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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

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