The sixth edition of La Course by Le Tour de France will be held in Pau on Friday, 19 July, just a few hours before the Tour de France stage 13 time trial takes place on the same course.
Report by Mark Sharon
It is the first sortie in to hilly terrain for the race which will see 21 teams of six riders tackling five laps of the circuit for a total of 121 kilometres.
Marianne Vos, is the stand-out favourite for the win in Pau, back after skipping last year’s edition. It would be the CCC Liv’s second triumph at La Course by le Tour, five years after taking the inaugural edition on the Champs-Élysées.
Her rivals will be World Champion Anna van der Breggen (2015) and American Chloe Hosking (2017) both former winners. Two-time winner Annemiek van Vleuten, on the other hand, is currently racing in the Giro Rosa and will decide whether to take part in the coming days. For now, Mitchelton–Scott has pencilled in the Dutch rider but the team from Down Under has a plan B in the shape of Aussie Amanda Spratt, who finished sixth last year.
Other big names on the start line include the British 2015 world champion, Lizzie Deignan, the third-placed rider in the 2017 La Course by le Tour, Elisa Longo Borghini from Italy, and Amstel Gold Race winner Katarzyna Niewiadoma from Poland. The home girls are outsiders but eager to surprise, with riders such as Juliette Labous (Sunweb), Audrey-Cordon Ragot (Trek–Segafredo), who finished sixth in the Amstel Gold Race, and Aude Biannic (Movistar), who is in her element in circuit races. The French FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope outfit will be banking on Aussie veteran Shara Gillow (fifth in 2017) as well as the home-grown talent of 20-year-old Evita Muzic and 19-year-old Jade Wiel, who will be taking part in her first race in the French champion’s jersey. Charente-Maritime Women Cycling is the other French team invited to La Course.
- Alé Cipollini (Hosking, Paladin)
- Bigla Pro Cycling (Ludwig, Thomas)
- Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team (van der Breggen, Blaak)
- Canyon SRAM Racing (Niewiadoma, Amialiusik)
- CCC – Liv (Vos, Moolman)
- FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope (Becker, Gillow)
- Mitchelton-Scott (van Vleuten, Spratt)
- Movistar Team (Jasinska, Gutiérrez)
- Parkhotel Valkenburg (de Vuyst, Knetemann)
- Team Sunweb (Brand, Kirchmann)
- Team TIBCO – SVB (Kessler, Chapman)
- Team Virtu Cycling (Pawlowska, Neylan)
- Trek-Segafredo Women (Deignan, Longo Borghini)
- Valcar Cylance Cycling (Balsamo, Muccioli)
- WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling (Ensing, Santesteban)
- BTC City Ljubljana (Bujak, Ratto)
- Charente-Maritime Women Cycling (Quiniou, Allin)
- Cogeas – Mettler Pro Cycling Team (Pitel, Saarelainen)
- Doltcini – Van Eyck Sport (Riabchenko, Jeuland-Tranchant)
- Lotto Soudal Ladies (Kopecky, de Jong)
- Rally UHC Cycling Women (Doebel-Hickok, Bergen)
Team Data Supplied by https://www.procyclingstats.com