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Gallery: Lorena Wiebes powers to Champs-Élysées sprint win at Tour de France Femmes

24 Jul 2022

She's here and she's perfect. The inaugural Tour de France Femmes has finally begun.

Stage 1 saw riders take on 81.6km – 12 laps – of the classic 6.8km circuit around Paris and the iconic cobbles of the Champs-Élysées.

With so much anticipation and only eight days, the opener always looked to be one for the sprinters and the big teams ensured it was.

Attacks were had with Emily Newsom of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and Mischa Bredewold of ParkHotel-Valkenburg finding some early daylight, but intermediate sprints and the race's first QOM meant proceedings were very controlled.

Jumbo-Visma's GOAT Marianne Vos beat Team DSM supersprinter Lorena Wiebes to those first green jersey points

Pauline Allin of Arkéa and Human Powered Health's Henrietta Christie were the next to go before the next intermediate sprint, won by SD Worx's Lotte Kopecky ahead of BikeExchange-Jayco's Alex Manly.

The first climbing points were contested by a very keen trio of escapees in Ceratizit-WNT's Marta Lach, ParkHotel-Valkenburg's Femke Markus and Uno-X's Anne Dorthe Ysland, with Markus the first over the line, taking the race's first polka dot jersey.

Le Col-Wahoo's Gladys Verhulst attacked over the top and stayed away right into the final few kilometres, getting caught with just 2.3km left.

Leadout trains were ready and waiting with Trek-Segafredo, Jumbo-Visma and Team DSM dominating.

Anna Henderson took the front for Vos who went first with Wiebes firing from the opposite side of the road in a one on one duel for the first maillot jaune.

And it was to be the favourite Wiebes with over a bike length on her compatriot to cement her place in cycling history.

Capturing the occasion for Cyclist was Cycling Images himself Russ Ellis (@cyclingimages on Instagram). Feast your eyes on his photographic highlights of the day:

It can't have been easy for the riders to not let the occasion get to them, with the iconic scenery.

A real triumph for cycling.

Riders must have been thinking, 'Am I only dreaming?'

But it was no procession.

No Mexican riders in the race but there will be some wrestling. Just metaphorically of course.

Proof that the road is worthy of a categorised climb, ish.

It was a festival of colour but just one hue dominated the thoughts of the peloton.

Game faces.

Pain faces. A huge week begins for the smaller French teams like St Michel-Auber 93 and their sponsors.

The weather made it even harder at a stifling 34°C.

British team Le Col-Wahoo put on a great attacking display with breakaways their focus this week, and one eye on a potential step up to the WorldTour hopefully on the horizon.

Lorena Wiebes was dominant in the sprint, beating the GOAT for the first stage win.

The first Tour de Frances Femmes yellow jersey was her's, the baby wasn't.

For all our Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes coverage, visit our hub page.