Live ticker Paris-Roubaix Femmes: Lizzie Deignan wins

Check here throughout the afternoon for updates of key moments in the historic first Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Get access to everything we publish when you join VeloNews or Outside+.

DENAIN, France (VN) — Lizzie Deignan won Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

With less than 5km to go, she fended off a late surge from Marianne Vos, who is trailing by about 1:15.

The pair time trialed toward the famous velodrome, and Deignan looked to be fending off Vos. Elisa Longo Borghini was digging deep to secure the podium.

8km to go — It’s Deignan vs. Vos

Lizzie Deignan is holding on — barely.

Marianne Vos is breathing down her neck, and trimmed her lead by nearly half. Vos jumped on the famous Carrefour de l’Arbre sector, and Deignan’s lead went from more than two minutes to about 1:15.

As Deignan headed toward the closing sectors, the British star consolidated her position at the front.

She attacked at the first cobble sector — will she ride alone into the velodrome?

It’s a clash of the titans in the final moments of Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

20km to go — Vos opens up counter-attack

Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Vos) opened up a daring counter-attack with less than 20km to go at Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) saw her lead slowly dwindle to less than two minutes after pressure from a chase group.

Vos bolted clear of a chase group on a muddy, tricky cobbled sector just ahead of the Carrefour de l’Arbe sector with less than 20km to go.

Light rain and mud made the already treacherous cobbles even more dangerous, and Vos quickly reduced the gap to Deignan to 1:15 with 12.5km to go.

Deignan only has two sectors to go through: Willems to Hem (1.4km, 3 stars), and in Roubaix (0.3km, 1 star). Will she make it?

ROUBAIX, FRANCE - OCTOBER 02: Elisabeth Deignan-Armitstead of United Kingdom and Team Trek - Segafredo competes through cobblestones sector during the 1st Paris-Roubaix 2021 - Women's Elite a 116,4km race from Denain to Roubaix / #ParisRoubaixFemmes / #ParisRoubaix / on October 02, 2021 in Roubaix, France. (Photo by Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)
Lizzie Deignan attacked early, and never looked back. (Photo: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

25km to go — Deignan hanging on

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) continues to nurse a promising solo lead with about 20km to go in Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

A concerted chase group of seven riders trimmed the gap to about two minutes with about 25km to go, pulling back some time on the solo-attacking rider.

Deignan attacked on the very first cobbled sector and quickly opened up a gap clear and free in front of the mess and chaos of the main bunch.

Several riders crashed in the chase group, including Ellen van Dyjk, as Marianne Vos punched the accelerator.

Now the race is on to the velodrome. Can the chasers bring her back?

30km to go — Deignan continues to widen lead across cobble sectors

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) continues to pour it on alone at the front of Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Deignan jumped on the first sector, and hasn’t looked back. With less than 40km to go, the British star widened her lead to 2:23 with 28km to go.

Behind her are seven riders:

Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma), Christine Majerus (SD Worx), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Segafredo), Aude Biannic (Movistar), Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT), Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), and Marta Bastianelli (Ale’ BTC Ljubljana)

Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) and Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) were caught in crashes, and dropped out of the chase group.

Behind the chase group, the peloton is fractured and riders as riders negotiate the slick and muddy cobblestones.

50km to go — Deignan consolidates coming off Mons-en-Pévèle

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) is showing no signs of slowing down at Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

The British star widened her lead to nearly two minutes as the race hits the famed Mons-en-Pévèle sector.

Marianne Vos is leading a concerted chase of riders that splintered over the treacherous sector. Rain and mud started to take their toll.

The cobbles are muddy, and there’s was a hint of rain as the ever-fractured bunch pushes on. SD Worx continues the chase as the race continues to fracture.

Newly minted world champion Elsa Balsamo slipped on muddy cobbles as tension and nerves ratcheted up at the back of the bunch.

75km to go — Deignan opening up gap

The British star jumped on the first cobble sector, and is now on cruise-control as she powers alone over two more sectors. The main bunch regrouped after becoming fractured under the pressure of the first cobblestones.

