Jackson’s most extraordinary day in Hell
April 8 th 2023 - 17:53
The 3rd edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift delivered an incredible scenario, capped off by a thrilling finale that eventually crowned Alison Jackson (EF Education-TibcoSVB). The Canadian rider is one of the six members of the early breakaway that narrowly managed to edge 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 is the first Canadian winner in the long history of Paris-Roubaix (her compatriot Steve Bauer was 2nd in 1990). Only 12 seconds behind, Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) was the fastest in the bunch to finish 7th after an eventful day of racing in the Hell of the North.
The 140 contenders of the 3rd edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift start from Denain under a cloudy sky. The roads are dry but wet sections await them on the cobbles of the Hell of the North.
Attackers are inspired nonetheless and it takes a long battle for the break to get away. After 22km, 18 riders lead the way: Lisa Klein (Trek-Segafredo), Femke Markus (SD Worx), Alice Towers (Canyon//Sram), Eugénie Duval (FDJ-Suez), Daniek Hengeveld (DSM), Marta Lach (Ceratizit-WNT), Katia Ragusa (Liv Racing Teqfind), Laura Tomasi (UAE Team ADQ), Josie Talbot (Cofidis), Lisa van Helvoirt (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Julia Borgström (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step), Alison Jackson (EF Education-Tibco-SVB), Marie Morgane Le Deunff (Arkea), Susanne Andersen (Uno-X), Amber Pate (Jayco AlUla), Jesse Vandenbulcke (Human Powered Health), Marion Borras (St Michel-Mavic-Auber) and Marthe Truyen (Fenix-Deceuninck).
Onto the cobbles - Vos punctures, Kopecky attacks
The gap reaches a maximum of 5’40’’ at km 40. The tension and the pace increase towards the first cobbles of the day, from Hornaing to Wandignies (km 63). Onto sector 16, Hengeveld goes solo at the front and Van Helvoirt is dropped. And Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) suffers a mechanical problem.
Trek-Segafredo react in the third sector of the day, from Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières. Then, it’s up to SD Worx to up the ante. Lorena Wiebes accelerates on the cobbles from Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée. And Lotte Kopecky quickly follows up with a strong attack, 53km away from the finish. Meanwhile, Hengeveld is caught by her chasers while the gap to the front of the race quickly drops to 3 minutes.
Longo Borghini’s crash
A handful of riders get back to Kopecky, including the defending champion Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Seggafredo). The Italian star sets the pace in sector 9 but she goes down with 37km to go and everyone hits the cobbles, except for Romy Kasper (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step).
Kasper is joined by Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo), Elise Chabbey (Canyon//Sram), Pfeiffer Georgi (Team DSM), Marta Bastianelli, Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ), Julie Leth (Uno-X), Margaux Vigié (Lifeplus Wahoo), Maria Martins and Christina Schweinberger (Fenix-Deceuninck) with 30km to go. They trail by 1’55’’ while the peloton, with Lonogo Borghini, Kopecky and Vos, trail by 2’55’’.
Thriller in Roubaix
The front group explodes with the cobbles of Camphin-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l’Arbre. Only seven riders remain at the front: Jackson, Lach, Duval, Markus, Ragusa, Truyen and Borras. On the other hand, Kopecky drives a strong chase and the favourites get back together, a minute behind the leaders.
The gap is down to 15’’ with 10km to go… And up to 20’’ with 5km! Brand and Longo Borghini try to accelerate but their rivals are quick to react. The seven leaders enter the velodrome with a lead of 13’’. They will sprint for victory!
Lach leads the way, Markus hits the deck, Borras opens up the sprint… But Jackson storms to an extraordinary victory at 34 years old. Only 12’’ behind, Kopecky outsprints her rival to finish 7th.