Archiv der Kategorie: Frühjahrskassiker

Paris-Roubaix 2021


Photo by Plomi

1 COLBRELLI Sonny ITA BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS 06:01:57
2 VERMEERSCH Florian BEL LOTTO SOUDAL 00:00
3 VAN DER POEL Mathieu NED ALPECIN – FENIX 00:00
4 MOSCON Gianni ITA INEOS GRENADIERS 00:44
5 LAMPAERT Yves BEL DECEUNINCK – QUICK – STEP 01:16
6 LAPORTE Christophe FRA COFIDIS 01:16
7 VAN AERT Wout BEL JUMBO – VISMA 01:16
8 VAN ASBROECK Tom BEL ISRAEL START-UP NATION 01:16
9 BOIVIN Guillaume CAN ISRAEL START-UP NATION 01:16
10 HAUSSLER Heinrich AUS BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS 01:16
11 RUTSCH Jonas GER EF EDUCATION – NIPPO 01:16

12 WALSCHEID Maximilian Richard GER TEAM QHUBEKA NEXTHASH 03:17
13 TURGIS Anthony FRA TEAM TOTALENERGIES 03:17
14 KRISTOFF Alexander NOR UAE TEAM EMIRATES 04:40
15 VERMEERSCH Gianni BEL ALPECIN – FENIX 04:40
16 LANGEVELD Sebastian NED EF EDUCATION – NIPPO 04:45
17 HALLER Marco AUT BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS 06:21
18 CAPIOT Amaury BEL TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 06:21
19 PLANCKAERT Baptiste BEL INTERMARCHE – WANTY – GOBERT MATERIAUX 06:21
20 MOZZATO Luca ITA B&B HOTELS P/B KTM 06:21

Sonny Colbrelli to Paradise

Riding his first Paris-Roubaix at the age of 31, European champion Sonny Colbrelli of Bahrain Victorious rode to glory on the André-Pétrieux velodrome as he outsprinted his two breakaway companions, Florian Vermeersch and Mathieu van der Poel, two other debutants in the Hell of the North. The race was marked by wet and muddy conditions and the solo breakaway of another Italian, Gianni Moscon, who looked like having his grip on the race but was victim of a puncture and a crash in the money time.

31 riders at the front
174 riders took the start of the 118th Paris-Roubaix at 11.14. Riding his last race ever, Australia’s Mitch Docker (EF Education-Nippo) was involved in the first crash in the first kilometre along with Jonas Van Genechten (B&B-KTM). Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) and Max Kanter (DSM) managed to form a leading trio after 10km of racing but Trentin sat up while the peloton was very active. It was all together again at km 29. A group of 31 riders was formed at km 47: Florian Vermeersch, Harry Sweeny, Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal), Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe), Davide Ballerini, Tim De Clercq (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Edoardo Affini, Timo Roosen, Nathan Van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma), Tom van Asbroek (Israel-Start Up-Nation), Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix), Tom Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), Marco Haller, Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroën), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Stefan Bisseger (EF Education-Nippo), André Carvalho (Cofidis), Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Owain Doull, Gianni Moscon, Luke Rowe (Ineos Grenadiers), Florian Maître (Totalenergies), Luke Durbridge, Robert Stannard (BikeExchange), Edvaldas Siskevicius (Delko), Nils Eekhoff (DSM), Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash), Imanol Erviti, Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) and Luca Mozzato (B&B Hotels-KTM). Successively, Doull and Küng were swallowed by the pack after a flat tyre and a crash respectively.

Vermeersch and Eekhoff at the front in Arenberg
After Haller sustained a flat tyre, 28 leaders entered the first cobbled sector with an advantage of 1’50’’ over the peloton. At the exit of the sector 27, Walscheid, Rowe, Vermeersch and Eekhoff took the lead with 143km to go. After Rowe got dropped and Walscheid crashed on the sector 24, Vermeersch and Eekhoff formed a leading duo with 127km to go. The Belgian and the Dutchman entered the Trouée d’Arenberg with an advantage of 40’’ over their former breakaway companions 1’40’’ over the favourites’ group. At the exit, van der Poel was accompanied by Guillaume Boivin, Sonny Colbrelli and Jorgenson while van Aert was timed 20’’ behind them. The Belgian national champion came across before the Pont Gibus. 83km before the end, Vermeersch and Eekhoff were reeled in by the 11 first chasers.

Moscon goes solo with 52km to go
Vermeersch, Sweeny, Van der Sande, Roosen, Van Hooydonck, Van Asbroek, Philipsen, Van Avermaet, Bisseger, Moscon, Siskevicius, Eekhoff, and Walscheid formed a front group that split with 75km to go. Van der Poel attacked on the cobbled sector 15 with 70km yet to be covered. Vermeersch, Van Asbroek and Moscon rode away 63km before the end. Moscon went solo on the sector 12 with 52km to go. He had 1’ lead over van der Poel, Boivin and Colbrelli at the 50km to go mark. Moscon was flying on the 5-stars iconic sector of Mons-en-Pévèle despite the mud remaining after the weather conditions became sunny. He had 1’20’’ lead over van der Poel, Vermeersch, Boivin, Van Asbroek and Colbrelli when he sustained a flat tyre with 29km to go. The Italian crashed on the cobbled sector 7. His advantage got reduced to 9’’ but went up again. Moscon got reeled in on the Carrefour de l’Arbre by a trio of neophytes: van der Poel, Colbrelli and Vermeersch who kept going without him. Moscon got caught by the van Aert group within 5km to go while the leading trio was out of reach. Van der Poel entered the velodrome in first position. Vermeersch launched the sprint after the first passage on the line. Colbrelli sprinted in the middle of the road to beat his two companions by a very little margin.

BORA – hansgrohe glücklos bei epischem Paris-Roubaix

Bei strömenden Regen wurde heute zum 118. Mal Paris-Roubaix im Norden Frankreichs ausgetragen. Es dauerte lange, bevor sich auf dem ersten Teil der Strecke ohne Kopfsteinpflasterpassagen eine 31-Mann-Gruppe vom Feld lösen konnte. Mit Daniel Oss hatte BORA – hansgrohe einen Fahrer in der Spitzengruppe, allerdings musste Daniel leider relativ früh abreißen lassen. Dahinter im Feld arbeitete der Rest des Teams für Peter Sagan. Schon auf den ersten Pavé Sektoren flog das Feld völlig auseinander und es ereigneten sich auf feuchtem Untergrund unzählige Stürze. In dieser Phase musste Nils Politt insgesamt drei Mal das Rad wechseln und verlor damit früh im Rennen alle Chancen. Nachdem Peter Sagan leider in einen Sturz verwickelt war und ebenfalls weit zurückfiel, blieb Max Schachmann der einzige Vertreter von BORA – hansgrohe in der Gruppe der Favoriten. Doch auch Max ging vor dem Wald von Arenberg zu Boden und musste leider auch alle Chance begraben. Am Ende holte sich S. Colbrelli den Sieg aus einer 3-Mann-Spitzengruppe. Für BORA – hansgrohe blieb am Ende nur der Eindruck eines der härtesten Rennen der letzten 20 Jahre.

