The Tour de France Femmes started on Sunday afternoon in which Team dsm-firmenich immediately achieved its first success by sprinting to a good third place with Charlotte Kool.
This year’s edition kicked off in Clermont-Ferrand near the Puy-de-Dôme, where the men’s edition also passed in stage nine. An intriguing parcours awaited the peloton, with the tricky climb of Côte de Durtol in the finale offering the attackers a potential launchpad to deny the strong sprinters.
As expected, the race started calmly in which a few escapees were able to pull away in a controlled manner, with Team dsm-firmenich one of the leading teams at the front of the peloton. Unfortunately, Megan Jastrab and Esmée Peperkamp were involved in crashes, after which they finished the race at their own pace. With 30 kilometres to go the pace picked up steadily and the action started. The race split on the infamous Côte de Durtol, after which Kopecky went clear and Pfeiffer Georgi and Kool managed to establish themselves in a group behind some GC riders. Georgi did an incredible amount of work by taking the initiative in the chasing group to get Kool back for a sprint, and with success. When approaching the finish line, the groups came together after which Kool made an enormous effort from behind and sprinted to a very creditable third place.
Unfortunately, Juliette Labous lost contact with the main GC group but fought hard to limit the losses with plenty of racing left to go over the next seven stages.