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World champion Lotte Kopecky is queen of the cobbles at Paris-Roubaix Femmes

Two early crashes in quick succession hinder 2023 champion Alison Jackson

World champion Lotte Kopecky won Saturday’s fourth edition of the Paris-Roubaix Femmes, l’Enfer du Nord, the Hell of the North, from a six-rider sprint. Two early crashes in quick succession hampered 2023 champion Alison Jackson, but she was top Canadian in 27th.

Jackson pretended to cradle her cobble trophy and pat it on the head as she finished.

Jackson in good spirits despite not being able to defend title.

The Course
Awaiting the riders were 18 sectors of cobbles totalling 29.2 km of the route’s 148.5 km. Although the women’s race didn’t include Trouée d’Arenberg and its new chicane, it offered up other five-star sectors Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l’Arbre, the latter fairly close to the Roubaix velodrome. Four star cobbles were Sectors 17 Hornaing à Wandignies, 15 Tilloy à Sars-et-Rosières, 7 Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée and 3 Camphin-en-Pévèle. It was mostly dry and a little windy on Saturday.

The route. Profile by La Flamme Rouge.

The Riders
Elisa Longo Borghini and Lizzie Deignan, winners of the first two editions, didn’t start for Lidl-Trek, but the team had Elisa Balsamo and Ellen van Dijk to throw into the maelstrom. Kopecky led Balsamo by 202 points at the top of the standings.

Canada’s Alison Jackson was back to defend her title. Her compatriots in the race were Maggie Coles-Lyster of Roland and Komugi-Grand Est duo Laury Milette and Joséphine Péloquin.

Twenty-four kilometers into the race and with three riders up the road, Jackson crashed twice in two kilometers and it took her 12 km to catch up to the peloton.

There was no breakaway before **** Hornaing à Wandignies. DSM-Firmenich-PostNL led onto and over the sector. Jackson was up near the front. Lidl-Trek grabbed the controls on the next sector. Maggie Coles-Lyster was off the back.

Coles-Lyster having trouble on *** Warlaing à Brillon.

Kopecky went hard on **** Tilloy à Sars-et-Rosières and Marianne Vos responded, both fighting their machines on the pavé. When the Kopecky-Vos group doubled in size, Jackson attacked. Her group’s response kept it from growing further.

Jackson accelerates before the fourth cobbled sector.

Kopecky retrieved an Allen key from the team car to tighten her handlebars before the fifth sector. On **** Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée, she hit the gas and Vos, Pfeiffer Georgi and Christina Schweinberger went along.


The Kopecky-Vos quartet hit the first five-star stretch only 8 seconds clear of the closest chase, but it was joined by 20 more riders. Jackson was not accounted for. Ellen van Dijk impersonated a train engine. Somewhat disappointingly, there were no surges, but Kopecky went immediately when the cobbles ended to flex.

The sectors were ticked off, but the moves seemed to come on the pavement. French rider Jade Wiel tried to stir things up on ** Templeuve (Moulin-de-Vertin). She had four FDJ-Suez teammates in the main group. Wiel hit *** Cysoing à Boughelles with a 26-second gap.

Jade Wiel gave her all in a solo effort.

With 23 km and five sectors to go, Wiel was pulled back. However, her teammate Amber Kraak and van Dijk bounced away before **** Camphin-en-Pévèle. There, Kopecky made a dig and Balsamo and Vos followed. The trio created a quintet with Kraak and van Dijk.

Carrefour de l’Arbre
Allons-y! Balsamo began to flag and chased with Georgi, 8 seconds in arrears when the pavement reappeared.

Two-star Gruson followed hard on the heels of Carrefour de l’Arbre. Vos wound it up. Van Dijk was the next to launch. However, with 12 km to go Balsamo and Kraak came back to reunite the sextet. It looked like the six riders were satisfied to throw down in the velodrome. A 10-strong chase threatened that scenario.

The Roubaix Velodrome

Van Dijk led them into the velodrome. The crowd roared. Kopecky was boxed in after the bell. Balsamo and Vos went for it shoulder to shoulder but Kopecky tore around the outside to take the famous win.

2024 Paris-Roubaix Femmes
1) Lotte Kopecky (Belgium/SD Worx-Protime) 3:47:13
2) Elisa Balsamo (Italy/Lidl-Trek) s.t.
3) Pfeiffer Georgi (Great Britain/ DSM-Firmenich-PostNL) s.t.