Von der Ziellinie
„Ich hatte heute eigentlich gute Beine, aber die Verhältnisse waren extrem schwierig. Ich musste früh im Rennen insgesamt drei Mal das Rad wechseln, da war ich einfach zu weit zurück. Das ist sehr bitter, aber ich werde im nächsten Jahr wieder heiß am Start stehen, und vielleicht habe ich dann mehr Glück.“ – Nils Politt

„Paris-Roubaix ist immer ein hartes Rennen, aber heute, unter diesen Bedingungen war es wirklich extrem. Man musste irgendwie heil in Roubaix ankommen und immer versuchen, ganz vorne im Feld zu sein, um Stürzen aus dem Weg zu gehen. Wir haben das auch versucht, aber leider wurden wir immer wieder durch Stürze aufgehalten. Auch ich ging heute einmal hart zu Boden. Ich wollte dennoch das Rennen unbedingt beenden und habe mich durchgekämpft. Das war mein letztes Rennen für BORA – hansgrohe und ich wollte unbedingt ein gutes Ergebnis einfahren, aber heute war nicht unser Tag.“ – Peter Sagan

„Das war ein schwerer Tag für uns. Wir hatten heute einfach kein Glück, waren in vielen Stürzen verwickelt und hatten viele Defekte. Schon bevor das Rennen so richtig losging, waren wir eigentlich in einer aussichtslosen Position. Peter, Max und Juraj haben noch gekämpft, aber heute war für uns nichts mehr zu holen. Das ist hart, aber eigentlich können wir uns nichts vorwerfen.“ – Enrico Poitschke, sportlicher Leiter

Paris-Roubaix Femmes 116km

1 DEIGNAN Lizzie GBR TREK – SEGAFREDO 02:56:07
2 VOS Marianne NED JUMBO – VISMA WOMEN 01:17
3 LONGO BORGHINI Elisa ITA TREK – SEGAFREDO 01:47
4 BRENNAUER Lisa GER CERATIZIT – WNT PRO CYCLING 01:51
5 BASTIANELLI Marta ITA ALÉ BTC LJUBLJANA 02:10
6 NORSGAARD Emma DEN MOVISTAR TEAM WOMEN 02:10
7 KOCH Franziska GER TEAM DSM 02:10
8 CORDON Audrey FRA TREK – SEGAFREDO 02:10
9 CAVALLI Marta ITA FDJ NOUVELLE AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE 02:10
10 BLAAK Chantal NED TEAM SD WORX 02:10
11 MAJERUS Christine LUX TEAM SD WORX 03:03
12 THOMAS Leah USA MOVISTAR TEAM WOMEN 03:03
13 GELOOF Marjolein van.. NED DROPS – LE COL S/B TEMPUR. 03:03
14 PIETERS Amy NED TEAM SD WORX 04:26
15 KOPECKY Lotte BEL LIV RACING 04:33
16 LUDWIG Cecilie DEN FDJ NOUVELLE AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE 04:33
17 BEEKHUIS Teuntje NED JUMBO – VISMA WOMEN 04:36
18 KASPER Romy GER JUMBO – VISMA WOMEN 04:41
19 MARTINS Maria POR DROPS – LE COL SUPPORTED 05:55

October 2 nd 2021

Deignan writes history with a one-woman-show

Elizabeth Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) delivered a supreme performance on a historic day, soloing to a maiden triumph in the André Pétrieux velodrome in the first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes. The British star went for the very early move and covered the 29.2km of cobbles of the day on her own, alone at the front! Already a winner of Monuments like Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Ronde van Vlaanderen, world champion in 2015, also a winner of major one-day-races like La Course by Le Tour, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Strade Bianche Donne, Deignan survived all the traps of a muddy Hell of the North to take victory ahead of the Dutch icon Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) and her Italian teammate Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo).
A star-studded field with 129 participants take to the course in the early afternoon, with the recent world champions Elisa Balsamo (Valcar-Travel & Service) and many other contenders for the first ever edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes. It’s not raining at the moment, but a strong wind blows from the South. It will push the riders on the first three sectors before the race turns west around km 50.

Reusser and Niewiadoma go down, Deignan goes early
After a few breakaway attempts on the local circuit in Denain, the early attackers are caught ahead of the first cobbles of the day. An early crash leads to the withdrawal of Marlen Reusser (Ale’ BTC Ljubljana) and Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//Sram Racing), two of the heroes of the recent world championships in Flanders.
As the field reaches the first cobbles, from Hornaing to Wandignies (km 33.9), Elizabeth Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) goes for the very early move, and nobody follows her. The Brit star, a world champion in 2015 and a winner of most of the greatest races in the women’s calendar, said she came to the Hell of the North “as a fan”, and she makes the most of this maiden participation at the front of the race, opening a gap of 2 minutes on the first sectors of the day.

The race explodes in Mons-en-Pévèle
Movistar, SD Worx and Jumbo-Visma are among the teams most involved in the chase. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) attacks on the cobbles leading to Bersée (55km to go), and the bunch explodes in Mons-en-Pévèle, the first 5-star sector of the day.
With the wet and muddy conditions, Elisa Balsamo is among the riders who go down. 13 riders remain in contention behind Deignan, with Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team) and Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) taking long turns at the front.

Deignan resists Vos
The gap is down to 2’15’’ when Deignan hits one of the most demanding sequences of the day: Camphin-en-Pévèle (4 stars) and then Carrefour de l’Arbre (5 stars). The British champ survives a near-miss on the cobbles. Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo), Christine Majerus (SD Worx), Aude Biannic (Movistar) and Sarah Roy (Team BikeExchange) are not so lucky, going down as they try to follow an acceleration by Marianne Vos.

The Dutch icon had a gap of 1’55’’ to bridge in 17km. As she exited the Carrefour de l’Arbre, with 15km to go, she had already cut Deignan’’s lead to 1’15’’. But the Brit had enough energy left in the tank to ride to Roubaix on her own and triumph with a gap of 1’17’’ on Vos. Elisa Longo Borghini put another Trek-Segafredo rider on the podium (1’47’’) as she narrowly fended off Lisa Brennauer (+1’51’’).

Paris – Roubaix 2021 mit Wettervorhersage

Wettervorhersage von Plomi:

Am Wochenende herrscht unbeständiges Wetter in Roubaix mit Temperaturen um 15°, Niederschläge werden vor allem Samstag Nachmittag und Sonntag Vormittag erwartet, die Strecke wird aufgeweicht und anspruchsvoll sein.
Sonntag Nachmittag besteht die Aussicht auf trockenes Wetter.
Rennentscheidend kann der starke Wind werden, der SA und So mit Windstärke 4 bis 5 (ca. 50km/h) aus Südwest wehen wird.
Bis zum Wald von Arenberg wird das Fahrerfeld den Rückenwind genießen können, mit der Ausfahrt aus dem Wald beginnt eine Gegenwind bzw. anschließend Seitenwindpassage bis zum Abschnitt 17.
Zwischen den Abschnitten 17 und 15 herrscht dann wieder Schiebewind.
Zwischen den Abschnitten 15 und 11 und 5 und 3 kann der böige Seitenwind rennentscheidend werden.

Key points:
 The world’s best cobble-gobblers are returning to Paris–Roubaix, which will start in front of the Château de Compiègne on Sunday 3 October.
 The majority of them already clashed in the World Championships, held in Belgium one week earlier. It will be a chance for Wout van Aert to make amends after finding himself off the pace in his first two experiences in the Queen of Classics (13th in 2018 and 22nd in 2019). He will also be facing his nemesis, Mathieu van der Poel.

