Schlagwort-Archive: Paris-Roubaix

Starke Quote für epische Roubaix-Schlammschlacht bei Eurosport

• Fast eine halbe Million Radsport-Fans in der Spitze sehen Klassiker-Finale
• 0,21 Mio. Zuschauer im Schnitt und 1,6 Marktanteil (Z3+)

4. Oktober 2021 – Der aus dem Frühjahr in den Oktober verschobene Radklassiker Paris-Roubaix hat Eurosport am Sonntag starke Quoten beschert. Die von Schlamm und Stürzen geprägte 118. Austragung des legendären Rennens durch die “Hölle des Nordens” sahen im Schnitt 210.000 Menschen (Z3+). Für die siebenstündige Liveübertragung lag der Marktanteil mit starken 1,6 Prozent über dem der 2019er-Ausgabe.
Für die letzten zweieinhalb Rennstunden verbuchte das Rennen über 257,7 Kilometer dauerhaft Marktanteile über zwei Prozent. Die Zieleinfahrt des siegreichen Italieners Sonny Colbrelli erlebten bei Eurosport 490.000 Zuschauer:innen (Z3+) bei einem Marktanteil von 3,0 Prozent.
In der Eurosport-Zielgruppe (M20-59) schalteten in der Spitze 120.000 Radsport-Fans ein und sorgten damit für einen Marktanteil von 2,9 Prozent.
Eurosport setzt seine Radsport-Übertragungen im Oktober fort. Den traditionellen Schlusspunkt der prestigeträchtigen Rennen bildet die Lombardei-Rundfahrt am 9. Oktober. Das “Rennen der fallenden Blätter” ist das einzige der fünf Monumente des Radsports, welches noch nie ein deutscher Fahrer gewinnen konnte. Am dichtesten an einem Erfolg war Fabian Wegmann, der im Jahr 2006 als Dritter zumindest auf dem Podium stand. Max Schachmann ist der erste deutsche Sieg am ehesten zuzutrauen. Er bekommt es dabei aber mit hochklassigen Gegnern wie Toursieger Tadej Pogacar (Slowenien), Weltmeister Julian Alaphilippe (Frankreich), Remco Evenepoel (Belgien), Primoz Roglic (Slowenien), Marc Hirschi (Schweiz), Thibaut Pinot (Frankreich), Nairo Quintana (Kolumbien) und Altmeister Alejandro Valverde zu tun.
Radsport-Fans müssen auch nach dem Ende der Straßen-Saison nicht auf Live-Radsport bei Eurosport verzichten. Bereits vom 5. bis 9. Oktober steht im schweizerischen Grenchen die Bahnrad-EM auf dem Programm. Zwischen dem 20. und 24. Oktober werden in Roubaix dann die neuen Weltmeister:innen gesucht. Und ab dem 6. November schlägt der Bahnradsport im Velòdrom Illes Balears auf Mallorca mit der UCI Track Champions League ein neues Kapitel auf.
Die insgesamt sechs adrenalingeladenen Events mit kurzformatigen Rennen sind auf ein Prime-Time-TV-Publikum zugeschnitten und bieten in einem einzigartigen, komprimierten Rennkalender, eine geschlechterparitätische Teilnehmerzahl und das gleiche Preisgeld bei Frauen und Männern. Das große Finale der ersten Saison der UCI Track Champions League steigt am 11. Dezember in Tel Aviv.

Quelle: AGF Videoforschung in Zusammenarbeit mit GfK; videoSCOPE 1.4, 03.10.2021, Marktstandard: TV, vorläufig gewichtete Daten
Discovery Deutschland

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.

2021 PARIS-ROUBAIX FEMMES: TEAMS SELECTION

After the withdrawal of teams; A.R. Monex Women’s Pro Cycling Team (Ita), Plantur-Pura (Bel) and Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team (Rus). The organizers of Paris-Roubaix Femmes have modified the teams selection for the 1st edition (Saturday, October 2, 2021) by inviting: Bepink (Ita).

Below the 22 teams selected:
WorldTeams automatically entered are:

Ale‘ BTC Ljubljana (Ita)
Canyon / / SRAM Racing (Ger)
FDJ Nouvelle – Aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra)
Liv Racing (Ned)
Movistar Team Women (Esp)
Team BikeExchange (Aus)
Team DSM (Ger)
Team SD Worx (Ned)
Trek – Segafredo (Usa)

Furthermore, the five following UCI Women’s Continental teams will participate by right in Paris-Roubaix Femmes:

Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling Team (Ger)
Lotto Soudal Ladies (Bel)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (Ned)
Team Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank (Usa)
Valcar – Travel & Service (Ita)

The organisers have invited the following teams:

Arkéa Pro Cycling Team (Fra)
Bepink (Ita)
Doltcini – Van Eyck Sport – Proximus Continental Team (Bel)
Drops – Le Col supported by Tempur (Gbr)
Team Coop – Hitec Products (Nor)
Jumbo – Visma Women Team (Ned)
NXTG Racing (Ned)
Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling (Fra)

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

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak: “You can’t compare Roubaix with any other race”

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. Winner of the neighbouring Tour of Flanders, the 2017 World Champion Chantal van den Broek-Blaak hopes her instinct and experience can make the difference in a race where “anything can happen”.

