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Roy crashes but fights on for 23rd place in a brutal inaugural edition of Paris Roubaix Femmes – Team BikeExchange

Australian champion Sarah Roy enjoyed the first ever edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes today, making it to the velodrome in Roubaix covered in mud from head to toe, despite crashing hard on one of the final cobble sectors, before sprinting to a very well fought 23rd place for Team BikeExchange.

The 116km race saw numerous crashes on the wet and muddy cobblestones, with Lizzie Deignan taking the field by surprise, dominating the race after launching an attack on the very first cobble. The British rider successfully held off the chasers and made it to the velodrome to cross the line as the first ever winner, with a gap of 1 minute 17 seconds over second place Marianne Vos.

Sarah Roy
“They say everyone who rides Roubaix has a story. I had really good legs out there and it was just down to luck. I was positioned well into the sector in the chasing group, maybe around sixth wheel, but then someone just crashed in front of me, and I just came down. It was so slippery, there was so much mud out there and you couldn’t react.

I finished on the back of the chase group there in the end but I could have just stopped right then after the crash and got in the car, my body was hurting but I really wanted to to keep going and finish. I am very happy to finish, it is special.

It is one of those races you just want to nail, so I would like to come back next year and now we all know it better.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director 
“It was as expected, it was carnage. The luck was not on our side today, the legs were good for the riders but we had bad luck with crashes and problems, but with the weather we had today it was to be expected. ”

2021 Paris-Roubaix Femmes Results:
1. Lizzie Deignan 2:56:07
2. Marianne Vos +1:17
3. Elisa Longo-Borghini +1:47
23. Sarah Roy (Team BikeExchange) +6:20

Photo courtesy of Getty Images 

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Spring Classic in Autumn: Vanmarcke leads ISN in a postponed edition of Paris-Roubaix

Sep Vanmarcke will be ISN’s first pick in Paris-Roubaix, next Sunday, the third of October. Together with the Belgian cobbles specialist, we are looking ahead to one of the biggest and hardest classics in professional cycling.

It will be the team’s very first Paris-Roubaix.

Normally, Paris-Roubaix is the final highlight of a series of cobbled classics early in the season. This year, however, it is rather ‘lonely’ on the calendar, being held on October 3rd, making Paris-Roubaix an Autumn instead of a Spring Classic.

Sep Vanmarcke, therefore, expects an interesting edition of the highly anticipated race. “Normally, this race is the last cobbled classic after a long period of Spring Classics, but now it is on its own, at the end of the cycling calendar. That will feature different racing. Some riders might already be looking forward to off-season after a long period of racing, while others might be even stronger than they normally are in spring.”

Vuelta Espana 2021 – 76th Edition – 16th stage Laredo – Santa Cruz de Bezana 180 km – 31/08/2021 – Sep Vanmarcke (BEL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021

Then, there’s the weather forecast. It might very well be raining in the north of France next Sunday. The experienced Classic specialist Vanmarcke knows that racing on cobbles in the rain is a different discipline than racing on cobbles in the sun. “It could the first Paris-Roubaix in rainy conditions in a long time, since 2002 if I remember correctly”, Vanmarcke says.

It would be the first, rainy edition of the classic for most of the peloton, including Vanmarcke. “I have raced on cobbles in wet conditions before, but not Paris-Roubaix. Indeed, things get more slippery, technical, and treacherous.”

Rain or no rain, Israel Start-Up Nation did showcase, in the last few one-day races, that it is ready for Paris-Roubaix. “We finished multiple times in the top-10 with different riders in races that can be seen as a warm-up to Paris-Roubaix. That will definitely give us confidence towards Sunday,” says the Belgian.

He continues: “Apart from having a good line-up for this race, the Factor bike is ready, too. We did some recon rides last week on the course, and I tested out some of our material. I know which Maxxis tires I want to run and how much pressure is comfortable on the cobbles.”

Sports Director Dirk Demol, who won Paris-Roubaix in 1988, will cover the 257-kilometer race by car, directing the team over the cobbled sections. He says that doing the recon last week gave the team a lot of information. “Definitely material-wise, as Sep explained, but also about the condition of the sectors. Some of them have moss and grass in between the cobbles, which make them extra slippery. The farmers have already started harvesting their fields, meaning that there are sectors with mud on them.”

“I speak from experience”, he continues, “when it is wet, and now especially in this part of the season, it is going to be very treacherous. I did Paris-Roubaix in wet conditions, and it is another kind of race.”

Israel Start-Up Nation’s line-up for Paris-Roubaix (03/10):

  • Rudy Barbier
  • Hugo Hofstetter
  • Jenthe Biermans
  • Tom Van Asbroeck
  • Sep Vanmarcke
  • Guillaume Boivin
  • Mads Würtz Schmidt

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Pre-race rider comments ahead of the inaugural edition – Team BikeExchange

Two-days before the inaugural edition of the Paris-Roubaix Femmes, where history will be made, as the women’s peloton take on 29.2km of brutal cobbles for the very first time, we caught up with our small but mighty team ahead of their course recon ride. Here’s what they had to say:

Jess Allen
“I am super excited, but also really nervous and a little bit scared to be racing the first every women’s Paris-Roubaix but I think that is to be expected. I am just really excited to see how it goes this weekend; nobody knows how it will play out.