When the winner lifts the cobble trophy on the lawn in Roubaix Velodrome next Sunday, will it feel heavier than its predecessors, as if it had been fattened by the 903-day wait since the 2019 edition? One thing is for sure: after seeing their hopes dashed twice, the cobble-gobblers are raring to go and tackle the event that will wrap up the season for many among them. The unusual 2021 calendar makes Paris–Roubaix the ideal race to exact revenge after the World Championships, where several movers and shakers of the peloton came up empty-handed last Sunday. One of them, Wout van Aert, will be wearing the favourite’s tag again, both at the start in Compiègne and, especially, when the peloton hits the Trouée d’Arenberg, where things started to go south for him in the previous edition. The rainy weather forecast for the weekend will make the cobblestones even more slippery. Will this play into the hands of the three-time world cyclo-cross champion or will it inject even more uncertainty into the challenge of an amazing power rider who sometimes seems short on good luck? His opponents, particularly those who already flexed their muscles in Leuven, will be ready to pounce if he runs into trouble or has to throw in the towel. The finale of the fight for the rainbow jersey revealed Dylan van Baarle’s form, which could promote him to top dog in Ineos Grenadiers, as well as an impressive Jasper Stuyven, who already knows what it feels like to finish in the top 5 in Roubaix (fourth in 2017 and fifth in 2018) and is eager to move up the ladder.
Zdeněk Štybar, who also shone on the other side of the border on Sunday, only needs to go one better after finishing second in 2015 and 2017, while his teammate Florian Sénéchal appears to be in the shape of his life… as does Sonny Colbrelli, who followed up his win in the European Championships with victory in the Memorial Marco Pantani. While Mathieu van der Poel faded a bit on the Belgian roads (eighth), his debut on the cobblestones of Paris–Roubaix could turn out to be the performance of the late season. However, it would be unwise to rule out podium regulars such as Peter Sagan and Alexander Kristoff, who are used to pulling rabbits out of their hats. Finally, the memory of their Roubaix glory days could turbocharge the ambitions of riders such as Philippe Gilbert, Greg van Avermaet, John Degenkolb and Niki Terpstra.
25 teams, main contenders

Australia
Team BikeExchange: Durbridge and Stannard (AUS)

Bahrain
Bahrain–Merida: Colbrelli (ITA), Bauhaus (GER) and Haussler (AUS)

Belgium
Deceuninck–Quick-Step: Lampaert (BEL), Štybar (CZE), Asgreen (DEN) and Sénéchal (FRA)
Lotto–Soudal: Gilbert (BEL) and Degenkolb (GER)
Alpecin–Fenix: Van der Poel (NED), Philipsen, Merlier (BEL) and Dillier (SUI)
Intermarché–Wanty Gobert: Planckaert (Bel) and Van der Hoorn (NED)
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB: Dupont (BEL) and Aniołkowski (POL)

France
AG2R Citroën Team: Van Avermaet, O. Naessen (BEL) and Schär (SUI)
Cofidis: Laporte (Fra) and Drucker (BEL)
Team TotalEnergies: Petit, A. Turgis (FRA), Boasson Hagen (NOR) and Terpstra (NED)
Groupama–FDJ: Démare, Le Gac (FRA) and Küng (SUI)
Delko: Šiškevičius (LTU) and Barbier (FRA)
Arkéa–Samsic: C. Swift, McLay (GBR) and Russo (FRA)
B&B Hotels p/b KTM: De Backer and Debusschere (BEL)

Germany
Bora–Hansgrohe: P. Sagan (SVK), Politt (GER) and Oss (ITA)
Team DSM: Kragh Andersen (DEN), Bol and Eekhoff (NED)

Israel
Israel Start-Up Nation: Vanmarcke (BEL) and Schmidt (DEN)

Kazakhstan
Astana–Premier Tech: Houle (CAN) and Gruzdev (KAZ)

Netherlands
Jumbo–Visma: Van Aert (BEL), Groenewegen and Teunissen (NED)

South Africa
Qhubeka NextHash: Campenaerts (BEL), Nizzolo (ITA) and Walscheid (GER)

Spain
Movistar Team: García Cortina and Erviti (ESP)

United Arab Emirates
UAE Team Emirates: Kristoff (NOR), Gaviria (COL), Bjerg (DEN) and Trentin (ITA)

United Kingdom
Ineos Grenadiers: Van Baarle (NED), Kwiatkowski (POL) and Moscon (ITA)

United States
EF Education First: Bisseger (SUI), Keukeleire (BEL), Langeveld (NED) and Docker (AUS)
Trek–Segafredo: Stuyven (BEL), M. Pedersen (DEN) and Theuns (BEL)

When the „Roubaisiennes“ take the stage

Lisa Brennauer: “I’m extra-motivated for this first”


Photo by Plomi

Aware of the magnitude of the occasion, the riders in the women’s peloton are gearing up for the first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, scheduled for Saturday 2 October, after their debut on the cobblestones of northern France was frustrated in October 2020 and again last spring. The world of cycling is awash with questions about the favourites to win the inaugural edition, wondering what it takes to shine in this race and whether the decisive attributes are exactly the same as in the men’s competition. Five of these favourites, particularly excited about this momentous event, tell us more about their relationship with the Queen of Classics as the countdown to their initiation on the cobblestones ticks away. The powerful Lisa Brennauer hails from Bavaria, like her friend John Degenkolb (winner of Paris-Roubaix in 2015) and the trailblazer Josef Fischer, first winner of the Hell of the North, in 1896. She can only dream of making history!

Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team)
Kempten (Bavaria, Germany), 8 June 1988
Teams: Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung (2009), Team Hitec Products UCK (20110-2011), Specialized-lulumon / Velocio-Sram Pro Cycling (2012-2015), Canyon-Sram (2016-2017), Wiggle High5 (2018), Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team (since 2019)
Major results:
2013: ITT German champion, TTT world champion
2014: ITT and TTT world champion, silver medallist in the road race, German champion
2015: TTT world champion, winner of the Holland Ladies Tour and the Women’s Tour
2017: winner of the Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen
2018: ITT German champion, winner of the Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen
2019: German champion, winner of the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, winner of the Festival Elsy Jacobs
2020: German champion, TTT European champion, winner of the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta
2021: German champion, ITT German champion, TTT World champion
An anecdote: Lisa Brennauer has never ridden in Roubaix but she’ll discover both the outdoor and the covered velodrome this October. After the Hell of the North, she’ll return for the UCI Track World Championships, held in the Jean Stablinski velodrome at the end of the month.

A DREAM IS BORN
Paris-Roubaix is coming, and Lisa Brennauer can already feel “goosebumps” as she thinks of “riding the last cobbles in Roubaix, the ‘nice’ ones, and going into the entrance of the velodrome. Iconic is really a word that fits this race well.” The passionate German champion is already familiar with the Hell of the North and its folklore: “It’s a brutal race that we’ve all followed many many times on television, and now we finally can take on this challenge ourselves. So I think it’s a cool step for women’s cycling and I’m excited to be part of it. I like the style of the race. I think it’s also something that suits me as a rider. So I’m extra motivated for this first edition.”

