The UCI has announced its revamped road race calendar and included in the women’s race schedule was a welcomed and much-awaited revelation: Paris Roubaix!
The Hell of the North has always been out of bounds for the female peloton, but with today’s announcement of its new date set for October 25 comes an even more joyful disclosure: one of the most important and anticipated race of the spring classics will now include a women’s race for the first time.
Reactions from the Trek-Segafredo women’s team on the first-ever women’s Paris-Roubaix:
Lizzie Deignan: “Obviously this is an amazing surprise, I’m really delighted! I think Paris-Roubaix is an iconic race, one of the races that attracts most fans in cycling and if we can attract those same fans to women’s cycling, I think it’s a really positive thing. The race will happen at the end of an intensive racing period and in the aftermath of such a challenging year with the coronavirus pandemic but to have a Paris-Roubaix to look forward to makes the motivation easy. It’s such an exciting prospect to be able to race there and I think we have a strong team to challenge for the win there.”
Ellen van Dijk: “I’m super excited to have a women’s Paris-Roubaix! I think it’s a race a lot of riders are looking forward to finally be able to race and are thrilled that it’s on the calendar. Maybe that’s the silver lining after this difficult period: the fact that the men’s race had to be re-scheduled for the fall which made it possible to also host the women’s race.
“This is something positive and I’m super stoked. Personally, I like the cobbles and it’s a flat course which I like as well. Paris-Roubaix is a historical race and it will be super cool to race over these legendary roads. It’s set for late October when the weather is sometimes not the best, but it will probably be an even better race if it takes place in wet conditions where anything can happen. The more epic it is, the cooler it is, and I would love to be part of this first edition of the women’s Paris-Roubaix.”
Lucinda Brand: “It’s good to finally see a women’s calendar. Of course, it’s hard to predict at this point if we will be able to race all the events but at least it gives us a direction to work towards and that’s really helpful, especially mentally. I see most of the big spring classic races, which are all hard races, are there and of course the big surprise is Paris-Roubaix which is really cool. Even in this difficult year we’re in they want to let us race this special race that the women pro-peloton was wishing to race for a really long time. This is a step forward and one I didn’t expect to happen already this year. I’m really excited about it.”
Ina Teutenberg, sport director: “It’s a step forward for women’s cycling to have another monument added to the women’s calendar. It’s a historical race which is always epic; it has cobblestones and it gets a lot of media attention, and I think a lot of our riders will be super stoked to ride over these cobblestones. We have riders who can get over this type of difficult terrain so we will be competitive.”