The first edition of the Paris-Roubaix Femmes, on Saturday October 2, will include 17 sectors of cobbles, covering the final 85km of the men’s route in northern France and finishing in the iconic Roubaix velodrome.
Race organiser ASO also confirmed the 257.7km men’s race route for Sunday October 3, with only minor changes compared to previous editions.
The UCI and ASO's decision to add the event to the calendar last year was a historical moment for women's cycling. ASO has also confirmed a Tour de France Femmes for 2022, with the full route to be revealed on October 14 when the men’s 2022 Tour de France route is also revealed.
The first-ever edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes will start in Denain, south of Roubaix and close to the border with Belgium.
The peloton will race 116.4 kilometres, starting with three circuits around Denain. The women’s race route will join the men’s route in Hornaing after 31km.
The final part of the route includes the five-star Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l'Arbre sectors, with a total of 30km of cobbles in the race before the velodrome finish.
The cobbled sectors count down as they near Roubaix, with the key Carrefour de l'Arbre sector number 3, with only two other short sectors in the final kilometres.
Twenty-four teams will take part in the race, with the eight UCI WorldTeams – Alé-BTC-Ljubljana, Canyon-SRAM, CCC-Liv, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Mitchelton-Scott, Movistar, Team Sunweb, SD Worx and Trek-Segafredo – receiving automatic invites. A number of teams have recently been studying the pavé in preparation for the race.
55km of cobbles across 30 sectors in men's Paris-Roubaix
The men’s edition of Paris-Roubaix is set for an end-of-season date after an 18-month delay due to the pandemic.
Philippe Gilbert was the last winner in April 2019, with the 2020 spring lockdown forcing the delay of the race and the high number of COVID-19 cases in northern France forcing the cancellation.
This year’s unique autumn edition comes a week after the UCI Road World Championships in nearby Flanders and so the new world champions are likely to show off their rainbow jersey at Paris-Roubaix.
The men’s race includes 55km of cobbles divided across 30 different sectors. That is slightly longer than recent years but the hardest, longer sectors remain as per tradition for the ‘Hell of the North’.
The riders will hit the cobbles after 100km of riding northeast from Compiègne, with the Troisvilles sector covered in its entirety once again, while the early Vertain sector will be covered in the opposite direction to 2019 and the Hameau du Buat sector returns just after following a three-year absence.
There will be a 30km sector on normal roads before the vital Trouée d’Arenberg sector after 162.4km. The Mons-en-Pévèle sector comes after 209.1km and the Carrefour de l’Arbre sector after 240.5km.
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.
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