Vos the boss
However, the doyenne of the race was Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma). A stage win here was the only thing missing from her extensive palmarès, if only due to the simple fact that this is a brand new race.
On the opening day, only Lorena Wiebes of Team DSM got in her way. The fastest sprinter in cycling, with her C60 wheels on, pipped Vos in a drag race on the Champs-Elysées. It was a thrilling start to the race.
However, Vos wouldn’t be denied for long. Day two into Provins suited a competitor with everything in her locker: positioning to stay in front in crosswinds and avoid crashes, timing, wisdom, tactical intelligence, bravura bike handling and a fast finish.
She infiltrated a late breakaway of big names and her acceleration at the finish took her away from closest challenger Silvia Persico and into the maillot jaune. A legendary rider in a legendary jersey.
On stage three into the Champagne centre of Épernay, when she was dropped on the penultimate climb, Vos was the one driving the chase to get back to the GC contenders and successfully defend her lead.
However, she had to settle for second to Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig. Decked out in white S-PHYRE shoes and riding a 12-speed DURA-ACE Di2 R9270 groupset, she had an even stronger kick.
It was the highlight of the week for FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope, which saw Danish champion Ludwig finish seventh and Évita Muzic eighth.