The Tour de France is cycling’s pinnacle; the yellow sun around which the calendar revolves. But, until this year – with the exception of a brief interlude between 1984 and 1989 – women have not been able to compete in this most prestigious of events.

When the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift sets out from Paris on July 24, it will mark a seminal moment in women’s cycling. It will be held on the same day as the stage 21 conclusion of the men’s Tour de France.

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