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If you’re going to do it then you may as well do it properly.
Organizer ASO has published the route details of the inaugural edition of the Paris-Roubaix Femmes, which is due to be held on October 2.
The 116.4k route will skip the iconic Trouée d’Arenberg, but it will still tackle some of the race’s most formidable cobble sectors, including Mons-en-Pévèle and the often-decisive Carrefour de l’Arbre.
While the men’s race will have about 100k to get warmed up before the peloton hits the cobbles, the women will have far less with about 20km before the pavé gets underway in earnest. Before that, the riders start in Denain and will complete three laps before setting off for the cobbles.
In total, there will be 17 pavé sectors totaling almost 30km of it, which amounts to just over one-quarter of the race.
“It’s nice to have Paris-Roubaix on the calendar. We’ve had so many races added to the calendar over the last years,” Marianne Vos told VeloNews in an interview earlier this month. “I think that Paris-Roubaix is going to be very, very hard. I already know it is going to be a love and hate race because it will be painful, but it’s nice to have this on the calendar. I think a lot of riders are, are looking forward to it.
“It’s an interesting race and as a cyclo-cross rider, you get some extra vibe. It’s also difficult to predict because we don’t have these kinds of races. It is such a specialistic race that is pretty hard to say who is going to do very well, at the end of the season, especially. Now, we’re going see, and it will be definitely a very tough and also beautiful race.”
Vos will be among the favorites for victory in the race, along with the likes of her compatriot Ellen van Dijk, Lizzie Deignan, Christine Majerus, and Lotte Kopecky. Lucinda Brand, who would have been a pre-race favorite, has decided to skip the race as she prepares for the cyclocross season.
The parcours unchanged from what was announced for what would have been the debut edition in 2020, but with a later start time of 13:35 as it will be taking place a day earlier than the men’s race.
ASO announced the last-minute inclusion of a Paris-Roubaix Femmes in last year’s reconfigured calendar after COVID-19 disrupted much of the season. However, new coronavirus restrictions were brought into the area shortly before it was due to happen in October 2020 and it was canceled.
It was due to take place on the same weekend as the established men’s race in April earlier this year, but COVID-19 measures struck once again, and it was moved to October.
The women’s race will take place on Saturday, October 2, while the men’s will happen on the Sunday.