Elisa Longo Borghini of Trek-Segafredo won a dusty edition of cycling’s Paris-Roubaix women’s race on Saturday after a 77 mile run featuring 17 sections of cobbled mining roads. The 30-year-old Italian champion powered to a solo triumph after taking the lead with 18 miles to go with a blistering turn of pace just after a previous break had been caught. Lotte Kopecky of SD Worx won the sprint for second in the Roubaix velodrome while Lucinda Brand of Trek-Segafredo was third as six riders finished just 23 seconds behind Longo Borghini.
The Olympic bronze medallist let out a long scream then sat crying on the floor with her face buried in her hands at the finish line before dedicating the win to a long list of her family members and her team.
“I haven’t been well or performing as I know I can,” she explained.
“I didn’t think I was ready, I didn’t think that I wanted to do it. They kept saying, ‘we know you are ready and capable of doing this.’ I have to say that they were right,” she said.
It was a second straight win for Trek after British rider Lizzie Deignan triumphed in a deluge in 2021. In stark contrast to the 2021 mud-fest the second edition of the women’s race was contested in bone-dry conditions and clouds of dust caused by many riders using the dirt paths that run alongside the cobbled sections in the bleak, flat fields that skirt the Belgian border.
Pre-race favourite Marianne Vos tested positive for Covid on Saturday morning while another fancied rider Elisa Balsamo was disqualified after using the tailwind from a team car to catch the pack after a flat tire. Longo Borghini’s winnings are also in stark contrast to those of Deignan after this year’s massive increase in prize money to 20,000 euros (21,600 dollars) instead of the 1,535 euros on offer for the win just a year ago.
PARIS ROUBAIX FEMMES RESULTS
|1||Elisa LONGO BORGHINI||Trek – Segafredo||3:10:54|
|2||Lotte KOPECKY||Team SD Worx||0:23|
|3||Lucinda BRAND||Trek – Segafredo||0:23|
|4||Elise CHABBEY||Canyon//SRAM Racing||0:23|
|5||Marta CAVALLI||FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope||0:23|
|6||Floortje MACKAIJ||Team DSM||0:23|
|7||Ellen VAN DIJK||Trek – Segafredo||0:23|
|8||Chantal VAN DEN BROEK-BLAAK||Team SD Worx||0:32|
|9||Pfieffer GEORGI||Team DSM||2:22|
|10||Sandra ALONSO||Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling||2:22|
RBA/AFP Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency