This year’s Paris Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift is certainly going to be a special race for me as I’m going to start the race with number 1 on my back. It always feels a bit strange to have this the year after you have won, but especially for this iconic race it will be a huge honour.
I still remember the victory of last year so clearly. When I think about it, I have goosebumps.
It’s such an attritional race, full of tactical decisions and positioning. The way the race played out meant I entered the famous velodrome alone with a lead. I remember seeing all the people who had come to see the event final unfold and riding the loop alone was really special. The atmosphere was really amazing.
Crossing the line was magical of course, but the element that impacted me the most emotionally was seeing Geerike, Paolo and the team doctor waiting for me on the finish line. I could hug them and share the victory with them. At Trek-Segafredo we have such a great team environment, so it was special to celebrate along with the other girls and staff – a team win.
The other vivid memory from that special day was the shower. This may sound strange but as I’m sure you all know the showers at Roubaix are famous in their own right. I was thinking about the fact that I will have a plaque in the shower which really is a dream come true. It’s like a museum seeing the history of the race documenting all the past winners, so I’m looking forward to going into the showers this year and seeing my name amongst these champions. It will give me a huge amount of pride to be alongside Lizzie Deignan, my friend and team mate who was the first winner of Paris Roubaix Femmes in 2021.
Moving on to how I’m feeling ahead of this year’s race and my form right now, I honestly really don’t know where I am at as I have unfortunately been suffering from the effects of covid for the last few weeks. I have been listening to my body and only been able to do base training sessions. Dwars door Vlaanderen and Ronde van Vlaanderen marked my comeback to racing. I was unsure of my form, but in the end I think my performance and results were beyond my expectations, which give me lots of confidence for the races to come.
My main aim is to be a good asset to the team and help them throughout the race – to be there at key moments and to position our key rider of Trek-Segafredo in the best place possible in every sector. It’s a race where team cohesion and tactics are important so whilst I feel right now that I am feeling much better, I’m not expecting to win the race myself as I am missing the race speed and accelerations to be in top shape, so I hope I can be an asset to a team success.
I just hope to enjoy the race, appreciate wearing number 1 on my back and be there for my team.
I hope it’s a great race to watch for you all and a spectacle to show the very best of women’s cycling.
Until next time!
P.S. from the Editor: if you want to re-live Elisa’s incredible Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift victory, you can check it out here!