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Lizzie Deignan after Paris-Roubaix recon: ‘It’s going to be one of the most demanding races’

Trek-Segafredo tests equipment and gets first taste of 'Hell of North' ahead of women's Paris-Roubaix.

Anticipating is building for the women’s Paris-Roubaix, scheduled for April 11 after last year’s debut was canceled. The 116km course will cover the final 17 cobblestone sectors featured in the men’s race.

Last week, Trek-Segafredo conducted an important preview of the course. Team captain Lizzie Deignan came away impressed.

“Imagine the worst possible cobbles in the world, so I was pleasantly surprised,” Deignan said. “The biggest takeaway for me was physically it’s just so difficult. Skillfully, I am comfortable on the cobbles. Physically, it’s going to be one of the most demanding races.”

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Deignan got a preview of what’s in store in the historic women’s Roubaix, heralded by many as an important milestone in women’s racing. With the addition of Scheldeprijs this year, most of the major one-day races in Belgium and France now feature both men’s and women’s races.

Deignan and her teammates tested equipment and got a sense of what the jarring experience will be like to race over one pavé sector after another.

“It’s different than what I expected,” she said. “Physically, it’s more demanding to ride on the cobbles for that long. Skillful wise, I feel like I am skillful enough to handle those cobbles, which I was a little bit worried about.”

Deignan’s teammates race Tuesday at Le Samyn, while Deignan will race next at Strade Bianche this weekend after her debut at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, last weekend, with 111th.