This year the Tour de France begins in Nice, France, after having been delayed due to Covid-19, a virtual version that will allow female competitors to ride a stationary bike on a Virtual Reality route of the actual race, will have just concluded under shadows of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The online virtual bike training platform Zwift, together with Tour organizers Amaury Sports Organization (ASO), have designed a course where the elite female riders will be spread across 40 teams to complete 6-hour-stages over the course of three weekends.
The race will feature world-class cyclists like Marianne Vos from the Netherlands, and the USA’s world time-trial champion Chloe Dygert. Cycling enthusiasts across 130 countries now have the opportunity to watch together online as the virtual avatars of the riders compete in the famous race, throughout the weeks with Stage 6 ending July 19. Stage 3 started on July 11.
The ASO has already committed to a full, rubber-on-road, 3-week women’s Tour de France by 2022, and next year they plan to expand the virtual competition to consist of stages mirroring the entire real-world race.
Zwift CEO Eric Min told the Telegraph that “ASO has already made a commitment for a women’s race as early as 2022 and we see this [virtual race] as an opportunity to accelerate that journey.”