CUT OUT FOR THE COBBLESTONES?
There are many requirements to do well on the cobbles, especially on the way to Roubaix. “You need a lot of power, first of all, and of course you need to be able to ride over the cobbles”, Brennauer begins with. “But I also think you need a team, and you need to have the ability to never give up.” The German rider relies on her teammates to put her in the best position to show her abilities, and she notably counts on Maria Giulia Confalonieri: “She has been riding super well in last week’s World Championships.” Brennauer’s stellar TT record shows she has the power and resilience. With several podium finishes in cobble classics such as the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem, she’s already proved her abilities perfectly fit hard racing in difficult conditions: “I really think it’s a race that suits me.”

PREPARING FOR THE BIG SHAKE
Straight off the world championships, Brennauer went to Roubaix for another recon of the cobbles. “I came pretty early, already last year when we were allowed to travel again. We had perfect Roubaix weather then – it rained”, she describes with a laugh. “I had two days there to ride on the circuit, test the equipment, and I had another two days after the Worlds. I think I know the good way to go, the lines to choose or, at least, the ones not to, to try and make it over the cobbles as smooth as possible.” Hailing from Bavaria, Brennauer has also spoken with John Degenkolb, winner of the 2015 Paris-Roubaix: “We’ve known each other from races since we’re under 15, so his victory is my favourite Roubaix moment. His main advice was to always be in the front and to never give up until you really are at the finish, because everything can happen in this race.”

THE IDEAL SCENARIO
“I think a lot of people see me as a rider who often waits for the finish because I’m quite fast, but I don’t think this is how you will win Roubaix in the end”, Brennauer warns. “Of course, it would be best to arrive alone, or in a very very small breakaway group to be able to win this race, and, yes, it’s a scenario I hope I will be able to create.” To do so, she aims to “save as much energy as possible in this first part of the race, to then be able to be in an attack or launch an attack in the finale. This is where I see myself.” It could lead her to a second victory on French roads, 8 years after she took her first pro win during the Tour Languedoc Roussillon. Raising her arms in Roubaix this Saturday would make for a major landmark in her career and in cycling history.

Paris-Roubaix Femmes

Key points:
 132 female pioneers are expected at the start of the first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes on Saturday in Denain (13:35) for a 116.4-kilometre race to the Roubaix velodrome, which they will reach if they can withstand the 29.2 kilometres of cobbles that await them.
 One week after the World Championships, the medallists from Leuven will battle on the formidable sectors of Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l’Arbre. But Italy’s Elisa Balsamo, The Netherlands‘ Marianne Vos and Poland’s Kasia Niewiadoma will have several rivals on these unexplored territories.

It’s all about making history. The first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes automatically implies the beginning of a winner’s list on which each of the riders’ entered dreams of writing her name. However, this part of the prestige is only possible for select members of the peloton: the champions who know best how to prepare for the big races. The recent World Championships in Flanders provided insight on an elite group of riders that is capable of starring on the neighbouring roads. One week later, the three medallists in Leuven will have their chance to raise a cobblestone on the Roubaix velodrome, starting with world champion Elisa Balsamo, who will debut her beautiful rainbow jersey in the mud or the dust, depending on the weather. To make it shine at the end of the 116.4 km course, she will have to dominate again Marianne Vos, who will use all her talent as seven times cyclo-cross world champion to fly over the cobblestones and to get an umpteenth triumph. Kasia Niewiadomia, who accompanied them on the world podium and has also been in the top three of the Strade Bianche four times, will also be one of the primary contenders for the title.
The list of favourites doesn’t end with last weekend’s heroines. There are several in the Trek-Segafredo squad, which includes time trial world champion Ellen van Dijk, who will wear her star-studded European champion jersey for the first time; Liz Deignan, winner of the 2020 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 2016 Tour of Flanders and 2016 Strade Bianche and Elisa Longo Borghini, who has won and placed in the biggest races on the calendar. As the Paris-Roubaix course is all-new for the ladies, it will be useful to observe whether the qualities of the rollers will pay off as much as for the men. In this case, Lisa Brennauer (5th) in the world championship time trial), Marlen Reusser (2nd) or the young Dane Emma Norsgaard, should also be watched closely.

22 teams, the leading riders

Australia
Team BikeExchange: Spratt, Roy (Aus)

Belgium
Lotto-Soudal Ladies: Vandenbulcke (Bel)
Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team: K.Schweinberger (Aut)

France
FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope: Uttrup-Ludwig (Den)
Arkéa Pro Cycling Team: Verhulst (Fra)
Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling: Rüegg (Swi)

Germany
Canyon//Sram Racing: Niewiadoma (Pol)
Team DSM: Wiebes (Ned)
Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling: Brennauer, Teutenberg (Ger)

Great Britain
Drops-Le Col s/b Tempur: Van’t Geloof (Ned)

Italy
Alé BTC Ljubljana: Reusser (Swi), Guderzo (Ita), Bujak (Slo)
Bepink: Drummond (Nzl)
Valcar-Travel & Service: Balsamo, Consonni (Ita)

The Netherlands
Liv Racing: Kopecky (Bel), Jackson (Can)
SD Worx: Van den Broeck-Blaak, Pieters (Ned)
Jumbo-Visma Women Cycling Team: Vos, Van den Bos (Ned)
NXTG Racing: Kool (Ned)
Parkhotel Valkenburg: Van der Hulst (Ned)

Norway
Team Coop-Hitec Products: Kröger (Ger)

Spain
Movistar Team Women: Van Vleuten (Ned), Norsgaard (Den)

United States
Trek-Segafredo: Deignan (Gbr), Cordon-Ragot (Fra), Longo Borghini (Ita), Van Dijk (Ned)
Team Tibco-SVB: Stephens (Usa), Kessler (Ned)

@A.S.O. 2021 Paris-Roubaix Femmes map

2022 PARIS–ROUBAIX AND 2022 AMSTEL GOLD RACE RESCHEDULED

The organisers of Paris–Roubaix and the Amstel Gold Race have decided to switch the slots of their races on the calendar to deal with the fact that the first round of the French presidential election is due to take place on Sunday 10 April 2022. Paris–Roubaix will be held on Sunday 17 April and the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday 10 April 2022. „This solution was made possible by the cooperation and willingness to compromise of Amstel Gold Race director Leo van Vliet and the Union Cycliste Internationale. In the name of the thousands of fans who love the Queen of Classics, ASO wishes to thank them warmly for agreeing to this change in the calendar“, said Christian Prudhomme, head of the ASO Cycling Division.
Amstel Gold Race director Leo van Vliet added: „When Christian Prudhomme told me that Paris–Roubaix, originally scheduled for 10 April 2022, would no longer be able to go ahead on that date because the French presidential election is due to be held that same day, and he asked me to switch places with the Amstel Gold Race, which was pencilled in for 17 April, I understood his problem straight away. Who am I to look the other way when the biggest cycling organisation asks me to lend it a hand? Of course, I first had to check whether it could be done from the organisational point of view. After the competent authorities, including our partner municipalities, Maastricht and Valkenburg, also pledged their support, I came to an agreement with Christian Prudhomme at the World Championships in Leuven last weekend. We also reached a deal with the UCI. As a result, the Amstel Gold Race will be held a week earlier next year, on 10 April, followed by Paris–Roubaix on 17 April, which falls on Easter Sunday.“

Paris-Roubaix cobblestones: general inspection

Key points:

 The riders of edition 118 will battle on the cobblestones for 55 km, over the total distance of 257.7km, with 30 sectors to be tackled on the final 160 km.
 The first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, which takes place the day before, on Saturday 2 October, features 29.2 km of cobblestones, with the last 85 km being the same for both races. With just a few days to go before the big showdown, everything is in place.
Based on the latest inspection of the course, carried out on 28 September by Paris-Roubaix race director Thierry Gouvenou and race director of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, Franck Perque, the organisers have assigned a difficulty rating to each of the cobbled sectors of the race, assessed according to their length, the irregularity of the cobbles, the general condition of the section and its location. The sectors rated five stars remain the Trouée d’Arenberg, Mons-en-Pévèle and the Carrefour de l’Arbre.