Deignan’s lead has now grown to more than two minutes heading off Beuvry à Orchies. SD Worx and Jumbo-Visma lead the chase.

Marianne Vos counters — the race is on!

80km to go — Lizzie Deignan off the front

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) is attacking off the front of the peloton.

The British star carved out a promising lead after grinding across the first cobbles sector of Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Race radio reports she has a 40-second gap to her chasers as she rides on the cobbles from Warlaing to Brillon (2.4km, 3 stars).

85km to go — Peloton hits first cobblestones

Paris-Roubaix Femmes is on the rocks.

The peloton roared onto the first of 17 sectors of cobblestones that await the riders during the next 85km from here to the velodrome. Welcome to hell on wheels.

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) is among the first riders to attack as the bunch fractures on the long, bumpy cobblestones, the first of the race.

The first sector came after three laps on a circuit course around Denain. The Hornaing sector at 34km is also the longest of the women’s race, at 3700m.

Our reporters on the ground are telling us there is a light rain in Roubaix, with gusting southwesterly winds, meaning a tail-crosswind most of the way up to the velodrome. That means a fast and selective race.

Italian Elisa Balsamo pictured in action during the first edition of the women elite race of the 'Paris-Roubaix' cycling event, 116,5km from Denain to Roubaix, France on Saturday 02 October 2021. BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND (Photo by ERIC LALMAND/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
World champion Elisa Balsamo hits the first sector of cobbles. (Photo: ERIC LALMAND/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

100km to go — first breakaway attempts on circuits

The bunch is nearing the first major cobblestones of the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Unfortunately, the live broadcast does not yet begin, so the first cobble sectors will not be on TV.

There are the first breakaway attempts early in the race on the opening circuits.

Emilie Moberg (Drops-Le Col supported by Tempur) and Nicole Steigenga (Doltcini-Van Eycke Sport-Proximus) are 20 seconds ahead of the peloton going into the final 100km.

Some interesting responses here on social media over the question of should the Arenberg forest sector been included in Paris-Roubaix Femmes — what do you think?

14h15 — no attacks yet

The bunch is still together after completing one of three circuits heading toward the first cobbles.

Freshly retired after the world championships, Anna van der Breggen is in Roubaix as she transitions to her role as a sports director for Team SD Worx, who also enjoy the expertise of Lars Boom.

“It’s very special to do my first race as a DS with SD Worx, as Paris-Roubaix is a special race for me and an icon of the sport”, the former Dutch rider said this week on social media. “It’s even more special now that there’s also a women’s race. I spoke to all the riders separately. It’s quite nice to share your knowledge of Paris-Roubaix.”

Also read exclusive interview with AVDB here on VeloNews: No rest for Anna

Here are more pre-race reactions:

Alison Jackson (Liv Racing)

“Super-excited, you can feel it in the air with the amount of media and fans and the attention it’s getting. I think Paris-Roubaix is special because there is a lot you cannot control. You have to see how it goes, and anything can happen.”

Lauren Stephens (TIBCO-SVB)

“I have to keep reminding myself how special it is. When I came to Europe the first in 2013 and I visited the velodrome, and we talked about how some day we would have a race for the women, and here we are in 2021. For myself, it’s not a course where I hope to have a great result, but we hope to have some riders on the team who can have a great ride on the flat races. I will enjoy the experience.”

13h35 — Paris-Roubaix Femmes is on!

And they’re off.

Some 129 elite women roll off the start line for the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Overnight rain could see some damp and tricky cobblestone sectors.

The peloton will race three loops on paved rounds on a circuit around Denain before diving into the first cobblestone sector.

Also read: Five riders to watch in Paris-Roubaix Femmes

For better or worse, the women’s race does not feature the treacherous cobble sector at the Arenberg forest.

Some felt it would be far from ideal to have the long, brutal sector be the first cobbles of the race. In the men’s race, the Arenberg comes deep into the race, and the group has already tackled several sectors and the bunch has already seen some splits.

