Women’s cycling will experience a new highlight this Saturday as the first edition of Paris-Roubaix will be held in the North of France. Liv Racing will be present at the start in Denain with the following six riders: Alison Jackson, Evy Kuijpers, Jeanne Korevaar, Lotte Kopecky, Sabrina Stultiens and Valerie Demey.
Paris-Roubaix is 116.4 kilometres long. After three local laps in and around the start town of Denain, the riders will pick up the course in Hornaing which the men will follow one day later. From here on, it is another 85 kilometres to the finish on the world-famous velodrome of Roubaix. No fewer than seventeen cobbled sections await the riders along the way, including the extremely tough cobbled sections of Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l’Arbre.
Belgian champion Lotte Kopecky travels to ‘The Hell of the North’ relatively relaxed. “I had setbacks at the Olympics. And the world championships in Flanders did not turn out the way I expected. I went to those races with high expectations. That is why I approach Paris-Roubaix, a highlight for our sport, very differently now: I want to have fun on Saturday. Then I’ll wait and see where it takes me.”
“I did a recon of the course on Monday morning when it was raining. For now, rain is also predicted for Saturday,” said Kopecky. “It will be the first time for everyone in our peloton, and everyone has a certain idea of how it will go. In combination with the rainy weather, it’s expected to be an extra nervous race. My job will be to be attentive, stay on the bike and try to avoid equipment failure. I am really looking forward to it.”
Photo credits: Cor Vos