Yellow Thursday: Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift 2024

Written by: ProCycling Women
Posted 1 month ago

The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift starts in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. To celebrate this event, organizers, mayors teemed up with Demi Vollering and Lorean Wiebes last Thursday to celebrate the Tour start in the area.

“Starting in Rotterdam fills me with motivation and strength,” declared Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime) as she prepares to defend her Maillot Jaune next summer.

City officials from Rotterdam, The Hague, and Dordrecht unveiled a comprehensive array of initiatives to mark the Grand Départ, focusing on both sporting and social aspects. “Choosing the Netherlands as the starting point is no coincidence; it is a cycling haven,” explained Marion Rousse, director of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.

During the Yellow Thursday celebrations on April 18th, Demi Vollering expressed her excitement about the race starting in Rotterdam, a city close to her heart. “Growing up nearby, I know these roads well. Many of my friends live here, and it’s thrilling to think they can watch the race right from their homes,” she shared. Vollering is motivated by the supportive local atmosphere and the challenging finish on Alpe d’Huez, hopeful to repeat her victorious performance from 2023.

Choosing the Netherlands as the starting point is no coincidence; it is a cycling haven

The race will commence with a scenic route from Rotterdam to The Hague (124 km) on August 12th, followed by stages in Dordrecht and back to Rotterdam, culminating in an individual time trial. The peloton will then move on to Belgium, from Valkenburg to Liege (122 km).

Marion Rousse reiterated the significance of starting in the Netherlands, noting the deep-rooted cycling culture and the enthusiastic local support. “Our choice to start here builds on historical ties and promises great public engagement. Cycling is not just a sport but a way of life here,” she added.

Leontien van Moorsel, an ambassador for the Grand Départ, is leading a noteworthy initiative in Rotterdam, teaching 154 women to cycle. “I didn’t just want to lend my name; I wanted to make a real impact. Many women here haven’t had the chance to learn to cycle, and I want to change that,” van Moorsel stated. The city is also supporting a bike donation drive to help residents in need acquire bicycles.

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam highlighted the broader implications of the event: “This Grand Départ transcends sport. It’s a beacon of inspiration, encouraging more people to embrace cycling for better health and greater freedom.”

In The Hague, excitement is building for a vibrant sports festival starting May 25th, with a Sprint Race on Lange Voorhout, among other activities leading up to the race day. “We’re eager to inspire our citizens, the Hagenaars, to discover the joy of cycling,” said alderman Hilbert Bredemeijer.

Dordrecht is equally enthusiastic, with a focus on engaging youth and women in cycling through various activities. “We’re thrilled to have cycling champion Lucinda Brand as an ambassador to help drive our initiatives,” shared Marc Merx, alderman for sport.

The “Yellow Thursday” event also teased a unique feature of the race: the polka dot jersey competition starting below sea level. “This year’s mountain classification begins in a new tunnel under the Meuse, making for a unique and challenging ascent,” noted Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France.

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