Annemiek van Vleuten and Marianne Vos have both praised a varied route for the return of the Tour de France Femmes.
An eight-stage edition of the race will return to the women's calendar in 2022, starting at the base of the Eiffel Tower on July 24 on the final day of the men's three-week race.
The route takes place almost entirely in north-eastern France but will be contested over varied terrain, finishing with a mountain-top finish at the Super Planche de Belles Filles on July 31.
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Included in the eight stages is a particularly intriguing run through the gravel tracks of the Champagne region, which has been compared to the famous dusty race to SIena at Strade Bianche.
Van Vleuten is a two-time winner of the Tuscan classic and is excited by the return of a more fully fledged women's Tour.
“First of all, I feel happy the organisation [Amaury Sport Organisation] took it seriously," the Movistar rider, likely to be among the favourites for overall victory, said.
"I have the feeling that, with this route, they made an effort to organize something good and representative. From a quick look, they did a good job in having something for everyone in these eight days of racing.
“Of course, I like the mountain stages, but I’m also happy, for example, to see that we start on the Champs-Élysées. It’s a really nice connection with the men’s Tour de France, to start where they finish.
"This Tour de France needed to be a shorter version of the men’s Tour de France, featuring all its ingredients."
Vos finished third when a version of the race was most recently held in 2009.
Then known as the Grande Boucle Feminine Internationale, the final edition was won by Great Britain's Emma Pooley.

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While noting her surprise at the lack of a time trial in the eight stages, Vos, second at the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes, is relishing the chance to add to the considerably lengthy palmarès of one of the sport's most successful riders.
“They’ve laid out a nice route,” Jumbo-Visma's Vos said.
“With the start in Paris at the same time as the finish of the men and then seven stages over diverse terrain, it is a varied route that different kind of riders will enjoy.
"It would be very nice for the tension in the race if the decisive moment only comes at the end.”
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