This year, the minor modifications concern the attack phase of the cobbles, with the Troisvilles sector retaining its entire length (2200 m). A little further on, the peloton will regroup at the hamlet of Buat sector (# 24), where the difficulty of the slope is added to that of the cobbles. In total, the cobbled kilometres for the men’s race is exactly 55 kilometres.

For their baptism of the cobbled roads, the female riders take on a more manageable 29,2 kilometres, with 17 sectors on the programme. The two courses converge with 85 kilometres to go, while the women will have started from Denain and ridden 33.9 kilometres. They will begin with the four-star 3,7 km long sector from Hornaing to Wandignies. For them too, the demanding route to the velodrome passes through the sectors of Mons-en-Pévèle and the Carrefour de l’Arbre!

The 30 cobbled sectors of Paris–Roubaix

30 : Troisvilles to Inchy (km 96,3 – 2,2 km) ***
29 : Viesly to Quiévy (km 102,8 – 1,8 km) ***
28 : Quiévy to Saint-Python (km 105,4 – 3,7 km) ****
27 : Saint-Python (km 110,1 – 1,5 km) **
26 : Haussy to Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon (km 116,6 – 0,8 km) **
25 : Saint-Martin-sur-Ecaillon to Vertain (km 120,9 – 2,3 km) ***
24 : Capelle to Ruesnes (km 127,3 – 1,7 km) ***
23 : Artres to Quérénaing (km 136,3 – 1,3 km) **
22 : Quérénaing to Maing (km 138,1 – 2,5 km) ***
21 : Maing to Monchaux-sur-Ecaillon (km 141,2 – 1,6 km) ***
20 : Haveluy to Wallers (km 154,2 – 2,5 km) ****
19 : Trouée d’Arenberg (km 162,4 – 2,3 km) *****
18 : Wallers to Hélesmes (km 168,4 – 1,6 km) ***
17 : Hornaing to Wandignies (km 175,2 – 3,7 km) ****
16 : Warlaing to Brillon (km 182,7 – 2,4 km) ***
15 : Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières (km 186,2 – 2,4 km) ****
14 : Beuvry-la-Forêt to Orchies (km 192,5 – 1,4 km) ***
13 : Orchies (km 197,5 – 1,7 km) ***
12 : Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée (km 203,6 – 2,7 km) ****
11 : Mons-en-Pévèle (km 209,1 – 3 km) *****
10 : Mérignies to Avelin (km 215,1 – 0,7 km) **
9 : Pont-Thibault to Ennevelin (km 218,5 – 1,4 km) ***
8 : Templeuve – L’Epinette (km 223,9 – 0,2 km) *
8 : Templeuve – Moulin-de-Vertain (km 224,4 – 0,5 km) **
7 : Cysoing to Bourghelles (km 230,8 – 1,3 km) ***
6 : Bourghelles to Wannehain (km 233,3 – 1,1 km) ***
5 : Camphin-en-Pévèle (km 237,8 – 1,8 km) ****
4 : Carrefour de l’Arbre (km 240,5 – 2,1 km) *****
3 : Gruson (km 242,8 – 1,1 km) **
2 : Willems to Hem (km 249,5 – 1,4 km) ***
1 : Roubaix – Espace Charles Crupelandt (km 256,3 – 0,3 km) *

Paris-Roubaix Challenge
Saturday 2nd of October – 24 hours before the elite race and a few hours before Paris-Roubaix Femmes, a peloton of amateur riders will measure themselves on this legendary spring classic and its fabled cobblestone sectors. Three distances are on offer to cyclists, in order to accommodate all the preparation levels: 70, 107 and 145 kms. Every rider will find an appropriate legend.
Information and registration on: parisroubaixchallenge.com and timeto.com

@A.S.O.

When the „Roubaisiennes“ take the stage (IV/V)

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig: „Here we are!“

Aware of the magnitude of the occasion, the riders in the women’s peloton are gearing up for the first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, scheduled for Saturday 2 October, after their debut on the cobblestones of northern France was frustrated in October 2020 and again last spring. The world of cycling is awash with questions about the favourites to win the inaugural edition, wondering what it takes to shine in this race and whether the decisive attributes are exactly the same as in the men’s competition. Five of these favourites, particularly excited about this momentous event, tell us more about their relationship with the Queen of Classics as the countdown to their initiation on the cobblestones ticks away. For the Dane Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, racing in the Hell of the North will be a childhood dream come true.

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope)
Frederiksberg (Denmark), 23 August 1995
Teams: Rytger (2014–2015), BMS BIRN (2016), Cervélo–Bigla (2017–2019) and FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope (since 2020)
Major results:
2012: silver medallist in the World Junior Time Trial Championships
2016: silver medallist in the European U23 Road Race Championships
2017: winner of the UCI World Tour youth classification, third in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, ninth in Strade Bianche and tenth in the World Championships
2018: fourth in La Course by Le Tour de France, sixth in the Giro d’Italia and seventh in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda
2019: third in the Tour of Flanders, third in La Course by Le Tour de France, third in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, fifth in Strade Bianche and winner of the Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan
2020: second in the Flèche Wallonne, fourth in the Giro d’Italia, eighth in the World Championships and winner of the Giro dell’Emilia
2021: second in La Course by Le Tour de France, third in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, fifth in Strade Bianche and winner of stage 3 of the Vuelta a Burgos
An anecdote: a total extrovert who basks in the media glow, she might well have become an actor if she had not been a cyclist. „Once I’m done with cycling, perhaps. Who knows?“

A DREAM IS BORN
At the tender age of 10, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig already used to put Paris-Roubaix at the top of her list of races to watch on television. „The hype was real. The approach to the Trouée d’Arenberg is something I’ll never forget. It was so brutal, so epic, that I would just go crazy when the peloton got there.“ She eventually came to the Arenberg Forest at the dawn of her pro career, six years ago, just for the fun of racing up and down those same cobblestones that she had dreamed about time and again. „It was really special. I thought to myself: ‚Oh, my God, I’ve seen this on television so many times before‘! And now my turn had come. I remember thinking: ’some day, maybe, there’ll be a Paris-Roubaix for me too“. And here we are!“

CUT OUT FOR THE COBBLESTONES?
While Paris–Roubaix is a race like no other, strong performances in the Tour of Flanders and Strade Bianche are a reliable indicator of a rider’s ability to do well here. This suits Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, who finished third in De Ronde in 2019 and fifth in the Tuscan race on two occasions (2019 and 2021). However, the 26-year-old climber concedes that a small rider like her (52 kg) seems a bit out of place in the Hell of the North. „There’s no denying that the men who do well in Roubaix are big and strong and crank out some serious wattage. True, I’m nothing like that! But I hope I’ll still be able to produce enough watts and, even more importantly, to be astute enough. In a race like this, you need to stay at the front and be well positioned at the entrance to each sector.“ Since there has never been a Paris-Roubaix Femmes before, the type of riders who will have an edge over the others is still shrouded in uncertainty. „It’s our very first time, so we have no clue how this is going to play out! Thin cyclist, big cyclist, power riders, climbers… Everyone thinks they have a shot at winning, and this is what makes the inaugural edition so special.“

