This weekend history was made, with the first ever Paris-Roubaix Femmes finally coming to fruition and Lizzie Deignan gliding across the cobbles and launching an 80km solo attack that saw her claim the top spot on the podium for Trek-Segafredo.
While it wasn’t without its drama — it’s the Hell of the North for a reason — Paris-Roubaix Femmes has left many of us feeling inspired and hopeful for the future of women’s pro cycling, and drawing several conclusions about what it did well, and where it still needs work.
Deignan’s win on Saturday followed 116km of racing, including 29.2km of cobblestones, in on-and-off rainy conditions. It’s unsurprising, then, that she swapped out her usual Trek Émonda SLR Disc for the more comfort-focused Trek Domane SLR Disc for the pavé.
At the front and rear of the Domane’s frame sits Trek’s proprietary IsoSpeed decoupling technology, designed to cushion the blows promised at the Paris-Roubaix, and build in some much-needed compliance.
Considering the demanding terrain that comes with the Hell of the North, it’s common for riders to swap out frames for the race, but there are several aspects of Deignan’s build that make it a particularly interesting one, and we don’t just mean the disc brakes, which are so commonplace nowadays that they're no longer newsworthy.
Almost every aspect of the build takes the rough terrain into account and is designed to smooth out the ride as much as possible. Even down to the rubber grommets added to the arms of Deignan’s Bontrager 'Bat Cage' bottle cages to stop her bidons from escaping.
The SRAM Red eTap AXS-equipped Trek Domane SLR features a 1x setup in the form of a 50T SRAM X-Sync Aero chainring, combined with the 12-speed 10-33t cassette. This makes sense, considering how little climbing there was on the route, but it’s still an uncommon sight in the peloton. With the roughness of the terrain, having a single chainring up front offers improved chain security, made all the more secure by the K-Edge chain catcher on board.
Though slightly less unusual these days, it’s still noteworthy that Deignan raced on tubeless tyres, which are still being taken up slowly by various teams. Deignan’s Domane pairs shallow Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels — designed to be agile and less affected by wind — with 30mm wide Pirelli P-Zero TLR tyres. Opting for 30mm tubeless tyres certainly makes the ride more cushioned, with Deignan being able to run lower tyre pressures and, for the most part, retain traction on treacherous terrain. The focus on comfort extends to the Bontrager Ajna Pro saddle, designed for sustained support while adopting an aggressive ride position.
Up front, the cockpit is semi-integrated, with the bike’s hydraulic hoses running beneath the stem to keep everything clear and tidy. Deignan’s SRAM Red eTap AXS HRD shifters are paired with some satellite blips on the handlebars, making for another uncommon feature on this bike. Blips are extra buttons that are operated using the thumb or index finger, and make it possible to shift gears while riding on the tops. This is understandable, as most racers opt to ride cobbled sections with this hand position.
Also at the cockpit, Deignan used a Wahoo Elemnt Roam affixed to a K-Edge Race Aero mount, and linked to the chainring-mounted Quarq power meter. Meanwhile, other notable features from this area of the bike are the details of the key cobbled sections of the race taped to the stem, and the blood on the Bontrager Double Gel Cork bar tape showing just how brutal the race is. That’s what happens when you race across the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix without gloves.
- Frameset: Trek Domane SLR
- Front brake: SRAM Red eTap AXS HRD
- Rear brake: SRAM Red eTap AXS HRD
- Brake/shift levers: SRAM Red eTap AXS HRD with added satellite Blips
- Rear derailleur: SRAM Red eTap AXS
- Cassette: SRAM Red eTap AXS 10-33
- Crankset: SRAM Red 1 (with Quarq power meter)
- Chain keeper: K-Edge braze-on 1x chain catcher
- Wheelset: Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37
- Tyres: Pirelli P-Zero TLR 30mm
- Handlebars: Bontrager XXX VR-C
- Handlebar tape: Bontrager Double Gel Cork
- Stem: Bontrager XXX
- Computer: Wahoo Elemnt Roam
- Computer mount: K-Edge Race Aero mount
- Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace PD-R9100
- Saddle: Bontrager Ajna Pro
- Bottle cages: Bontrager Bat Cage with added grippers
- Bottles: Elite Fly Trek-Segafredo edition
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Mildred is a Reviews Writer for Cyclingnews who loves all forms of cycling from long-distance audax to daily errand-running by bike. She does almost everything on two wheels, including moving house, and started out her cycling career working in a bike shop. For the past five years she's volunteered at The Bristol Bike Project as a mechanic and session coordinator, and now sits on its board of directors. Since then she's gone on to write for a multitude of cycling publications, including Bikeradar, Cycling Plus, Singletrack, Red Bull, Cycling UK and Total Women's Cycling. She's dedicated to providing more coverage of women's specific cycling tech, elevating under-represented voices in the sport, and making cycling more accessible overall.
Height: 156cm (5'2")
Rides: Liv Devote, Genesis Equilibrium Disc 20, Triban RC520 Women's Disc, Genesis Flyer, Whyte Victoria, Cotic BFe 26, Clandestine custom bike
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