain. She also took second place in Durango-Durango and Emakumeen Nafarroako. A win in Switzerland would be Ewers’ first WorldTour victory, but she is capable of doing so.
The lady who defeated Ewers in Italy and has been constantly at the top all season is a favorite to win the overall title this weekend. Longo Borghini is in the air. The Italian looked fantastic at Worlds, but he has been on fire all year. A few weeks earlier, he won Paris-Roubaix and finished second overall at the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta. On the start list for Trek-Segafredo is also American Leah Thomas, the world ITT champion.
Liane Lippert is another fan favorite who just returned after a terrific Worlds performance. The German will compete in her final race for Team DSM before joining Movistar for the 2023 season. She was a driving force in the Wollongong road race, finishing a solid fourth. Her best stage race finished second place at the Tour of Scandinavia in August. Her comrade Juliette Labor is also someone to keep an eye on. Labous won the Vuelta a Burgos earlier in the season and the Giro Donne’s mountain top stage.
Regarding the Tour of Scandinavia, FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope will be represented by two of its most successful riders, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Marta Cavalli. Cavalli raced for the first time since her horrific crash at the Tour de France Femmes in July this week at the Giro dell Emilia.
Uttrup was another World Championship contender who has maintained her great form since winning stage 6 of the Tour de France Femmes. Both riders might compete in the first two stages, but there’s no pressure on Cavalli; we’re all glad to see the Italian back in the saddle.
SD Worx will begin on Thursday with their usual insanely powerful roster. Demi Vollering, who could not compete in the World Championships due to a positive COVID-19 test before the start, will get her revenge in Switzerland. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio played a crucial role in many of Wollongong’s great breakaway attempts, and Marlen Reusser backed her up.
Mavi Garca is the favorite in her final race for UAE Team ADQ before joining Liv Racing Xstra. The Spanish national champion is a fantastic climber who excels in these shorter races.
Finally, according to the preliminary start list, Annemeik van Vleuten will be wearing the Movistar version of her World Champion jersey. If the Dutchwoman starts, she will win overall on a day like stage 2.
World champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar), Demi Vollering (SD Worx), and Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) are all on the provisional start list, as is Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo). Mavi Garcia (UAE Team ADQ), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, and Marta Cavalli (FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope) are all seeking to finish the season strong.
Van Vleuten had an outstanding season, winning the Giro d’Italia Donne, the Tour de France Femmes, and the Challenge by La Vuelta. She will be the next world champion, having won the road race title at the UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong in September despite hurting her elbow in the team time trial.
Her performances on high terrain and her peak late-season condition make her the clear favorite to win the Tour de Romandie overall.
She will not be without opposition, as several primary contenders were forced to settle for lower top-10 finishes at this year’s Tour de France Femmes and may head to the Tour de Romandie searching for redemption.
Van Vleuten’s main adversary in the French mountains was Vollering, who finished second overall. Despite being in terrific shape, she was forced to withdraw from the World Championships due to COVID-19. Though Van Vleuten went on to win the world title with the Dutch team, Vollering suffered a setback.
Volleying will be supported by a strong team at the Tour de Romandie, including Switzerland’s own Marlen Reusser, who was part of the Swiss team that won the mixed team relay title and placed third in the individual time trial in Wollongong. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Anna Shackley will also compete for SD Worx.
Canyon-SRAM sends Niewiadoma, who has yet to win a race this year despite being so close, and climber Alena Amialiusik. Elise Chabbey, a Swiss rider, will be the team’s wildcard.
Longo Borghini might lead Trek-Segafredo to the overall triumph after a string of late-season victories in the Giro dell Emilia and Tre Valli Varesine. She was also scheduled to compete for the rainbow jersey in the first-ever Gravel World Championships in Veneto on October 8, but she announced on Twitter that she would race the Tour de Romandie instead. Leah Thomas and Ellen van Dijk are also on the team for a solid showing.
Marta Cavalli returned to racing this autumn after a mishap at the Tour de France Femmes, finishing sixth in her first race back at the Giro dell Emilia. We won’t know how strong she is in the mountains until the race begins, but she and teammates Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Evita Muzic give FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope three cards to play.
Mavi Garcia (UAE Team ADQ), Amanda Spratt and Ane Santesteban (BikeExchange-Jayco), Veronica Ewers and Omer Shapira (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), Olivia Baril (Valcar Travel & Service), and Swiss Champion Caroline Baur from home team Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad are among the other candidates to watch.