PREPARING FOR THE BIG SHAKE
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig is gripped by a mix of fear and excitement at the prospect of tackling the cobblestones. „A bit of both! The Roubaix cobblestones are completely different from the ones in Flanders. I’ve seen pictures of riders who finished with their hands covered in blisters. I can’t imagine how much that must hurt, so I expect to suffer a lot. But I can’t wait to start!“ The FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope leader was unable to take part in her team’s training camp in the cobbled sectors last year. „I haven’t done any recon this year either. But after the road race of the Worlds (Saturday 25 September), I’ll spend the whole week in the area. I’ll take the opportunity to recon every sector, prepare as well as I can and find the right tyre pressure for the big day.“ In order to gear up for the event and get an idea of the nuances of the cobblestones, she admits that she turned to the „Danish Mafia“, the community of Danish riders, including former world champion Mads Pedersen, who just like her lives in Girona, Spain.

THE IDEAL SCENARIO
Scandinavians love it when the weather can change at the drop of a hat, and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig is no exception. However, she is crossing her fingers for sunny skies on 2 October. „The course is tough enough as it is. If you add rain into the mix… I want to see a battle in which the best riders go head to head, not one in which the winner is simply the one who manages to stay on her bike.“ She hopes that the race will be decided by a long-range attack. „But I think many others would agree. Everyone will be ready to fight and vying for the leading places in the approach to the sectors. I think it’s going to be really tough… But this is how I want cycling to be. To be honest, I have no idea what to expect! A top 10 finish, a podium place… More than anything else, I hope to be able to cross the finish line knowing I’ve got nothing left in the tank. Whoever wins this Paris-Roubaix will go down in history. Everyone’s dreaming of being that person.“

When the „Roubaisiennes“ take the stage

Elisa Longo Borghini : “I’m not afraid of the cobblestones”

Aware of the magnitude of the occasion, the riders in the women’s peloton are gearing up for the first edition of Paris–Roubaix Femmes, scheduled for Saturday 2 October, after their debut on the cobblestones of northern France was frustrated in October 2020 and again last spring. The world of cycling is awash with questions about the favourites to win the inaugural edition, wondering what it takes to shine in this race and whether the decisive attributes are exactly the same as in the men’s competition. Five of these favourites, particularly excited about this momentous event, tell us more about their relationship with the Queen of Classics as the countdown to their initiation on the cobblestones ticks away. Even though Elisa Longo Borghini is adamant that she’ll ride for her team-mate Ellen van Dijk, she’ll be one of the champions to follow because of her pedigree and her knowledge of the cobblestones.

Elisa Longho Borghini (Trek-Segafredo)
Ornavasso (Piemonte, Italy), 10 December 1989
Teams : Top Girls Fassa Bortolo (2011), Hitec Products (2012-2014), Wiggle Honda (2015), Wiggle High5 (2016-2018), Trek-Segafredo (2019-2021)
Major results :
2012 : 3rd of the World Championships, 3rd du GP de Plouay-Bretagne
2013 : winner of Trofeo Alfredo Binda, 2nd of the Flèche Wallonne Femmes
2014 : winner of the Tour de Bretagne, 2nd of the Grand Prix de Plumelec, 3rd of the Flèche Wallonne Femmes
2015 : winner of the Tour des Flandres, winner of the Route de France
2016 : winner of the Giro d’Emilia, 3rd of the Olympic Games in Rio
2017 : winner of the Strade Bianche, 2nd of the Giro Rosa, 3rd of La Course by le Tour de France, Italian champion
2019 : 5th of the World Championships
2020 : 3rd of the World Championships, 3rd of the Giro Rosa, 2nd of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, Italian champion (road race + TT)
2021 : winner of the GP de Plouay, winner of the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, 2nd of the Strade Bianche, 3rd of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, 3rd of Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes, Italian champion (road race + TT)
An anecdote: An eight-time Italian champion (three for road racing and five for individual time trial), Elisa is the daughter Guidina Dal Sasso who claimed six national titles as an individual and five in the relay as a cross-country skier in the 80s.

A DREAM IS BORN
It’s not the first time for the name Longo Borghini to appear on a start list of Paris-Roubaix. Thanks to the inception of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, Elisa keeps following the path of Paolo who was a dedicated domestique in teams like Barloworld and Liquigas. “I got the passion for cycling because of my brother who is eleven years older than me”, she explained. “He took up cycling way before me and I’ve wanted to emulate him. Therefore, taking part in Paris-Roubaix after him is great! Since I have a strong passion for this sport, I’ve always followed this race – but all the other races as well, actually. My first big recollection of Paris-Roubaix is the entrance of Franco Ballerini on the velodrome for its last race ever (on 15 April 2001). When he unzipped his jersey to show his t-shirt “Merci Roubaix”, I was only 11 years old but I was particularly emotional about it.”
“2012 is the edition that stuck with me”, she continued. “Tom Boonen won an absolutely fascinating race that day. My brother rode Paris-Roubaix twice, in 2008 (80th) and 2014 (72nd) and I particularly remember the latter because I saw it on several cobbled sectors. I was watching everything attentively. So it wasn’t a new terrain for me when we went to recce the course of “our” Roubaix earlier this year. We also did two laps of the velodrome and it was moving.”

CUT OUT FOR THE COBBLESTONES?
The reigning Italian champion for road racing and individual time trial, Longo Borghini is currently third in the UCI world ranking behind the untouchable Dutch women Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen. She’s fourth of the 2021 UCI Women’s WorldTour of which she has won two legs: the Alfredo Binda Trophy in March and the GP Plouay in August. Third in the Olympic road race, she’s also a specialist of Strade Bianche as she came second this year of the race she once won in 2017 when she underlined the architectural and cultural environment of the event also held on gravel roads. However, that doesn’t necessarily make her one of the top favourites for Paris-Roubaix Femmes. “I don’t think the race suits me very well”, she said. “But I’m convinced that I can be a great help for my team Trek-Segafredo.”

PREPARING FOR THE BIG SHAKE
About the specificity of the Hell of the North, she’s categorical: “I’m obviously not afraid of the cobblestones”, she stated. “I’m a professional cyclist and I have to adjust myself to the races that are given to me. I know my job and I have to do it, end of the story. Our trainings on the cobbled sectors were also organised in order to test the equipment. We’ll use the bike Trek always provides for Paris-Roubaix: the Domane. I already have all the cobbled sectors in mind but we’ll recce them again in the lead up to the race. At the last minute, we’ll evaluate the situation to decide which wheels to use, which tyres, what to put on our hands and if we’re going to race with or without gloves. We’ll look into the last details.”

