The first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes will take place on October 2 in France. Many of the women's teams have already previewed the cobblestone sectors over the previous year but the biggest contenders were out to recon the decisive pavè one last time before the history-making event on Saturday.
"It was not that bad. I expected much worse after the rain of the past few days. Everything went well, everything was in all in good shape. The sections that we did after the Trouée d'Arenberg (not part of the women's course), were nicely cleaned up," Jolien D'hoore (SD Worx) told Sporza following the recon on Wednesday.
The women's field will race 115.6km, starting with three circuits around Denain. The route will join the men’s route in Hornaing after 31km and it will follow the final 85km of the men's route into Roubaix.
The women will tackle 17 cobblestone sectors, for a total of 29.2km of pavè, and part of the route includes the two five-star sectors; Mons-en-Pévèle at the 67km mark and Carrefour de l'Arbre at the 98.5km mark, before the famed velodrome finish in Roubaix.
It had been raining in the area on Monday and winds from the southwest are expected to blow rain showers across northern France on Saturday, too. This might lead to tailwinds, and even some crosswinds are possible, and we can expect this to add an extra dimension of difficulty to the race.
D'hoore will retire from professional bike racing upon the conclusion of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, her last race after a 15-year career. She competed in her last race on home soil at the Flanders World Championships last weekend.
"It is special, but this is the most beautiful ending, because it is the first Roubaix for women. We are going to make history. And every Belgian was born with a cobble, hey."
Join Cyclingnews for live text-based coverage of 2021 Paris-Roubaix Femmes, and check in after the race for our full report, results, gallery, news and features on October 2, 2021 from 1 p.m. CDT until the finish.
Click through the gallery above to see the women's teams previewing the cobbles one last time ahead of the first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes.
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