Behind the Scenes of TdF Femmes with EF Education-TIBCO-SVB - Part 1
The iconic Tour de France Femmes race returns to the women’s calendar for the first time in over 30 years! As the official power meter sponsor for EF Education - TIBCO - SVB, the six rider roster will be racing with 4iiii PRECISION Powermeters.
We caught up with EF Education - TIBCO - SVB riders and staff to ask them a few questions about this pivotal moment in women’s cycling:
The first stage of the long awaited Tour de France Femmes will take place on the Champs-Élysées, which is traditionally the final stage of the men’s Tour de France and the final stage finishes atop the arduous LA Planche des Belles Filles, how are the rider and staff feeling about this unique format?
I love the format with the hardest courses last! I always say, “last day, best day!” I have good fatigue resistance, so this suits me well. - Krista Doebel-Hickok
As a rider, I am really excited about the format of the race. I think it will allow for riders of different strengths to have solid results- those who do better in the fast and flat stages will have opportunity in the first few stages, those who are a bit more punchy will have opportunity in the middle stages, and then the top climbers will enjoy the finishing stages. I also think with the mountainous stages coming later in the race, the race will require the GC riders to be quite attritional and focused so as not to lose much time prior to the mountain stages. - Veronica Ewers
The Tour de France Femme will be a demanding race for sure and includes a mix of flat and climbing stages. So for sure it has everything to make it an exciting race and it will be a great opportunity to show Women’s cycling on a big stage. I am personally always sad when the men’s tour ends, because it becomes such a nice habit to follow the race on TV. So I hope this year will just feel like one long Tour de France with the men’s race first and the women’s race afterwards. It would be great it we can carry that tour excitement directly into the women’s race. - Kathrin Hammes
Along with the fact that this tour is a monumental moment for women’s cycling, beginning the 8 stages by sprinting it out on the Champs-Elysees is hard to top! Follow this with another sprint stage, while leaving the climbing stages until the end will give many opportunities for a wide array of riders and should lead to a very exciting first 6 days. - Emily Newsom
I think that starting the tour in Paris in front of the eiffel tower will be awesome, being in the center of this city with an huge crowd will be unforgettable… the finish line of the last stage will be in another iconic place, so this tour will be unforgettable - Letizia Borghesi
Are there any stages that the team is particularly excited for / targeting?
I think we are all planning to take it day by day. You never know what opportunities will present themselves and when they will come. - Krista Doebel-Hickok
As a team full of highly attritional riders, and riders that thrive on the climbs, I think we are primarily looking at the later stages as they have much more climbing and we’ve found that we can get solid results in races that are long and hard, with a good amount of climbing. - Veronica Ewers
Given the range of riders on the Tour team, we have a rider that will suit each stage. I would say the most secure stages for us as far as results would be the final climbing ones as we have riders who have proven their climbing skills time and again. The sprint stages take a great deal of skill in positioning, but I’m confident we can also achieve results here. - Emily Joy Newsom
We are a strong team so we can aim to do well in many stages and also in the final classification… personally, I am looking forward to the first stage in Paris, because the first fight for yellow jersey will be something incredible and the third stage, because it’s similar to a classic race, I really like it! - Letizia Borghesi
We do not expect easy stages, but stage 3 and 4 will be spectacular in the form of beautiful landscapes and very demanding terrain. The last stage of the super Planche des Belles Filles is where the race is decided. - Daniel Holm Foder, Sport Director
Although it will be the first time participating in the event for all riders, which members of the roster do you expect to play an important role in terms of experience and leadership out on the road?
We believe that we have a good composition of riders who are able to help each other, but especially Kathrin Hammes and Krista Doebel-Hickok have a lot of experience which will be useful. - Daniel Holm Foder, Sport Director
As such a marquee race on the cycling calendar and it being the inaugural event, do riders expect to have friends / family / acquaintances traveling to see them compete in person? If so, who’s coming!?
My parents are coming over for the tour and my younger brother will be joining them about halfway through the tour (as we get into the mountains). I’m really excited for them to experience the World Tour racing in Europe as they’ve only experienced watching races in the United States. They have not experienced the amazing hype of the spectators in Europe so I think it will be a bit of a (fun) shock to them. - Veronica Ewers
My home in Freiburg is only around 100km away from the last three stages, so for me it almost feels like a race from Paris to home and my family and friends will be there to watch the race, which gives me some extra motivation. - Kathrin Hammes
Probably my family will follow some stage of the Tour with a camper. My family is a really sporty family, everybody in the family rides a bike and they don’t want to miss the show of the first tour. For me having them by my side is always something that really helps me and makes me feel relaxed and with extra energy! - Letizia Borghesi
EF Education-TIBCO-SVB Tour de France Femmes Roster:
- Letizia Borghesi
- Krista Doebel-Hickok
- Veronica Ewers
- Kathrin Hammes
- Emily Newsom
- Magdeleine Vallieres Mill
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We will be following EF Education - TIBCO - SVB through the tour on our social media channels. We will be running a series of contests featuring their riders and their power numbers - join us and test your power knowledge!
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