2024 Paris Roubaix Femmes – Race Report

How the race finished

Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) sprinted to victory wearing the rainbow stripes at Paris Roubaix, after an attritional race saw six riders enter the velodrome together. Elisa Balsamo (Lidl Trek) and Pfeiffer Georgi (dsm-firmenich PostNL) rounded out the podium.

Full results are available below.

How it happened

On a windy but dry day in northeastern France, the women’s peloton took on 148.5km and 17 cobbled sectors, finishing in the iconic Roubaix velodrome. Knowing it would be a long day ahead, the opening part of the race was relatively calm, and the riders took in a few laps before heading towards the first cobbled sectors.

At 134 km to go Victoire Joncheray of Komugi-Grand Est went clear, and remained solo in the lead after a number of counterattacks didn’t amount to anything. Komugi-Grant Est was able to grow her gap out to 1 min 50, but was caught again with 112 km to go.

On the lead in to the first cobbled sector – Sector 17 – the pace increased and the peloton already began to disintegrate. Movistar, Lidl-Trek and dsm-firmenich PostNL were all visible on the front, with Lotte Kopecky also keen to stay out of trouble. A small group went clear on the sector, but things quickly came back together.

Ilaria Sanguineti led into Sector 16 for Lidl-Trek, but once again the group stayed intact. Partway through Sector 15, after a turn in the road took the riders into a crosswind section, Kopecky took it up on the front. She pulled a small group clear, but once again, the second group on the road came back to them.

On the asphalt FDJ Suez began to attack, but with Lorena Wiebes following for SD Worx, Lidl-Trek made sure the pair couldn’t get away. When the group swelled again, last years winner Alison Jackson went straight over the top. Jackson was brought back by Ellen van Dijk who led into the next cobbled section. 

At 61km to go, between cobbled sectors, Kopecky dropped back and called for the team car – looking for an allen key to tighten her handlebars. With the fix done, Kopecky boosted back to the front to enter the next sector in third wheel. 

On Sector 13, once again the group split and reformed, but the attritional nature of the race, alongside a few mechanicals, was seeing the reformed group becoming smaller and smaller each time. Amber Kraak (FDJ Suez) slipped off the front, but was brought back. On the next sector Kopecky put the hammer down on the front, and was followed by Marianne Vos (Visma Lease a Bike), Christina Schweinberger (Fenix Deceuninck) and Pfeiffer Georgi (dsm firmenich PostNL), with Kopecky’s teammate Lorena Wiebes just tailed off the back.

The group of four held their lead the 5 star Sector 11, before Ellen van Dijk (Lidl Trek) powered across with teammate Elisa Balsamo on her wheel and the rest of the group trailing behind. Coming off the sector, into a small rise with a tail cross wind, Kopecky launched again, but she was brought back. Marta Lach (Ceratizit) also tried her luck, but wasn’t allowed any space.

At 40km to go a large chasing group led by FDJ Suez rejoined with the front. Van Dijk launched and then, noticing Balsamo was not with the small group she had dragged clear, eased off. Letizia Borghesi attacked next, with Wiebes on her wheel, but the pair were also tracked closely. Van Dijk tried again, making a huge move that was closed by Marie Le Net (FDJ Suez) with Wiebes in the wheel.

On the next 1 star sector, Kopecky sat towards the back, while Jade Wiel attacked and went solo off the front. Kopecky saw the danger and attacked to try to bridge across, as did van Dijk, but both were closely tracked by the peloton. Wiel built her lead to 30 seconds, while van Dijk and Sophie von Berswordt (Visma Lease a Bike) tried to bridge across behind. At 23km to go Wiel was caught and her teammate Amber Kraak went up the road with van Dijk. 

Kopecky was forced to chase, then sat up, calling Visma Lease a Bike’s bluff. A small touch of wheels brought Pfeiffer Georgi and her teammate Fransisca Koch to a standstill, leaving Georgi chasing back on into a critical five star cobble sector. Kraak and van Dijk went into the sector with a 15 second lead, but an acceleration from Kopecky brought Balsamo and Vos up to the front, to make a leading quarter. Georgi found herself chasing behind once again.

On the 5 star Carrefour de l’arbre van Dijk set the pace on the front, but it was too much for her teammate Elisa Balsamo, who dropped back to Georgi. When van Dijk slowed Vos and Kopecky drive on, then launched attacks to try to go clear. Van Dijk also tried herself, leaving Kraak struggling to hold the wheels. In the lead group, no one wanted to work together. Georgi, doing most of the work, dragged Balsamo back up to the front. Van Dijk immediately launched, but was followed by Vos and Kopecky. 

The group of six was at a stalemate, and with the chasing group at twenty seconds, van Dijk simply set a strong pace to limit further attacks or the risk of Wiebes coming back to the front. The six entered the velodrome together, with van Dijk peeling off first. Pfeiffer Georgi launched early, forcing the others to sprint early. Balsamo went over the top and Vos jumped up the inside. The pair looked to be going toe to toe, before a storming Kopecky came the long way around with a huge turn of speed to take a legendary win in the rainbow stripes.

Full Results

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

 

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