Meet our Tour de France Femmes line up
Iconic race returns to the women’s calendar for the first time in a generation
Like countless fans across the world, Magdeleine Vallieres Mill grew up following the Tour de France.
“The Tour was the first cycling race I ever watched in my life. When I was really young, we’d go to my parents’ friends’ house and watch every stage of the Tour on TV. I would say, ‘I want to race it someday. I’ll race it with the men.’ I don’t know how that would have worked but in my head it made sense,” Magdeleine laughs.
“Then I grew up. I realized there wasn’t a Tour for women. Not as many big races. Not that much media and coverage. Not as much interest in women’s cycling as there was in men’s cycling. This race is a way to show that we are here and we deserve our place.”
This year marks the return of the Tour de France Femmes for the first time since 1989. On Sunday, the biggest annual sporting event on the planet will revive the women’s edition and we are proud to make history. The Tour de France Femmes is an opportunity to showcase women’s cycling and to inspire women and fans to pursue their dreams, on and off the bike.
“I hope this race continues the momentum in women’s cycling and shows that with the proper resources and coverage, we are capable of doing incredible things — and that is with regard to everything, not just cycling,” says Veronica Ewers.
“In the last two or three years, the level of women’s cycling has grown a lot but with the Tour de France it will be another step forward. We will have even more people watching women’s races in the future and a lot more exposure because of the visibility. I think the Tour de France means a lot for women’s cycling,” says Letizia Borghesi.
“The magnitude of being a part of this historical event is unprecedented and I am filled with great anticipation and excitement,” Emily Newsom says. The American has been racing road, gravel, and mountain bike this season, a combination that has her “well equipped to be a strong rider for the team.”
Our squad has ambitions to race aggressively over the eight stages. Letizia has been studying the road book closely. “The stage that is best suited for me is the third one. It’s like a Classics race. I think it can be really good for me. I really like this kind of race with many hills, narrow roads, corners, and a lot of sprints.”
Climber Krista Doebel-Hickok has her eyes set on the mountains.
“I’m most excited for the final stages because they have the most climbing and I also tend to fatigue well,” Krista says. “I also have aspirations for a result and being able to contribute to a teammate getting a top result.”
As a former racer herself, team founder and owner Linda Jackson recognizes what a significant moment this the Tour de France Femmes represents both for our team and our sport.
“This is our first year as a WorldTour team,” she says. “I have been very pleased with the success of our team this year; I feel that we have punched above our weight. We’ve had some amazing results including several wins. But our roster is heavily development focused, and we aren’t emphasizing the overall result for this race. We need time to develop our riders further before expecting podium results in one of the toughest races in the world. Our goal for our team at the first Tour de France Femmes in over 30 years is for our riders to race their bikes. To look for breaks to get into. To not be intimidated by the pressure and to go for it. In watching the men’s Tour de France, EF Education-EasyPost have done a terrific job at this, they will be our role models. Our goal over the next several years is to grow into a top five WorldTour team. When we are there, our goals and expectations will be a lot different. But if our riders race as the men’s team have, I will be super proud of them.”
For the riders of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, this race is an opportunity for connections with fans, with the team, and with loved ones.
“I’m really excited to see the staff and management that I haven’t seen since camp,” says Krista. “I know our team owner is coming over and our general manager, too. They are some of the people that work so hard behind the scenes for us, but we don’t get to connect face-to-face with very often. They don’t get to see us race our bikes hardly ever during the season so I’m really excited to have them make the trip over.”
Kathrin Hammes is from Freiburg, Germany, so racing up La Planche des Belles Filles on the eighth and final stage will “feel like it’s a home stage race,” she says. “It’s super iconic and it’s almost my training area. I have friends coming over to watch.”
Just as the men’s race has been an introduction to cycling for so many over the decades, the Tour de France Femmes will initiate a new generation of fans and spectators to the intensity and beauty of our sport.
“My parents and brother will be at the Tour,” Veronica says. “I’m really excited for them to be there to cheer me on but also to experience the European cycling fans for the first time. I don’t think they are prepared for how wild and awesome the fans are. It will be a really cool and chaotic — in a good way — experience for them!”
When we pin our race numbers to our jerseys on Sunday, our team will race the Tour de France Femmes for the women who have paved the way before us, for the women we are today, and for the women of the future.
“The thought of my beautiful little girl watching me race this historical event gives me enough joy to last a lifetime,” says Emily.
Our Tour de France Femmes roster:
// Letizia Borghesi
// Krista Doebel-Hickok
// Veronica Ewers
// Kathrin Hammes
// Emily Newsom
// Magdeleine Vallieres Mill
How to watch:
USA — NBC Sports and the Peacock app
Canada — Flobikes
Central and South America — ESPN
Europe, Asia Pacific, North Africa, and the Middle East — GCN+
Australia — SBS