The women will still likely be together as it nears the first cobbles at at 34km in Hornaing.

13h25 — ‘The hype is huge around Paris-Roubaix’

What do the top riders expect from the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes? The unexpected.

Here’s what some of the top riders told VeloNews before rolling out:

Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar)

“Excited, nervous, and a little bit of not knowing what to expect. It’s historical, everyone knows what it means. It’s nice that the top women can also race a race like Paris-Roubaix. It’s achievement for women’s cycling.”

Teniel Campbell (Team BikeExchange)

“It’s an historic moment for women’s cycling. I know it’s going to be a really chaotic race, but the entire peloton is excited for it. You have to expect the unexpected it. No one really knows how to tackle it.”

Marianne Vos (Jumb0-Visma)

“It’s exciting to be at the start of Paris-Roubaix. We already have a calendar with beautiful races, but for a race like this, with such a great history, it’s a great addition to our calendar. It’s such a hard race, and it’s different from all the others. With all the cobble sections, we expect a very hard race, and to be honest, we don’t really know what to expect, so that makes it very exciting. The hype around Paris-Roubaix is crazy, and it’s a huge thing that we are here.”

13h15 — anticipation builds

Cycling turns a new page on cool, damp Saturday in northern France with Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Be sure to check back all day here at with race updates, quotes, and all the action during the historic first rumble over the cobblestones at Paris-Roubaix Femmes. We have Sadhbh O’Shea and Jim Cotton on the ground in France, and Andrew Hood manning the desk all day long.

Dutch Amy Pieters of Team SD Worx pictured before the start of the first edition of the women elite race of the 'Paris-Roubaix' cycling event, 116,5km from Denain to Roubaix, France on Saturday 02 October 2021. BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND (Photo by ERIC LALMAND/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
SD Worx head to the start of Saturday’s Paris-Roubaix Femmes. (Photo: ERIC LALMAND/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

The course: 17 cobbled sectors for 29.2km total

Of the 116.4 kilometers of racing from Denain to the Roubaix velodrome, 29.2km will be completed on cobblestones.

After three laps of eight kilometres in the streets of the starting town in Denain, the first of the 17 cobbled sectors will start at 34km in Hornaing.

Also read: Updated list of all cobble sectors and map

From there, the course follows the same route as the men’s course all the way to the velodrome. The first sector will be the longest (3700m). The most decisive may be the five-star sectors at Mons-en-Pévèle (km 67.8) and Carrefour-de-l’Arbre (km 99.3).

The SD Worx team recon Paris-Roubaix
The SD Worx team recon Paris-Roubaix this week. (Photo: David Stockman/Belga Mag/AFP via Getty Images)

The weather: gusting winds and chance of rain

After Friday’s rain, the latest weather forecast expect a limited risk of rain during the race Saturday.

“We don’t really know yet where to stand,”said  race director Franck Perque. “There may still be traces of the rain from the previous day which would make some sections slippery. There will be a strong southerly wind, which could partially dry out the areas.”

Also read: Men’s and women’s peloton brace for wet cobbles

The first three sectors will thus be ridden with a backwind, which should reinforce the nervousness and further spice up the start of the race, before the race turns west, exposing riders to crosswinds, race officials said.

Big names for big day

Most of the top names in the peloton lined up Saturday for the historic race.

The newly crowned world champion Elisa Balsamo will don her rainbow stripes for the first time a week after her victory in Flanders. Dutch champions such as Marianne Vos, Annemiek van Vleuten and Ellen van Dijk also bring their star power to the race

Some 129 riders were on the pre-race start list.

The oldest: Trixi Worrock, who turned 40 four days ago. She announced her retirement this week. Annemiek van Vleuten is second-oldest, at 38.

The youngest: Nora Tveit from Norway, not quite 19 years old. In a sign of an ever-younger peloton, 19 of the starters are 20 years old or younger.

Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank sign on Saturday morning to the 1st Paris-Roubaix Femmes. (Photo: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Image)