We have done a few recons now, a long one last year and again now. We just have to race our race, try to always be in a good position and take it from there. It will certainly be a unique and memorable day for everyone.”

Teniel Campbell
“It is pretty special to be racing the first ever women’s Roubaix. I can’t wait to hit the cobbles and I know everyone in the peloton is excited about it. I am excited but also nervous because I know it is going to be very hectic but I am sure it will be a beautiful day and special race no matter what happens. 

I am definitely scared about the first sector as I know it is going to be a really big appointment, important to arrive there in good position and everybody will want to be at the front so it will be complete chaos. Also the weather, if it is wet and raining, that will be exciting, I like that.”

Janneke Ensing
“This recon is the first time that I have hit (ridden) these cobbles here. I am not sure how it will be. I am looking forward to it. I am lucky and happy that I can be here and race Paris-Roubaix before I retire. I wasn’t on the list to race Roubaix before, so I don’t know really what to expect, I haven’t don’t many recons of these cobble stones.

When you see the cobbles from my area in Drenthe, they are actually quite the same but here they are just longer. Here it is all about the name of course, I think it will be hard just because of the length and the number of sectors we have in a short distance.”

Sarah Roy
“To be able to race on Saturday is pretty cool. The first women’s Roubaix ever, it is just insane, I am stoked. I am nervous about the cobbles but also the fact that nobody has ever done this race before in the women’s peloton. You just don’t know what to expect, we can expect carnage, but we don’t know what the weather will be like either and that adds another element. 

It is a short run-in on a city circuit before heading to the first sector, only 20-30km before we arrive so it is almost like doing a criterium before running into that sector. My mind hasn’t got past that first sector, if we get there in good position then hopefully the race will unfold well from there.”

Georgia Williams
“I think the lead-in to the first cobble section will be full gas and so important, I expect it to split there and there be crashes and lots of things happening that make the race already then at that point.

I was expecting worse to be honest but after doing the recon today I feel a bit better about it. I think it will be very different on Saturday though with around 120 riders and also the weather can change things a lot.”

We wish the bets of luck to the entire women’s peloton taking to the start line on Saturday. A day that will be remember by many.

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

ISN brings Israelis, sprinter and GC-competitor to first edition Settimana Ciclistica Italiana

Israel Start-Up Nation will compete in the Settimana Ciclistica Italiana. For the first edition of the stage race on Sardinia, the team brings Ben Hermans as its GC-competitor, Rudy Barbier in the role of sprinter, and two Israeli riders: Guy Niv and Guy Sagiv.

The Italian race features five stages. It will be ‘race on’ for Hermans as GC-contender directly from the opening stage, while Barbier will be looking forward to the third and final stages.

Giro dell’Appennino 2021 – 82nd Edition – Pasturana – Genova 192 km – 24/06/2021 – Ben Hermans (BEL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

The Belgian climber was on a roll at the end of last month when he won the Giro dell’Appennino and finished on the podium in the Gran Premio di Lugano.

“From there I was able to keep on working on my fitness,” Hermans said before the start of the Settimana Ciclistica Italiana. “There are no real uphill finishes this week on Sardinia, but the parcours seems diverse enough to make differences.”

The two Israelis in the lineup both spent a lot of time at altitude, during ISN’s training camp in Livigno. The stage race on Sardinia is their first race after the camp.

Giro d’Italia 2021 – 104th Edition – 15th stage Grado – Gorizia 147 km – 22/05/2021 – Guy Niv (ISR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

Guy Niv, the first Israeli rider to finish the Tour de France, worked on his shape during that camp. “After finishing the Giro d’Italia, I rested well, did the national championships in Israel, and then started preparing for my second part of the season. I am looking back on a successful training camp in Livigno. I find racing in Italy always fun, so I am excited to race again.”

Guy Sagiv is also looking forward to the second part of his season. Just like Niv, he competed in the Israeli national championships before starting his build-up towards mid- and late-season goals. “Livigno was good to me,” he said. “We spent a lot of time on the bike and finished a very good training block at altitude. A training camp like we had there is exactly the impulse I need to be ready for another block of racing.”

La Fleche Wallonne 2021 – 85th Edition – Charleroi – Mur de Huy 193,6 km – 21/04/2021 – Guy Sagiv (ISR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – Reto Hollenstein (SUI – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dion Kerckhoffs/CV/BettiniPhoto©2021

Barbier returns to racing after two months without. “It has been a long time, indeed, which makes me very keen on pinning a bib number on.” Barbier was also in Livigno. “I have enjoyed my time and I am ready to race.”

Israel Start-Up Nation’s line up for Settimana Ciclistica Italiana (14/07 – 18/07):

  • Guy Niv
  • Guy Sagiv
  • Ben Hermans
  • Sep Vanmarcke
  • Rudy Barbier
  • Sebastian Berwick
  • Krists Neilands

Sports directors: Claudio Cozzi & Dror Pekatch

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com