Paris Roubaix Femmes feels like a solid part of the women’s cycling calendar and almost like it’s been a fixture for years. We’ve had 2 epic races so far, from Lizzie Deignan winning in the mud with a huge solo break and teammate Elisa Longo Borghini doing her own, shorter solo break for glory to the velodrome last season.
As for all Women’s WorldTour events, the 15 WWT teams are invited. For Paris Roubaix Femmes, they naturally have all taken up the opportunity to ride such an iconic race. There are also 2 teams who receive mandatory invites to WWT races – Ceratizit-WNT and Lifeplus-Wahoo. They will also be riding the cobbles of northern France. The genuine wildcard teams included are AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step, Arkea, Cofidis, Parkhotel Valkenburg, St Michel-Mavic-Auber93, Stade Rochelais, and Zaaf Cycling. These teams have all been chosen by the race organisers, ASO to attend this year’s Paris Roubaix Femmes.
Both AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step and Parkhotel Valkenburg had a rider in the early breakaway last year in Gaia Masetti and Leonie Bos. It’s no surprise to see them invited back as two of the best-ranked Women’s Contintental teams. The 4 French teams are equally not a surprise. ASO is renowned for doing its utmost to invite as many French teams as possible to French races. Zaaf Cycling is probably the biggest surprise. The team is new to the Continental ranks for 2023 but does count Audrey Cordon-Ragot amongst its line-up. That is probably enough for it to get the invite ahead of other longer established teams.
The race comes too early for Lizzie Deignan to think about recreating her 2020 epic race, the British rider is due to return to racing in May. Instead, it should be the usual battle between the big hitters like Trek Segafredo, SD Worx, FDJ-Suez, Team UAE ADQ and Jumbo Visma. For the latter team, it will be a chance for Marianne Vos to make her mark on Paris Roubaix Femmes. She was a late withdrawal in 2022 due to covid.