Tour de France Femmes Stage 3 Preview: Let’s Climb!

The Tour de France Femmes gets its first taste of the climbs in Stage 3 - and we get our first look at Ashleigh in her happy place!

By Molly Hurford |

Stage 3 – Reims to Épernay – 133.6km – Tuesday, July 26

Stage 3 of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift marks the first day where riders will begin to test their legs on the climbs, so expect to see teams start to send their stronger climbers up the road in a series of attacks during the four primary climbs in the race. This isn’t a mountain stage—those come later in the week—but it certainly is a change from the flat, fast first two stages of the race.

tour de france femmes stage 3The course also includes an intermediate sprint, and a sharp downhill ahead of the finishing kilometre, so if the race is still together, there’s potential for an incredibly exciting finish.

Riders to Watch

This stage marks the start of the climbing stages in the TDF Femmes, which means the GC contenders who are stronger on the climbs but perhaps slightly less skilled in the sprints will have their time to shine. Expect to see Movistar’s Annemiek van Vleuten in the mix trying to make up time after losing critical seconds to the leaders yesterday, and we won’t be surprised if Bike-Exchange’s Kristen Faulkner makes an appearance after her strong climbing days at the Giro Donne earlier this month.

But now that Marianne Vos of Jumbo-Visma is leading the race (wearing the yellow AND green jersey), it’s unlikely that a rolling stage will shake her from the front of the race. Trek Segafredo’s Elisa Balsamo and Elisa Longo-Borghini are also moving up in the pack. Team SD Worx also has three riders we’ll be watching closely as we get into more climbing stages: Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Demi Vollering will likely get closer to their teammate, stage 1 winner Lotte Kopecky, who lost valuable seconds in stage 2.

When to Watch

The race will begin at 12h50 and take roughly 5.5 hours to complete. Supersport and GCN will be broadcasting from 14h15

If you’re concerned about missing some pedalling time while you spectate the race, you can always hop on Zwift and ride sections of Zwift Island created to mimic parts of each stage—and join other Tour de France Femmes-obsessed fans while you ride!


Stage 2 saw a dominant win from one of the greatest cyclists ever, Marianne Vos, after a day peppered with crosswinds and echelons. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio finished with the main group, 34 seconds down but moving up to 19th overall at 50 seconds, pretty much on par with the other climbers. Frances Janse van Rensburg finished comfortably in the grupetto.


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