Who Will Win the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift? Top Contenders for 2023

By Megan Flottorp

As the excitement builds for the 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift (which gets underway this Sunday!), cycling enthusiasts worldwide eagerly anticipate witnessing some of the sport’s brightest stars battling it out for the prestigious yellow jersey. With an eight-day race showcasing a diverse and challenging route, the competition promises to be fierce. Let’s delve into the top contenders primed to seize overall victory at the second edition of the women’s Tour.

Annemiek van Vleuten – The Unstoppable Force

As the defending champion of the 2022 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, Annemiek van Vleuten is a force to be reckoned with. Her dominant performances in the previous edition, particularly on the Vosges stages atop Le Markstein and La Super Planche des Belles Filles, solidified her reputation as the one to beat. The addition of the Col du Tourmalet summit finish and an individual time trial in the 2023 route plays to Van Vleuten’s strengths, making her an important favourite to claim victory once again.

Van Vleuten’s sparkling 2022 season, which included triumphs at the Giro d’Italia Donne, Challenge by La Vuelta, and the World Championships, proves her versatility and determination. With the unwavering support of her Movistar team, including the likes of Liane Lippert, she will undoubtedly be at the forefront of contention for the yellow jersey.

Demi Vollering – Bridging the Gap

Demi Vollering emerged as the closest rival to Van Vleuten during the 2022 Tour. Her impressive performances on the ascents of Le Markstein and La Super Planche des Belles Filles showcased her fierce power and determination. Likewise, Vollering’s outstanding 2023 season, which includes podium finishes at Strade Bianche, the Ardennes Classics, and the Tour de Suisse, proves that she has closed the gap to the reigning champion.

With her determination to succeed and a strong supporting cast, Vollering is no doubt looking to build on her earlier-season successes and claim the yellow jersey for herself in the 2023 edition.

Kasia Niewiadoma – Aiming for Even Bigger Results

Kasia Niewiadoma will line up at the 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift looking to defend or improve upon her celebrated podium position from last year, where she finished third behind her aforementioned rivals. The introduction of more mid-mountain routes in the 2023 race provides Niewiadoma with the perfect opportunity to showcase her climbing prowess and contend for stage victories.

Kasia Niewiadoma
Will Kasia make it?

Having trained extensively in Andorra to prepare for the challenging route, Niewiadoma aims to be less predictable and race more aggressively. With a team eager to support her quest for both stage wins and the overall classification, she is undoubtedly a formidable contender for the yellow jersey.

Elisa Longo Borghini – The Master of Tactics

Elisa Longo Borghini shares several similarities with Niewiadoma as a rider who excels in mid-mountain stages and demonstrates remarkable consistency on longer ascents. What sets Longo Borghini apart, however, is her tactical prowess. The Italian is known for creating race situations that suit her strengths, often taking control of the peloton and dictating the pace.

Her impressive track record includes victories at Paris-Roubaix Femmes, Tour of Flanders, and the Women’s Tour. The rare combination of sprinting ability and climbing prowess makes her one of the most versatile riders in the peloton, capable of excelling in various race scenarios.

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig – A Triumph of Spirit

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig’s emotional stage win in the 2022 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift highlighted her determination and unwavering spirit. Despite facing setbacks during the season, she bounced back with a vengeance and secured overall victory at the Tour of Scandinavia.

Her team, FDJ-SUEZ, boasts a roster of talented riders, including Marta Cavalli and Évita Muzic, providing Uttrup Ludwig with valuable support as she aims for the yellow jersey. With a versatile team at her disposal, she can capitalise on various stages and emerge as a serious contender for the overall classification.

Juliette Labous – Rising Through the Ranks

Juliette Labous has steadily risen through the ranks as a general classification rider, showcasing her potential with top-10 finishes at a variety of important races. With an extended contract through 2024, Labous has had a breakout year in 2021 and continued to impress in 2022 with an overall victory at the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas and a stage win at the Giro d’Italia.

As DSM’s leading rider for the 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, Labous will employ her subtle racing style to stay consistently in contention throughout the race. Though not as aggressive as some rivals, her tactical approach keeps her firmly in the mix for the yellow jersey.

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio – A Chance for Redemption

With a change of teams to AG Insurance-NXTG, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio is presented with a new opportunity to shine as a team leader. Previously playing crucial support roles for Marianne Vos and Anna van der Breggen, Moolman-Pasio now has a chance to take centre stage.

With a reputation as an established talent in pro cycling, Moolman-Pasio’s determination to seize victory is unwavering. The 2023 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift might just be the platform she needs to solidify her mark on cycling history.

Silvia Persico – A Star in the Making

Silvia Persico’s exceptional performances at the 2022 Tour, finishing in the top 10 in seven stages and claiming fifth place overall, showcased her immense potential. With a move to the Women’s WorldTour under UAE Team ADQ, Persico now has a stronger support system to nurture her untapped talent.

With the ability to contest high mountain passes and sprint finishes, Persico’s versatility makes her a formidable contender for stage victories and even a podium spot in the 2023 race.