A HISTORIC FIRST WOMEN'S PARIS-ROUBAIX
History was made in today’s first women’s Paris-Roubaix. The monumental day for cycling was watched and enjoyed worldwide as the peloton took to 17 cobblestone sectors in the 116-kilometre race. Overnight rain already made the parcours slick but further rain in the latter half of the race meant riders were battling the brutal cobblestones under even more slippery conditions.
The race was won by Lizzie Deignan (TFS) who attacked solo on the first cobblestone sector and never looked back on her way to be the first woman’s name written on the walls in the famous Roubaix velodrome showers. Our top finisher was Alice Barnes in 23rd with Tiffany Cromwell 26th.
“To be honest, overall I am disappointed. I just didn’t have the legs” said Alice after the finish.
“I tried to block this out and just kept pushing which seemed the common advice anyway. I found myself in a group that was working fairly well together, and when I got to the velodrome, I just had to ride for the best place I could.”
Alice continued, “I wish I could have soaked in the atmosphere at the finish, but I couldn’t help but feel disappointed with how my day went. As a team, we had bad luck with losing Kasia early and the puncture of Elise as she was really well positioned when she got this and felt she had good legs.”
Asked if she would like to return to next year’s edition, to be held already in April, Alice was quick to reply.
“Yes, 100%. I know this can be a good race for me. I can see myself and Paris-Roubaix having a love-hate relationship for the rest of my career.”
Both Kasia Niewiadoma and Alena Amialiusik were amongst several riders to crash yesterday and were forced to abandon the race. After medical assessments, both have been cleared of any major injury.
After 125 years, and 118 editions of a men’s Paris-Roubaix, the level of excitement for a women’s Paris-Roubaix could be felt everywhere. Cromwell commented on the importance of the first edition.
“We’ve ridden ourselves into the history books, we have our first winner. This day will be talked about for the rest of the history of cycling. It was special to a part of that. It’s another step forward for women’s cycling and I hope the momentum keeps going.”