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The 6 British riders at the Tour de France Femmes 2022

Who are the British women making history in France this week and what are their roles? Are they likely to win a stage?

The inaugural Tour de France Femmes is finally here. Starting on Sunday 24th July, 144 riders will cover 1,029km over eight stages, setting off beside the Eiffel Tower in Paris and finishing atop La Super Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges mountains.

Among that group, six British riders will be looking to make their mark on history, either as part of a strong team effort or by going for stage wins via the breakaway. It’s incredibly unlikely any of them will be challenging for the yellow jersey.

So who will be flying the Union Jack in France and who will you be cheering on next week?

1. Pfeiffer Georgi, Team DSM

Photo: George Wood/Getty Images

Second in the recent British National Championships road race, and first in the U23 time-trial, Pfeiffer Georgi is one of Britain’s best upcoming talents.

Still only 21, last year's impressive road race National Champion, who grew up in Gloucestershire, serves as DSM’s road captain and is as capable of marshalling a sprint lead-out as she is of playing a more GC-focussed support role.

Georgi’s had a strong season so far, picking up the youth classification and fifth overall at the Baloise Ladies Tour earlier this month.

As is her normal role at Team DSM, Georgi will likely find herself supporting team leader, sprinter Lorena Wiebes at the Tour. However, she may be allowed to attempt a stage win once the terrain becomes too hard for Wiebes to stay in the peloton.

2. Anna Henderson, Jumbo Visma

Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

Like her teammate Primož Roglič, Anna Henderson began her sporting career on skis. A junior slalom champion at the age of 15, she’s since cemented her skills on the tarmac having won the national time-trial title last year and the QOM jersey at the RideLondon Classique in 2022.

Henderson, from Bedfordshire, and her Jumbo-Visma squad will be largely supporting Dutch superstar Marianne Vos at the Tour, who could win stages on any terrain and is in great form, taking two stages of the Giro Donne.

Henderson, 23, is more than capable of snatching stages too though with a punchy finish of her own. However, team plans will dictate how much freedom she is afforded.

3. Joss Lowden, Uno-X Pro Cycling

Photo: Tom Griffiths

The former holder of the Hour record and current time-trial National Champion, Lowden sadly won’t find any time trial stages at the Tour but without a likely GC contender, her Uno-X Pro Cycling Team will be looking for opportunities to create their own luck and pick up stages.

With her enormous engine, Sussex’s Lowden will more than likely be allowed to hunt for a stage victory and she showed well at the Women's Tour in June, so expect some appearances at the front of the race.

We’d love to see Lowden holding off the peloton from the breakaway.

4. Hannah Barnes, Uno-X Pro Cycling

Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

Alongside Lowden, Hannah Barnes will also be representing Great Britain on behalf of Norway’s Uno-X Pro Cycling. Splitting from the Canyon–SRAM team that still provides a home to her sister Alice, the switch has already given her greater opportunities to ride for herself.

The 29-year-old from Kent brought her wealth of experience to the team with the aim of riding predominantly in a supporting role.

Like Lowden, her individual chances might be improved by the team’s lack of an obvious GC rider, and with previous good results in Spring Classics and experience in cyclocross, the gravel stages might be where Barnes surfaces.

5. Lizzie Holden, Le Col-Wahoo

Photo: Mark Van Hecke/Getty Images

British team Le Col-Wahoo – who Cyclist recently caught up with at the Women’s Tour – are approaching the Tour without the intention of contesting the GC race.

This is good news for Holden who appears to be in excellent form following strong placings at both the Lotto Belgium Tour and British National Championships.

Well suited to hilly or mountainous stages, though with solid results on cobbles, the 24-year-old Manx rider will find plenty of opportunities in France. Describing her team as underdogs, she would appear one of the squad’s most likely stage hunters. 

6. Natalie Grinczer, Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime

Photo: Zoé Soullard/DirectVelo

Riding for the French continental outfit Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime, Natalie Grinczer is a climbing specialist who might get the freedom to attack some of the steeper stages.

That means we’re mostly likely to see the 28-year-old from Somerset in the breakaway in the final few stages, however it’s more likely she’ll be employed in support of the team’s trio of Séverine Eraud, India Grangierm and Frances Janse van Rensburg.

But as a small French team at the first Tour de France Femmes, we should expect Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime riders to try to put on a show.

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