THE IDEAL SCENARIO
Talking about her role in the team Trek-Segafredo, she clarified: “I’ll race for what is our aim: to win the race with Ellen van Dijk.” The 34 year old Dutch rider has the experience required for this kind of event. Moreover, she’s the on-form champion of the moment as she recently took two major titles for herself: the European championship for road racing in Trento, Italy, on September 11, and the world championship for individual time trial in Brugge, Belgium, on September 20, getting her second rainbow jersey against the clock after the one of 2013. In both cases, she won alone as she crossed the line in Trentino 1’18’’ before Germany’s Liane Lippert. The ideal scenario for Trek-Segafredo would be a solo victory in Roubaix. Longo Borghini knows what it takes to make it happen. In 2014, she saw her brother escorting his leader Peter Sagan whereas in 2008 he was sharing this task at the service of Australia’s Baden Cooke with a debutant who didn’t manage to reach the velodrome: Chris Froome.

Paris–Roubaix Femmes Part 1

When the „Roubaisiennes“ take the stage

Audrey Cordon-Ragot: „A race where cycling history is made“

Aware of the magnitude of the occasion, the riders in the women’s peloton are gearing up for the first edition of Paris–Roubaix Femmes, scheduled for Saturday 2 October, after their debut on the cobblestones of northern France was frustrated in October 2020 and again last spring. The world of cycling is awash with questions about the favourites to win the inaugural edition, wondering what it takes to shine in this race and whether the decisive attributes are exactly the same as in the men’s competition. Five of these favourites, particularly excited about this momentous event, tell us more about their relationship with the Queen of Classics as the countdown to their initiation on the cobblestones ticks away. French rider Audrey Cordon-Ragot has left nothing to chance in her endeavour to turn this historic occasion into a huge celebration.

Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek–Segafredo)
Pontivy (Morbihan, France), 22 September 1989
Teams: Vienne Futuroscope (2008–2013), Hitec Products (2014), Wiggle–Honda (2015), Wiggle High5 (2016–2018) and Trek–Segafredo (2019–2021)
Major results:
2012: winner of Cholet-Pays de Loire
2013: winner of the Tour de Bretagne
2014: stage winner in La Route de France and winner of the Grand Prix de Plumelec
2015: winner of Cholet-Pays de Loire and French time trial champion
2016: French time trial champion
2017: winner of the Chrono des Nations and French time trial champion
2018: sixth in the Amstel Gold Race, third in the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta and French time trial champion
2019: winner of the Tour de Bretagne
2020: thirteenth in the World Championships, stage winner in the Tour de l’Ardèche and French road race champion
2021: French time trial champion
An anecdote: „Absolutely useless at mechanics“ by her own admission, the Breton married the former amateur rider Vincent Ragot, who works as a mechanic for B&B Hotels p/b KTM.

A DREAM IS BORN
Audrey Cordon-Ragot discovered the magic of Paris-Roubaix mainly on television. Back when she was a young teen who already stood out as one of the brightest riders of her generation, Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara’s duels and solo adventures kept her on the edge of her seat, and her passion for this extraordinary race has only grown since then. „Everyone who’s won here rates this victory a notch above their other ones. It has a legendary aura because it’s a race for warriors where cycling history is made. I also remember Peter Sagan beating Silvan Dillier and Philippe Gilbert snatching the win against astronomical odds. You get surprises on the podium all the time, even on the top step, such as that time when Mathew Hayman took the win from the early break“. For the Breton, this phenomenal atmosphere also has a lot to do with the place that has come to epitomise the Hell of the North: „I think of the velodrome as the beating heart of Paris-Roubaix… It’s just like a Roman arena. The crowd wants to see the wild animals, and it often comes down to a group of riders. Just going there as a spectator already packed quite an emotional punch.“

CUT OUT FOR THE COBBLESTONES?
Roubaix specialists come in all shapes and sizes, but Fabian Cancellara and, a few decades earlier, Francesco Moser showed that time trialists are a force to be reckoned with. This suits Audrey Cordon-Ragot to a tee: behind the 11 victories of Jeannie Longo, who was in a class of her own, she has racked up 5 national titles and an additional 6 podium finishes in the national time trial championships. It is now up to her to transpose these abilities to the cobblestones. „I’m exactly in the sweet spot between too light and too heavy! The proper technique involves staying on your saddle whenever possible and loosening up your whole body. I think I’m a cobble-gobbler. Positioning will also be key in the approach to the cobbled sectors, and I think my experience will help me here because I’ve learnt a lot when it comes to fighting for my place in the peloton“.

PREPARING FOR THE BIG SHAKE
In Paris-Roubaix, failing to plan is planning to fail. The men have set the example for a long time and are used to preparing for this race with fastidious care. Trek–Segafredo is a tad more passionate about the cobbled classics than other teams, leaving Audrey well placed to capitalise on the experience of her male colleagues: „I had a chat with John Degenkolb, as well as Mads Pedersen, who gave me tips such as not to wear gloves. At first, I thought he was making fun of me, but I heeded his advice anyway and ended up without a single blister.“ Recon is another important factor in the build-up to Paris-Roubaix. Here, too, she has dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s for this exceptional premiere. „Due to the succession of postponements, I’ve already got four recons under my belt and yet another one on my to-do list. We don’t use our Roubaix bicycles anywhere else, so you need to get a feel for the bicycle and, especially, carry out loads of tests to determine the right tyre pressure.“

THE IDEAL SCENARIO
Audrey Cordon-Ragot makes no secret of the fact that winning Paris-Roubaix would be a dream come true. However, there is more than one path that leads to success in the old André Pétrieux Velodrome. The first-timer is raring to go and has already sketched out her ideal scenario: „The perfect situation is one in which I launch an attack in the Carrefour de l’Arbre sector, go full gas in the final 15 kilometres and enter the velodrome on my own“, she reveals enthusiastically. „My kick is powerful enough to spring a surprise if it comes down to a sprint, but I’ll be facing much longer odds if I get to the finish in a small group.“ Depending on how events unfold and how she feels on the day of the race, Audrey is also ready to roll up her sleeves and work for her team, which boasts an enviable level of depth: „Trek–Segafredo has other cards to play, apart from myself, as we’re also bringing Elisa Longo Borghini, newly crowned European champion Ellen van Dijk and Liz Deignan to the race“.

Eschborn-Frankfurt 2021 – 188 Km


Photo by Plomi

Photo by HERBERT MOOS
Photo by HERBERT MOOS

1 PHILIPSEN Jasper BEL ALPECIN-FENIX 04:28:03
2 DEGENKOLB John GER LOTTO SOUDAL 00:00
3 KRISTOFF Alexander NOR UAE-TEAM EMIRATES 00:00
4 PASQUALON Andrea ITA INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:00
5 ACKERMANN Pascal GER BORA – HANSGROHE 00:00
6 GARCIA CORTINA Ivan ESP MOVISTAR TEAM 00:00
7 LAPORTE Christophe FRA COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CRÉDITS 00:00
8 TEUNISSEN Mike NED TEAM JUMBO-VISMA 00:00
9 MATTHEWS Michael AUS TEAM BIKEEXCHANGE 00:00
10 WRIGHT Fred GBR BAHRAIN – VICTORIOUS 00:00
11 SKAARSETH Anders NOR UNO-X PRO CYCLING TEAM 00:00
12 BEULLENS Cedric BEL SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE 00:00
13 SWIFT Connor GBR TEAM ARKÉA SAMSIC 00:00
14 VAN POUCKE Aaron BEL SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE 00:00
15 CHEVALIER Maxime FRA B&B HOTELS P/B KTM 00:00

Premiere zum 60. – Jasper Philipsen gewinnt Jubiläumsausgabe von Eschborn-Frankfurt

Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) hat die 60. Austragung des Radklassikers Eschborn-Frankfurt gewonnen. Der 23-jährige Belgier verwies bei seinem Debüt in der Mainmetropole nach 187,4 Kilometern im Sprint Lokalmatador und Sieger von 2011, John Degenkolb (Lotto Soudal), sowie Rekordsieger Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) auf die Plätze.


