Hell of The North Is One Hell of a Race

The 3rd edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift delivered an incredibly thrilling race, topped off by a climactic finale that eventually crowned Alison Jackson (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) as the ecstatic winner. The Canadian rider is one of the six members of the early breakaway that narrowly managed to edge out the favourites in the André Pétrieux velodrome. At 34 years old, she outsprinted her companions and rivals Katia Ragusa (Liv Racing TeqFind) and Marthe Truyen (Fenix-Deceuninck). Jackson made history as the first Canadian winner in the long history of the legendary Paris-Roubaix (her compatriot Steve Bauer was 2nd in 1990). Only 12 seconds behind, Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) was the fastest in the bunch, finishing 7th an dtaking the bunch sprint as she did in 2022. It was an eventful day of racing in the Hell of the North!

Beaming after her victorious sprint to the line, Alison Jackson said, “What would I have said if you had told me at the start I was gonna win? Hahahahahahaha. Actually, I probably would have said sweet, I’m doing it. You have to have the confidence, be your best cheerleader sometimes. I would never shy away from saying I can win. I know I can, but a lot of things have to come together to make it happen. With a longer start, we have the time to set up the race before the cobbles, so it’s not just determined on how one rides the cobbles and the good luck you get. You can play with the tactics more and we did that today. At the front, you can save yourself from a lot of bad luck, especially with wet cobbles and muddy gutters. We were being chased down pretty hard, but I had to commit. I’d rather put my heart out than giving it up by playing safely. I always say I love bike racing, but it’s a special type of fun when we win and in this big race, where we’re building history… it’s pretty monumental for Canadian cycling. I grew up on a farm and one of my jobs was to go and pick up rocks from the field. Now I have my own rock!”

Katia Ragusa (Liv Racing Teqfind) finished just behind Alison Jackson after a thrilling spring to the line in the velodrome. She said, “In the final kilometres, we were doubting if we could make it, or the group would chase us, but then we believed and we eventually made it. I thought about anticipating with an attack before the velodrome but the speed was too high, so I tried to enter in the front positions. Then I stayed up and I gave everything. It was the team’s plan, to get in the breakaway to anticipate the first sector of pavés. The initial breakaway was really big, with 18 riders, and we got a big gap so it went well. It was hard for me to think we could make it but in the team car they were telling me I can ride for the win: ‘Come on, you keep going, you are strong!’ Kilometre by kilometre, I realised I could do something really big. This morning, I couldn’t imagine I would finish 2nd.”

Marthe Truyen (Fenix-Deceuninck) took the third step of the podium. She concluded, “I’m really happy. It may seem sort of weird, I’m only 3rd, but for me it’s like a victory. I was hoping for a top 20, it would have been really nice. And I came 3rd so it’s really good. I come from cyclo-cross, I really like riding the cobbles. Paris-Roubaix has been my dream race since I was a kid. I was not scheduled for this race, I had Covid but it was a light fever, not too heavy. Once I started feeling good again for training, I started dreaming of coming here. I knew from the men’s race that the breakaway has a good chance, maybe not to win, but at least to play a part in the finale. I was happy it was my task to go in the breakaway. I thought a group of 20 or 30 riders would catch us, and we could compete for the win with them. I had teammates, so it was a perfect situation. And then, in the last kilometres, I looked behind and it was still 5, 6 or 7 seconds, and it was technical, so it was not easy for a group to come back. And I realised we would sprint for victory.”

Top  5 Finishers:


A. Jackson


03h 42′ 56″


K. Ragusa


+ 00′ 00″


M. Truyen


+ 00′ 00″


E. Duval


+ 00′ 00″


M. Borras


+ 00′ 00″

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