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Saturday April 6th will see the start of the fourth edition of the Paris–Roubaix Femmes, which since 2022, has been sponsored by the indoor cycling app, Zwift.


Being only in its fourth year, this race has a very recent history but its heritage comes directly from Paris-Roubaix, which dates back to 1896.

The course, which the women race, is a shortened version to what the men will race the next day. The route still includes sections of cobblestones or “cobbles” as they are referred to which are square pieces of granite that was historically used to construct the roads, with 17 sectors in total.

Each section of cobbles is rated by their difficulty and assigned a star with 1 being the easiest and 5 being the most difficult.  Importantly, the course includes two of the three 5-star rated sections of the Carrefour de l’Arbre and the Mons-en-Pévèle and keeping with tradition, the race finishes in the famous Roubaix Velodrome.

The event was originally due to be hosted in 2020 but it was cancelled as consequence of the global pandemic.  In 2022, Zwift announced a 4-year partnership to support the event.


The route totals 148.5km and starts in Denain and ends in Roubaix.  The 17 sectors of cobbles that the women will tackle, a total of 29.2km of the distance and the route, corresponds to the finale of the men’s race.

Previous winners

The winner of the first edition of Paris–Roubaix Femmes was Lizzie Deignan, racing for Trek-Segafredo.  She won via a solo breakaway, 80km from the finish.  A monumental effort.

Elisa Longo Borghini, also racing for Trek-Segafredo, won the second edition on the Trek Domane, a bike that had been designed specifically for the race.  She won also via a solo breakaway, this time only 34km’s from the finish.

The third edition has been the only race thus far to finish with a sprint, which came after the early breakaway stayed away, which was won by Canadian, Alison Jackson of EF Education–Tibco–SVB.

Riders to watch

The standout rider to watch will be Marianne Vos.  After a series of near misses, she will be wanting to add a Paris-Roubaix Femmes title to her impressive list of achievements which winning the recent Classic races Dwars door Vlaanderen and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Fresh from her victory in the Tour of Flanders for Women (Ronde van Vlaanderen voor Vrouwen), Elisa Longo Borghini will be looking to win the race for a second time.

Summing up

With rain forecast in the days leading up to the event, you can expect the cobbles to be slippery, meaning that the event will have another element of unpredictability.  It will be interesting to see if any riders attempt to undertake a long-range solo breakaway and the only guarantee is that the racing is going to be exciting as someone will look to write their names in the emerging history of this unique race.