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx)
Rotterdam (South Holland, the Netherlands), 22 October 1989
Teams: AA Drink – Leontien.nl (2008-2012), Tibco – To the top (2013), Specialized-Lululemon (2014), Boels Dolmans (2015-2020), SD Worx (2021)
Major results:
2014: winner of Drentse 8 van Dwingeloo and Open de Suède Vårgårda
2015: winner of Le Samyn des Dames
2016: winner of Le Samyn des Dames, Ronde van Drenthe, Gent-Wevelgem and Boels Rental Ladies Tour
2017: World Champion, Dutch Champion
2018: Dutch champion, winner of Amstel Gold Race
2019: winner of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
2020: winner of Le Samyn des Dames and Ronde van Vlaanderen
2021: winner of Strade Bianche and Simac Ladies Tour
An anecdote: at 31 years old and with many wins under her belt, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak has already announced she would retire at the end of the 2022 season, a year after her longtime teammate Anna van der Breggen. They are set to become coaches for SD Worx.

A DREAM IS BORN
As “a classics rider”, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak has been hoping for years to take on the unique challenges of Paris-Roubaix. “It’s a super cool course, a typical one-day race, it fits me and I’ve been waiting for this moment”, she acknowledges ahead of the first edition of the women’s event. “I always watch the men’s race”, she says, “and you can see it’s a pure classic. You can see it’s tough and you cannot compare it with anything else. So I have mixed feelings: I’m super excited but on the other hand it’s also a bit scary.” Van den Broek-Blaak, a proper expert in gruelling races, has been impressed by the action packed racing always displayed on the way to Roubaix, and most notably by Mathew Hayman’s exploit in 2016, when he triumphed in the velodrome ahead of the Belgian icon Tom Boonen despite a broken arm six weeks earlier: “If you can’t race for such a long time, and you prepare at home and win, that’s cool!”

CUT OUT FOR THE COBBLESTONES?
Used to shining in the Spring classics, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak is hopeful she can also tame the cobbles in the Autumn. “You need power for this, and I’m a bit of a bigger rider”, she explains. “Normally, I’m good in really hard races, when it’s been hard all day and there’s a hard finale coming up. Roubaix, whether it’s ridden fast or slow, you’ll always be empty in the end. I think it makes it a good race for me.” In her 14th season as a professional rider, she can also make the most of her experience in a nervous race requiring specific abilities: “It takes a mix of power and skills. I’m not bad at riding the cobbles, but I’m also not the best. It’s not like I’m a cyclo-cross rider that always jumps on and off the bike. I’m not gonna do it like Marianne Vos! But I’m not scared, so that’s a good thing.”

PREPARING FOR THE BIG SHAKE
With her experience, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak assures “you can’t compare the cobbles in Roubaix with any other race. I always take the example of Flanders, and in the Ronde, if you’re empty, you can always try to find a way out, but in Roubaix, it’s impossible. It’s flat and there is not much rest in between the sectors. And the cobbles are really hard, very bumpy. So when you’re empty, you really lose a lot of speed.” The Dutch champion has already done two recons to get familiar with the unique challenges leading to Roubaix and test specific material. “But we had good weather, with a lot of dust, and that makes me a bit nervous because the condition can be muddy in October. That’s why I’m returning quickly after the Worlds to prepare as much as possible. You can train physically, you can prepare your equipment, you can make yourself ready mentally, because you know it’s gonna be hard, and then you have to accept that anything can happen in Paris-Roubaix.”

THE IDEAL SCENARIO
With her resistance, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak has won most of her 25 pro wins in small groups or on her own, after she made the most of the challenges of the day to drop all her rivals. “The solo would be awesome”, she anticipates with a laugh with the velodrome of Roubaix on her mind. “But I can never predict a race, it’s a feeling, and I hope I can have the right instinct again in Roubaix. I normally race the best when everyone is just empty. Let’s start with a hard race, that always makes me happy.” Tactically, “it makes no sense to copy the men’s race”, she says, although she’s inspired by the many scenarios witnessed in previous editions: “We’ve seen it’s a race where anything can happen. You can win from the early breakaway. You can be in the best position and have a flat or crash. You can be dropped and return for the win. I’m gonna do everything and hopefully I’ll have good legs and a bit of luck!”