Alexander Kristoff (UAE) gibt wie immer alles im Taunus um dranzubleiben.
Photo by Plomi

Der Youngster sicherte sich seinen ersten Profisieg bei einem WorldTour-Klassiker und setzte das nächste Ausrufezeichen in seiner herausragenden Saison. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe), letzter Gewinner vor der Alten Oper, sprintete auf den 5. Rang.
Jasper Philipsen nach seinem Sieg: „Es war ein wirklich hartes Rennen. Vor ein paar Wochen habe ich beschlossen, dieses Rennen zu fahren, weil es normalerweise ein Sprint-Finish ist. Dann habe ich mir das Profil angesehen und dachte, es könnte vielleicht doch schwieriger sein als erwartet. Jetzt bin ich richtig stolz auf diesen Sieg.“
„Die Teamunterstützung war heute entscheidend, weil ich im Mittelteil wirklich zu kämpfen hatte. In den Anstiegen ist das Team einfach bei mir geblieben und das war wichtig. Ich habe weiter gepusht, weil ich wusste, dass die letzten 40 km flach waren. Da konnte ich mich erholen und meinen Sprint fahren“, so der 23-jährige Youngster weiter.


Photo by Plomi

Photo by HERBERT MOOS
Photo by HERBERT MOOS

Lokalmatador John Degenkolb sagte zu seinem zweiten Platz: „300 Meter vor dem Ziel habe ich gedacht alles oder nichts! Ich habe alles in die Waagschale geworfen. Am Ende ist es ein verdienter Sieg für Jasper, denn er hatte einen krassen Speed. Ich bin froh, dass es für den 2. Platz gereicht hat und kann mich jetzt auch darüber freuen. Ich bin stolz, dass ich dem Druck standgehalten habe und zeigen konnte, bei so einem großen Rennen um den Sieg mitzufahren. Jetzt steht noch einiges vor der Tür!“


Photo by Plomi

Attacken prägten den 60. Radklassiker
Bereits kurz nach dem scharfen Start in Eschborn begannen die Attacken und fünf Fahrer haben sich zu einer Spitzengruppe zusammengeschlossen. Mit Mathias Jorgensen (Movistar Team) und Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) waren zwei WorldTour-Fahrer dabei. Dazu kamen Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo), Erik Resell (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) und Boris Vallee (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB). Bis zum ersten Anstieg des Tages am Feldberg ließ das Feld mehr als sechs Minuten an Vorsprung zu.
Nach 100 Kilometern blieben nur noch die beiden WorldTour-Fahrer und Velasco als Trio an der Spitze – aber der Vorsprung sank nah an die Minutenmarke. Auch wenn die Favoriten des Rennens dichter kamen, hat sich die Zeit an der Spitze für den Profi der Gazprom-RusVelo-Mannschaft gelohnt: Der Italiener gewann die ersten sieben Bergwertungen des Radklassikers und konnte nach dem Rennen auf dem Podium die Bergpreistrophäe entgegennehmen.
Und es war diese vorletzte Passage des Mammolshainer Stich, die sich als Vorentscheidung des Rennens erwies. Tempoverschärfungen durch das Team BikeExchange haben dazu geführt, dass die Ausreißer gestellt wurden und sich das Peloton teilte. 16 Fahrer gingen zusammen zur letzten Überfahrt des Mammolshainer Berg – 40 Sekunden vor dem Feld.

Auf den letzten Rennkilometern, die in die Frankfurter Innenstadt führten, übernahm vor allem das UAE Team Emirates im Feld für Kristoff die Nachführarbeit. Rund 30 Kilometer vor dem Ziel war es um die Gruppe geschehen. Nur Georg Zimmermann (Intermarche – Wanty Gobert Matériaux), Gewinner des Nachwuchs-Trikots bei der Deutschland Tour und Cristian Scaroni (Gazprom-RusVelo) wehrten sich noch gegen ihre Einholung. Nach der Einfahrt in die Stadt beteiligte sich auch der deutsche Rennstall Bora-hansgrohe um Titelverteidiger Ackermann an der Spitze des Feldes. Das Spitzenduo hielt sich hartnäckig und konnte bei der ersten Zieldurchfahrt an der Alten Oper den Jubel der Zuschauer genießen. Neun Kilometer vor dem Ende wurden sie vom Feld der Sprinter geschluckt. Es war Degenkolb, der sich auf dem letzten Kilometer als Erster ein Herz fasste und den Sprint eröffnete. Doch auf den letzten Metern hatte der Oberurseler dem Sieger Philipsen nichts entgegenzusetzen.

Pascal Ackermann auf Rang fünf im Massensprint bei Eschborn-Frankfurt

Nachdem eine frühe Fluchtgruppe schon 60 km vor dem Ende gestellt wurde, setzte sich im hügeligen Teil des Rennens eine stark besetzte 16-Mann-Gruppe vom Feld ab. Matteo Fabbro kontrollierte das Geschehen an der Spitze, während dahinter im Feld der Rest des Teams für einen Massensprint arbeitete. Als die Zielrunde in Frankfurt erreicht war, war das Feld geschlossen und alles für einen Sprint vorbereitet. Pascal Ackermann hatte im Finale nur Nils Politt an seiner Seite, nachdem das Team bereits davor viel Arbeit hatte leisten müssen. Beim Sieg von J. Philipsen reichte es am Ende für Ackermann heute für Rang fünf.

Von der Ziellinie
„Eigentlich lief das Rennen heute gut für uns. Wir hatten Matteo in der großen Gruppe und das Rennen war hart. Da hatten viele Sprinter schon Probleme und ich habe mich gut gefühlt. Wir mussten dann aber viel investieren, um überhaupt für einen Sprint zu sorgen und diese Kräfte haben am Ende gefehlt. Ich habe versucht, mich vorne zu halten und an einem guten Hinterrad zu positionieren, war aber dann nach der letzten Kurve zu weiten hinten. Ich konnte auch gar nicht richtig losfahren, weil einfach kein Platz für mich war. Ich bin schon etwas enttäuscht, auch wenn wir uns als Team heute nichts vorwerfen können.“ – Pascal Ackermann

„Die Jungs sind heute ein starkes Rennen gefahren. Wir haben von Beginn an mit Emu im Feld gearbeitet, und als Matteo vorne in der Gruppe war, mussten wir viel investieren, um Matthews überhaupt wieder zurückzuholen. Dadurch war am Ende nur noch Nils bei Pascal für die Sprintvorbereitung, der hatte auf den letzten 1,5 km aber auch noch einen Reifenschaden. Pascal war somit auf sich alleine gestellt und war in der letzten Kurve etwas zu weit hinten, zudem war er im Sprint rechts blockiert. Da kann man nichts machen und muss mit dem fünften Platz leben. Wir hatten heute sicherlich ein besseres Ergebnis im Kopf, aber wie gesagt, eigentlich ist jeder stark gefahren.“ – Jens Zemke, sportlicher Leiter


Marco Brenner Team DSM sticky bottle 🙂
Photo by Plomi