RISING COLOURS EP. 3 - ÉCRIRE L’HISTOIRE
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
The dream became a reality for professional women's teams when the announcement was made that the Tour de France would be held for women. For Le Col Wahoo, it became the biggest objective for 2022. Thanks to an excellent first half of the season, the team have been invited to the biggest cycling race in the world. We went to meet them during their reconnaissance of the stages of the Tour and even took the opportunity to bring a new weapon for their arsenal, a few pairs of Cosmic Ultimates...
Being at the start of the Tour de France: a dream come true
On Sunday the 24th of July, 144 women will set off from the Eiffel Tower towards the Champs-Élysées for the first stage that is bound to go down in the history books. 24 teams of 6 Women riders will take to the streets of Paris with stars in their eyes and ants in their legs...
Every cyclist has dreamed of being at the start of the Tour de France. As soon as you get on a road bike, this is the question that comes up most often: "Oh yes, so you're doing the Tour de France? Until now, only the best male cyclists could imagine answering “yes”. As a woman, there was always a mixture of frustration and sadness when answering "No, it doesn't exist for us..." as Lizzie Holden told us. This July 2022 marks a turning point in the history of the sport. From now on, this dream is also accessible to women. At last…..
This is a significant step forward for the sport, but it is also an opportunity to put women's sport as a whole in the spotlight. The media coverage of the event will allow people to realise that women's racing scenarios are exciting, and will certainly inspire the young girls who will watch the event!
This year, Maike, Gladys, Majo, Eva, Jesse and Lizzie, along with 138 other riders at the start of the Tour, will make great history for women's cycling, and for cycling as a whole. Ladies, it's up to you!
Baptism of fire for the Cosmic Ultimate!
As we mentioned earlier, we didn't arrive empty-handed when we joined the team in La Bresse, in their temporary Tour reconnaissance HQ. Sat in-between the Cosmic SLR 32 that the girls use all year long, and the Cosmic SLR 45 for the sprinters, there were 2 pairs of the latest jewels from Mavic: the Cosmic Ultimate.
Produced in our HQ in Annecy, the Cosmic Ultimate e is the best of the best in terms of wheels: Ultimate is not just a name, it's ultimate performance! At 1225 grams per pair, they offer the best combination of lightness, stiffness and aerodynamics. These wheels take all the best elements of the Cosmic SLR such as the UST Tubeless and the ID360, to which we have added an R2R spoking: the spokes go from one rim edge to the other through the hub, forming one spoke instead of two! This makes the wheel more rigid and eliminates the need to mechanically fix the spokes to the hub.
After discovering them the evening before, the riders were able to put them to the test on the field. Gladys Verhulst and Lizzie Holden are the first of the team to have had the opportunity to ride them and their reactions are unquestionable: "They are great on the descents, super reactive. They are also very light. On a day like today, the weight difference really helps", Lizzie told us while still on the bike during the reconnaissance of the 7th stage. For Gladys, it's the performance that stands out, thanks to outstanding stiffness which especially helps acceleration.
A route that can be enjoyed by everyone
As the name suggests, the aim of this week of reconnaissance is to familiarise oneself with the course and to get a better idea of it than with a simple roadbook. "The course is really nice, difficult but enjoyable. There will be opportunities for all types of riders", said Jesse Vandenbulcke.
If we take a closer look at what awaits the riders, we can see that it’ll only get harder and harder, and go up and up. After a historic start in Paris (on the same day as the men's race) with a sprint on the Champs-Élysées, the peloton will head east with a second stage between Meaux and Provins, also promised to the sprinters. This is the occasion where Majo and Maike can show their power and why not dream of a stage victory: in a sprint, anything can happen! Then, the following stages will be more for the puncheurs and classics riders: the speciality of the girls of the team.
The 4th stage from Troyes to Bar-Sur-Aube will include several gravel sectors, which will inevitably bring its share of surprises. When arriving in the Vosges, the 5th stage could be a good one for a sprinter, even if its profile will not be as simple as it seems. The 6th stage between Saint-Dié-des-Vosges and Rosheim also seems to be quite open before a fantastic final weekend... Indeed, the 7th stage between Sélestat and the Markstein will be a good opportunity for a climber, especially because it will be one of the best opportunities for the riders in the general classification to express themselves. Finally, the 8th and last stage will close this Tour de France Femmes in apotheosis with a finish at the top of the Super Planche des Belles Filles!
A very nice course for this 1st edition which promises to be very tough but during which the LeCol Wahoo team will not have any inferiority complex, it is not the team style: "We have an offensive team, which likes to be on the attack. The ultimate dream is to win a stage and I think the girls are motivated for that. We won't have any complexes on the Tour and we will really go for it! With these words, Nicolas Marche announces the colour and that's good. Now it's time for the race and may the best win!