On Sunday, 24 July, at 1:30 pm, just a few hours before the curtains fall on the 2016 Tour de France, the elite of women’s cycling will light the fireworks on the legendary circuit on the Champs-Élysées. The field will be worthy of the course, an awe-inspiring loop featuring the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. Among the “queens” of the peloton there will be France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo-Liv Women Cycling Team), racing in front of her home crowds for the last time before heading to the Rio Olympics; the current world champion, Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans); and Dutch legend Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv), who won the inaugural edition of La Course by Le Tour in 2014.

LA COURSE By Le Tour de France

LA COURSE By Le Tour de France

However, potential usurpers will be plotting to steal their crown at the end of an 89 km race on the most beautiful avenue in the world. Outsiders for La Course include sprinters such as Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products), who won the 2016 ASDA Tour de Yorkshire, and Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans), victor in this year’s Gent-Wevelgem, as well as the Wiggle High5 duo of Danielle King and Lucy Garner. Orica-AIS’s veteran Katrin Garfoot could spring a surprise, just like Marta Bastianelli (Ale Cipollini), Canada’s Leah Kirchmann (Team Liv-Plantur) or the star-studded Canyon SRAM Racing Team, which will be fielding huge talents such as Trixi Worrack, Lisa Brennauer and Alena Amialiusik. La Course by Le Tour, part of the all-new Women’s WorldTour, will be climactic –


21 teams: main contenders

Germany
CANYON SRAM RACING: Amialiusik (BLR), Brennauer (GER) and Worrack (GER)
CERVÉLO BIGLA PRO CYCLING TEAM: Moolman Pasio (RSA)

Australia
ORICA – AIS: Van Vleuten (NED) and Garfoot (AUS)

Belgium
LENSWORLD-ZANNATA: Confalonieri (ITA)
LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES: Lichtenberg (GER) and Delzenne (FRA)
TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – ETIXX: Druyts K. (BEL)

United States
CYLANCE PRO CYCLING: Olds (USA) and Ratto (ITA)
TEAM TIBCO – SILLICON VALLEY BANK: Hall and Stephens (USA)
UNITEDHEALTHCARE: Villumsen (NZL), Hall and Rivera (USA)

France
POITOU-CHARENTES FUTUROSCOPE 86: Biannic and Jeuland (FRA)
FRENCH NATIONAL TEAM: Bazin (FRA)

Italy
ALE CIPOLLINI Bastianelli, Cucinotta and Tagliaferro (ITA)
BEPINK: Zabelinskaya (RUS)

Kazakhstan
ASTANA WOMEN’S TEAM: Drexel (MEX) and Fidanza (ITA)
 
Norway
HITEC PRODUCTS: Kitchen (AUS) and Wild (NED)

Netherlands
BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM Armitstead (GBR), Blaak and Van Dijk (NED)
PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG CONTINENTAL TEAM: Koedooder (NED)
RABO–LIV WOMEN CYCLING TEAM: Ferrand-Prévot (FRA) and Vos (NED)
TEAM LIV-PLANTUR: Kirchmann (CAN) and Stultiens (NED)

United Kingdom
WIGGLE HIGH5: Bronzini (ITA), Hosking (AUS), Garner and King (GBR)

Slovenia
BTC CITY LJUBLJANA: Bujak (POL)