Who Won the First-Ever Virtual Tour de France Yellow Jersey?

Jessica Coulon
Photo credit: Zwift
Photo credit: Zwift

From Bicycling

Over the past three weekends, men and women pro cyclists competed in the first Virtual Tour de France. The race was held via Zwift, which received some Tour-like course updates, and included six stages.

Unlike the traditional Tour de France which awards jerseys based on an individual’s performance, the virtual race awarded jerseys based on team efforts. Professional cycling teams were allowed to rotate riders between stages, both to better accommodate their training schedules and to strategically have sprinters and climbers focus on different stages.

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The first four stages saw teams establish their dominance early on. Heading into the final two stages, TIBCO-SVB held the yellow jersey classification in the women’s race, and NTT Pro Cycling led in the men’s race.

If you missed the action, full replays are available to watch on Zwift’s website. Here, we recap the final two stages.

July 18: Stage 5

Stage 5 took the cyclists up a virtual Mont Ventoux—a famous climb regularly featured in the Tour—with a sprint point early on. In total, the cyclists raced 22.9K with 1,205 meters of elevation gain.

The women’s stage saw numerous attacks and breakaways along the challenging climb. South African Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio from CCC Liv ultimately took the win with a 23-second lead over Australian Sarah Gigante of TIBCO-SVB, who finished second and held her lead over the peloton. Team TIBCO-SVB riders placed second through fifth, and the team maintained its lead in the yellow jersey classification.

The men’s race played out in a similar fashion, with climbers battling it out in breakaways throughout the stage. Canadian Michael Woods of EF Education First held off attacks from a coordinated effort by NTT Pro Cycling riders to take the stage win with an 18-second lead. NTT Pro Cycling kept the yellow jersey going into the next stage, with a big lead over Mitchelton-Scott in second place.

July 19: Stage 6

The sixth and final stage took competitors onto a virtual Champs-Élysées for six laps of a circuit totaling 42.8K. Compared to the day prior, this stage favored sprinters over climbers, with a sprint point on each lap. And there was no traditional victory lap for the yellow jersey wearer, either, but instead, another all-out race. American Lauren Stephens from TIBCO-SVB took the win here for the women’s stage, which was her second stage win for the Virtual Tour. Australian William Clarke of Trek-Segafredo won the men’s stage, narrowly outracing a strong pack of sprinters.

In the end, Team TIBCO-SVB won the women’s yellow jersey with 499 points, plus the green and polka dot jerseys and the overall team classification. Team Twenty20 placed second in the yellow jersey classification with 306 points, while Drops placed third with 292 points. Canyon-SRAM won the white jersey for best young rider.

As for the men’s field, NTT Pro Cycling dominated the entire race and won all four jersey classifications and the team classification, securing 500 points for the yellow jersey. Rally Cycling placed second in the yellow jersey classification with 267 points, and Trek-Segafredo came in third with 232 points.

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