Last year Maud Rijnbeek was the youngest rider to finish Paris-Roubaix. She was only 18 years young at the time and finished in 31st place on the world-famous velodrome. It’s an experience she will never forget.
“I got so many reactions last year,” she says when she thinks back of that monumental day in October. “At the time you don’t really realise that you are riding for history. I only thought: how did I end up here with all these big names? It is such a wonderful memory for me and one of the coolest races I ever did. It gave me morale that I was doing so well, that there were so many people on the side of the road and that I rode onto the Velodrome. I just enjoyed every second of that moment.”
Last year the very first Paris-Roubaix Femmes was a mud fest where it was really hard to stay upright. This year the cobbles will be dry and there is no rain predicted for Saturday.
“We did a recon this Monday and the fact the cobbles are dry this year will make for such a different race altogether. It will be much faster than last year and positioning is even more important, also because there won’t be much wind either. The different circumstances will make it a completely different race. I am really looking forward to it and already stocked up on tape against the blisters on my hands,” Maud laughs.
AG Insurance-NXTG lines up this Saturday with Maud Rijnbeek (NED), Ilse Pluimers (NED) and Mylène de Zoete (NED) like in 2021 and debutants Senne Knaven (BEL), Gaia Masetti (ITA) and Eline van Rooijen (NED).
You can watch the race around the world on Eurosport/GCN from 1.30pm CET, SBS in Australia but also on Sporza and NOS.