The forthcoming women’s Tour de France will be sponsored by Zwift on a four-year deal.
From 2022, Tour de France organisers ASO will run a female version of the race for the first time after years of calls to organise a race longer than the current La Course.
Thirteen months before the first edition, ASO has announced that virtual training platform Zwift will headline the race, which will be given the title, 'Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift'.
A partnership of four years has been agreed that Zwift says will support the company’s “broader strategy to grow women’s cycling and lay solid foundations, as the race seeks to establish itself as the pinnacle of the UCI Women’s WorldTour cycling calendar.”
No further details have been made public about the sponsorship, and nor has much information been released about the nature of the race yet, aside from the knowledge that it will be eight days long as opposed to three weeks.
It is also known that it will begin in Paris on July 24, the final day of the men’s race.
Eric Min, co-founder and CEO of Zwift, said: “This has been many months in the making and both Zwift and ASO are delighted to make the dream a reality.
“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.
“Together we can bring women’s cycling to a large audience and inspire new generations of female cyclists for years to come.”
Both ASO and Zwift have worked with each other in the past, most notably with the launch of the Virtual Tour de France in 2020.
It was through that link-up that ASO became convinced of working even closer with Zwift, claimed Yann le Moënner, ASO’s general director.
“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."
Anna van der Breggen of SD Worx is retiring at the end of the current season but remains excited by the race's launch.
“This is a huge moment for professional women’s cycling," Van der Breggen said. "The Tour de France is the most famous race in cycling and it’s long been a dream for many of us in the women's peloton to compete in such a race.
"I’m hopeful that the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift 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.”
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