Riders Reflect on the Thrilling 2024 Paris-Roubaix Femmes Showdown


In the aftermath of a nerve-wracking Paris-Roubaix Femmes, the cycling world is still abuzz with Lotte Kopecky’s stunning victory. Emerging from what seemed an unwinnable position, the world champion unleashed a display of sheer power to clinch the win. Cycling analyst Marijn de Vries praised Kopecky’s performance, particularly impressed by how she mastered the final sprint. “I’m deeply impressed,” de Vries admitted, highlighting the decisive moments that led to Kopecky’s triumph.

Entering the Roubaix velodrome in third, Kopecky strategically chose Marianne Vos’s wheel, with Elisa Balsamo also in close pursuit. Despite finding herself boxed in during the crucial final turn, Kopecky’s track experience shone through, allowing her to find a gap and demonstrate her unmatched sprinting prowess. “It’s unbelievable,” de Vries remarked, acknowledging the sprint’s place in cycling history, especially within Belgian annals.

Chiara Consonni of UAE Team ADQ faced adversity with a crash and two punctures while in contention, eventually finishing in the top 30. Teammate Anastasia Carbonari also highlighted her resilience, completing her debut in the Queen of the Classics despite the day’s difficulties.

Lorena Wiebes, shadow leader for SD Worx-Protime, was initially disappointed not to be in the lead group, but later realided her positioning could benefit Kopecky. “At first, I was disappointed, then I realised this was a good situation for Lotte,” Wiebes shared, recognising the strategic advantage of her position behind.

Team director Lars Boom reflected on the race’s strategic complexities, ultimately deciding to gamble on the sprint. “We saw Vos was strong in the sprint and wanted to save some energy in the wheel, especially with Lorena (Wiebes) behind,” Boom explained, underlining the unique nature of the Paris-Roubaix sprint.

Elisa Balsamo
(Photo Credit: Twila Muzzi)

Elisa Balsamo, narrowly missing out on victory, initially felt a sting of disappointment but quickly found solace in her achievement. “If someone had told me I’d be second, I wouldn’t have believed it,” Balsamo stated, accepting her runner-up position with grace.

Pfeiffer Georgi, finishing an impressive third, described the result as a dream come true. Georgi’s efforts to reconnect with the lead group and her final sprint past Vos underscored a remarkable performance. “To be riding at the front in Paris-Roubaix with some of my heroes and even standing on the podium with them is incredible,” Georgi expressed, celebrating her podium finish as a personal victory.

Ellen van Dijk
(Photo Credit: Twila Muzzi)

Ellen van Dijk, showcasing her durability throughout the race, played a pivotal role in supporting teammate Balsamo. Despite lacking the explosive power to make a decisive break, Van Dijk was pleased with her form. “I’m very happy with my form, that I can ride Roubaix so well six months after giving birth,” Van Dijk commented, highlighting her remarkable comeback.

As the cycling community looks forward to upcoming races, including the Amstel Gold Race, the reflections from Paris-Roubaix’s protagonists provide insight into the highs and lows of one of cycling’s most storied events.