“The [riders] go to the Olympics in the wake of the Tour de France, and so we have to change the date,” Prudhomme told BiciPro.
The Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11, with the men’s and women’s individual time trials on July 27, the men’s road race on August 3, and the women’s road race on August 4.
This year, the Tour de France avec Zwift is scheduled to take place between July 23 and 30. The route will begin in Clermont-Ferrand and conclude with a time trial in Pau. It directly follows the conclusion of the men’s Tour de France.
The thought on everyone’s mind is clear. Will the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift overlap with the men’s edition of the race in 2024? Unfortunately, we do not know the answer yet. It could even be postponed till after the Olympics are finished, which would create further challenges in the Women’s World Tour calendar. We’ll see how that pans out.
In the meantime, Prudhomme talked of the long-term plans for the female version of the race: “When we relaunched the Tour de France Femme avec Zwift, we said to ourselves that we wanted to create a long-lasting event, which would still be alive in 50 years, like the Giro, the Tour… There were many duels between Jeannie Longo and Maria Canins in the 80s: they existed, and they were real.”
He also went on to explain the success of the inaugural edition through a spike in interest from communities wanting to host stages:
“The candidacy of the cities was incredible. We saw it after the first edition: it was a resounding success. We didn’t expect so many people on the roadside. We didn’t expect so many people in front of the television. We must continue. We have to go further. And that also means facing difficulties.”
The Olympics are a tough challenge for the organisers to face. However, for us fans, the main message is clear. The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift is here to stay.