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The Friends of Paris-Roubaix are integral to the successful running of Paris-Roubaix. Without this group of volunteers, who first came together in 1977, the one-day race would look quite a bit different. One of the biggest threats to the cobbles comes from souvenir hunters. This year, once again, cobbles have been taken from the course and rubbish left instead. The Friends of Paris-Roubaix deserve recognition and support for their invaluable contributions to the race. Their dedication ensures that this iconic event continues to captivate audiences and maintain its place in cycling history.

Emma Johansson, Swedish retired pro cyclist, was honoured at a ceremony at the Royal Palace in Stockholm last week, where she received the King’s Medal for her outstanding sporting achievements. Johansson began her cycling career in her early teens and quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the most successful riders in Sweden. One of her career highlights was winning the silver medal in the road race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The now 40-year-old has most recently joined Team Uno-X Mobility as a board member.

Recent Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift winner Lotte Kopecky has quite a packed schedule ahead of her, participating in the Giro d’Italia in July, and then aiming for medals in both road and track events at the Olympics in Paris. Skipping altitude training before the Games suggests she might be focusing more on race-specific preparation rather than altitude acclimatisation. The Giro d’Italia will serve as a crucial part of her Olympic preparations, providing her with valuable racing kilometres. The timing of the final stage of the Giro, 13 days before the Olympic time trial event, could potentially be beneficial for her in terms of tapering and peaking for Olympic competition.

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, who suffered a fracture in a crash during Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in late February, has been able to start training again. Although it will take time until she is back to her best form, the Danish FDJ-SUEZ rider is fully motivated to return to racing. We wish her well and hope to see her soon again in the peloton.

Human Powered Health Cycling has secured valuable assets for the future with the contract extensions of both Daria and Wiktoria Pikulik. The Polish sisters will stay with the squad through 2026. So far this season, Daria won the Ronde de Mouscron and finished on the podium in the Classic Brugge de Panne, and also took third place on the final stage of the UAE Tour. While Wiktoria’s role as a lead-out rider in WorldTour level races highlights her importance to the team’s strategy and her ability to contribute effectively at a high level of competition.

Soudal-Quickstep’s General Manager Patrick Lefevere has apologised for derogatory comments made about women in 2021 and 2023, after the UCI Ethics Commission ordered that he must either apologise or pay a fine of 20,000 CHF for contravening the governing body’s ethical code. After the public backlash around comments Lefevere had made about Marion Rousse and Julian Alaphilippe in February, the UCI confirmed that they had found two other additional incidents to be in violation of their code. Lefevere issued his apology in a statement posted to the team’s website.

 

Results

Amstel Gold Race: Marianne Vos (Visma – Lease a Bike) ahead of Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx-Protime) and Ingvild Gaskjenn (Liv AlUla Jayco)

De Brabantse Pijl: Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) ahead of Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx-Protime) and Alexandra Manly (Liv AlUla Jayco)

Tissot UCI Track Nations Cup
Team pursuit:
Great Britain ahead of Italy and France
Team Sprint: Netherlands ahead of Mexico and Poland
Elimination: Jennifer Valente (USA) ahead of Letizia Paternoster (ITA) and Anita Yvonne Stenberg (NOR)

Oceania Continental Championships – Road Race
Elite: Katelyn Nicholson ahead of Keely Bennett and Haylee Fuller (all Team Bridgelane)
Junior: Lauren Bates (Canberra Cycling Club) ahead of Kirsty Watts (Canterbury Track Cycling) and Alex Rawlinson (Black Magic Women’s Cycling)

Oceania Continental Championships – ITT
Elite:
Isabelle Carnes (ARA Skip Capital) ahead of Katelyn Nicholson (Team Bridgelane) and Maddison Taylor (Women’s Cycling Development Initiative)
U23: Sophie Sammons (Cycling Development Foundation) and Talia Appleton and Haylee Fuller (both Team Bridgelane)
Junior: Lilyth Jones (Bendigo & District CC) ahead of Kirsty Watts (Canterbury Track Cycling) and Nicole Duncan (Central Coast CC)

 

Zwift Blog

Meet our newest blogger! From Chile to the European pro cycling circuit, Catalina Soto Campos has had an incredible journey so far. In her first exclusive blog, she recounts how she chased her dream across several continents – taking several impressive results – to eventually find her place in the peloton. Check out her story here!

 

Race Preview

Gear up for the action of La Flèche Wallonne with our ultimate guide to the race! Gain insight into the route with Veloviewer, discover decisive sectors of the parcours and get the inside scoop on riders to watch here.

 

This week in cycling history

Nicole Cooke

Born on April 13, 1983, Cooke is a highly accomplished Welsh cyclist, celebrated for her achievements in road racing. Throughout her career, she amassed an impressive array of titles, including Commonwealth, Olympic, and World Road Race Championships. One of her most significant triumphs came at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, where she made history by becoming the first British woman to clinch a gold medal in any cycling discipline. This victory solidified her status as a trailblazer in British cycling. Cooke’s success extends beyond the Olympic stage, having also claimed numerous national road and cyclocross titles, as well twice winning the Tour de France as well as being the youngest winner of the Giro d’Italia. Following her retirement from professional cycling in 2013, Cooke pursued further education and obtained a Master of Business Administration from Cardiff University. Additionally, she emerged as a prominent advocate for gender equality in sports and a vocal proponent for stronger anti-doping measures within the cycling community.

 

Isla Rowntree

Isla Rowntree, born on 13 April 1969, is a prominent figure in the cycling world. Initially gaining recognition as a skilled bike racer, she competed in various disciplines and took numerous victories, including multiple British national championship titles in cyclocross. However, her most significant impact lies in her role as a bike designer and entrepreneur. In 2006, Rowntree founded the Isla Bike Company, driven by her own frustrations with the limited options available for children’s bikes. Her aim was to fill a gap in the market by prioritising the needs of young riders and later expanding to cater to female and older riders as well. The company focused on providing high-quality bicycles, aiming to empower riders of all ages to become active and enjoy cycling. Beyond her contributions to the bicycle industry, Rowntree has also been an advocate for inclusivity and accessibility in cycling. She has worked tirelessly to promote cycling as a welcoming activity for people from diverse backgrounds and age groups. Despite her efforts, Isla Bikes faced challenges in the turbulent bike manufacturing industry and after 18 years, the company closed its doors at the end of last year.

 

WorldTour highlight videos

Catch up on all the action from the latest WorldTour races. Watch Paris-Roubaix highlights here!

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