Lorena Webbs wins the Champs Elysees with the return of the Tour de France

Dutchman Lorena Webbs set off on Sunday to win the first stage of the Women’s Tour de France, which returned after a 33-year absence.

The Team DSM rider hit the last 150 meters of an 82-kilometre (51-mile) track in Paris to defeat former Olympic champion Marianne Voss to the Champs-Elysees and punched the air in celebration.

“I’m really happy to finally be able to race on the Champs-Elysées,” said Webs. “It was a tough, fast race. It feels really special to ride here all over Paris and even more special to wear the yellow jersey.”

Tour Flanders champion Lotte Kubiki finished third.

It is the first time since 1989 that a women’s edition of the Tour de France has been held. Organized by the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the Tour de France La Course is a one-day race held in Paris in conjunction with the men’s Tour.

The first stage of the Eiffel Tower began and ended on the famous street, just hours before the conclusion of the men’s race.

The Women’s Tour de France will end on July 31 in eastern France at La Super Planche des Belles Filles, a stunning uphill finish often visited by the men’s Tour.

The eight-stage race aims to become a fixture on the Women’s World Touring schedule. The Tour stage race was held from 1984 to 1989, parallel to the men’s version, before it was later shortened. Various other versions have been tried but are usually underfunded.

Online fitness platform Zwift has signed a four-year sponsorship after runners spent years claiming a women’s version of the race. Some rode at every stage of the men’s race to raise awareness of the issue until the ASO announced the new event.

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