On Sunday, the men’s Paris-Roubaix will ride for the 118th time. The day before, the women will be allowed to ride their version of the iconic race for the first time.
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– It’s great to be part of something historical. It will finally be Paris-Roubaix, it will finally be a reality, says Emilie Moberg to VG.
The first edition should have been done last year. Then the coronavirus put an end to the race, but this year the race will be held for the first time, in what could be the first edition of Paris-Roubaix with rain since 2002. Because the autumn weather has really hit the northern parts of France in the last days and will create a very special framework around the historical edition.
– It will be very special and really sick. With the weather conditions that have been reported, it can be quite extreme, Susanne Andersen tells VG.
The classic French race is normally held in the spring, but has been moved to October due to the coronavirus.
– I feel like it’s time for a women’s edition, especially when most of the other classics have a women’s edition. Roubaix is his own and cannot be compared with the other classics from Belgium. For many, it is the greatest, and it is good that we can be a part of it, says Andersen, who runs for the great DSM team.
– It has been spoken for many years. It’s time for the ladies to understand this. There are many who talk that it is the hardest of the classics, and this is a symbol that gender equality is going in the right direction. We’ve had Flanders around (first edition 2004) for many years, so there’s no reason we can’t drive here, says Moberg, who bikes every day for Drops-Le Col.
A total of five Norwegian women will take part in the historic race. In addition to Moberg and Andersen, the three Coop-Hitec Products cyclists, Amalie Lutro, Pernille Feldmann and Nora Tveit, will be in action.
Coop-Hitec Products team manager Karl Lima is happy that his team is the first Norwegian team to have the opportunity to participate in the race.
– It is something that has been talked about in the 13 years that we have been working, since almost all the other great classics have had editions for women for many years. I think it’s amazing that they finally make it happen. It is a new step in the right direction, says Lima.
An eight-day Tour de France for women will also be organized next year, and Lima believes that the steps that have been taken in recent years clearly show that women’s cycling is being taken more seriously.
The female Paris-Roubaix begins, like the male, not in Paris. While the men start at Compiègne, the women start at Denain. There they will drive three laps within the city, before starting the journey north to Roubaix. The last eight miles for the women are identical to the men’s version and in total the runners will be there on 17 cobblestone sections with a total of 29.2 miles of cobblestone.
P.S! Alexander Kristoff, Sven Erik Bystrøm, Vegard Stake Laengen (all UAE Team Emirates), Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Team TotalEnergies) and August Jensen (Delko) will participate in the men’s edition on Sunday.