Two days after the 2023 Paris Roubaix Femmes, the Ronde de Mouscron found all of the rain that avoided that race. Soggy anyway before the start, a large downpour hit the race almost from when the flag dropped and made for tough conditions. Luckily for the peloton, the cobbled section from last year’s race wasn’t on the route this year so they wouldn’t have to be negotiated but a deceptively hilly circuit caused splits in the bunch very quickly.
A huge raft of DNFs saw only 52 riders finish the race, with the peloton noticeably thinning each time it came over the finish line. I was safely ensconced under a table umbrella but even that didn’t stop the beer getting rain in it. It was brutal conditions for riders, some of which still had Roubaix in the legs. Eva van Agt went for a long solo breakaway, trying to make the best of the conditions but she was gradually clawed back to the bunch. It came down to a small sprint of around 15 riders which Martina Fidanza won ahead of Anniina Ahtosalo and Valentine Fortin. Arianna Fidanza was also 4th making it a pair of sisters in the top 4 finishers.