Paris-Roubaix: the ladies' hell

2021 will be the 118th edition of Paris-Roubaix, undoubtedly the race most eagerly awaited by the biggest cycling fans. Until now, no woman has raced the Queen of the Classics. This will all change on 2 October 2021 when, at 1.35pm, the first women’s edition of Paris Roubaix will set off.

With the race just days away, we went to meet the FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope team to watch the final preparations and get their impressions before the race.

The Route

The 22 women's teams will set off from Denain, in the North of France, for a 116.5 km race. They will complete three laps of a city circuit before heading to Roubaix. The first cobbled sector will be Hornaing, at kilometre 31. The women will cover a total of 17 cobbled sectors, including Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l'Arbre, which are among the most difficult.
The last 85 kilometres will be the same as for the men's race. The finishing line, like for the men, will be in the famous Roubaix velodrome.

Get ready to shake

Paris-Roubaix is a race to prepare for, and victory can come down to details. It’s important to conduct reconnaissance of the sectors and this is why the FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope team decided to take up residence in Denain several days before the race, to carry out the final reconnaissance and make adjustments to their equipment.

Equipment is vital, as the riders have to be able to withstand the shocks and arrive sufficiently fresh at the velodrome to hope to raise their arms in victory. It is therefore necessary to carry out numerous tests to select the right equipment, make adjustments and, above all, determine optimal tyre pressure.

A milestone in the history of cycling

This first women’s edition of Paris-Roubaix is a turning point in the history of the race, but also in the history of cycling. Who will be the first woman to enter history?

The FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope team intends to be at the front for this first women’s edition of Paris-Roubaix. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Marta Cavalli will be the team leaders and they can count on the support of their team-mates to hope to be the first woman to win Paris-Roubaix and enter the legend of the race dubbed the Hell of the North.