Unstoppable Lizzie Deignan solos to history at Paris-Roubaix Femmes

British star attacked on the opening sector of cobblestones and never looked back to make history. Marianne Vos and Elisa Longo Borghini round out podium.

Photo: ERIC LALMAND/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images

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ROUBAIX, France (VN) — Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) stormed into the history books Saturday with a picture-perfect race to win the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

The British star attacked on the first cobbles, and never looked back.

The 2015 world champion dropped the hammer with more than 80km to go, stayed upright, and avoided traffic to finish alone in the photo in cycling’s most famous velodrome.

“I feel so incredibly proud,” Deignan said. “The athletes proved today we can do one of the hardest races of the world, and I am so proud I am the first winner of one of the hardest races of the world.”

Marianne Vos (Jumbo Visma) put up a brave fight, opening up a late attack on the Carrefour de l’Arbre sector, but could not bring back the Brit.

Vos hit second, with Elisa Longo Borghini finishing third to give Trek-Segafredo two of three spots on the final podium.

Nerves, emotions riding high at start

Nerves and emotions were riding high at the start for the historic first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, even more so following overnight rain that left some sectors covered in mud.

Some 129 riders started in Deinan, and after 34km of three laps of a paved circuit, the main pack sprinted onto the first major sector of cobbles with 85km to go.

Also read: Review all the action in the Paris-Roubaix Femmes live updates

Deignan opened up a gap north of one minute after the opening sectors as the main bunch fractured under crashes, punctures and the general chaos that comes with racing on the cobbles.

“That really wasn’t the plan,” Deignan said. “The plan was to be at the front on the first cobbles, and I looked behind me, and there was no one there. So I just kept going.”

Overnight rain left some pavé sectors slicker than ice, and several riders, including newly minted world champion Elisa Balsamo, were sent clattering to the ground.

Deignan did not relent and steered clear of danger when a seven-rider group formed following some flares from Marianne Vos.

Vos gives chase, but too late

Conditions worsened as the race unfolded. Overnight rain turned the already treacherous cobbles into an extra challenge, and light rain fell in the final hour of racing.

Vos led a concerted chase with 35km to go, and a group of chasing seven formed to keep Deignan on a leash of just more than two minutes.

Vos decided it was too late to wait, and jumped ahead of the Carrefour de l’Arbre sector with 20km to go, and it was a smart move. A few riders crashed out of the chase group behind her, including Ellen van Dijk,

Vos trimmed the gap to nearly a minute, but Deignan turned on her TT motor once she cleared the Carrefour. Longo Borghini survived the bedlam to give chase in Vos’s wake.

The closing kilometers was a pursuit race between the two titans of women’s racing. Deignan — alone at the front all day — was alone at the finish line.

History was made Saturday with an exclamation point.

Paris-Roubaix Femmes Results

1DEIGNAN ElizabethTrek-Segafredo Women2:56:07
2VOS MarianneTeam Jumbo-Visma Women1:17
3LONGO BORGHINI ElisaTrek-Segafredo Women1:47
4BRENNAUER LisaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling1:51
5BASTIANELLI MartaAlé BTC Ljubljana2:10
6NORSGAARD EmmaMovistar Team2:10
7KOCH FranziskaTeam DSM2:10
8CORDON-RAGOT AudreyTrek-Segafredo Women2:10
9CAVALLI MartaFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope2:10
10VAN DEN BROEK-BLAAK ChantalTeam SD Worx2:10
11MAJERUS ChristineTeam SD Worx3:03
12THOMAS LeahMovistar Team3:03
13VAN 'T GELOOF MarjoleinDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.3:03
14PIETERS AmyTeam SD Worx4:26
15KOPECKY LotteLiv Racing4:33
16LUDWIG Cecilie UttrupFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope4:33
17BEEKHUIS TeuntjeTeam Jumbo-Visma Women4:36
18KASPER RomyTeam Jumbo-Visma Women4:41
19MARTINS MariaDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.5:55
20JOUNIER LucieArkéa Pro Cycling Team5:55
21BIANNIC AudeMovistar Team6:04
22CONFALONIERI Maria GiuliaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling6:20
23ROY SarahTeam BikeExchange6:20
24JACKSON AlisonLiv Racing6:20
25CECCHINI ElenaTeam SD Worx6:24
26BARNES AliceCanyon//SRAM Racing6:24
27DUVAL EugénieFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope6:28
28HENDERSON AnnaTeam Jumbo-Visma Women6:37
29CROMWELL TiffanyCanyon//SRAM Racing7:59
30CONSONNI ChiaraValcar - Travel & Service8:27
31RIJNBEEK MaudNXTG Racing8:27
32VAN DIJK EllenTrek-Segafredo Women8:32
33MACKAIJ FloortjeTeam DSM8:35
34MARKUS RiejanneTeam Jumbo-Visma Women8:57
35VAN DER HULST AmberParkhotel Valkenburg9:04
36LACH MartaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling9:04
37BOSSUYT ShariNXTG Racing9:08
38LE NET MarieFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope9:25
39MARKUS FemkeParkhotel Valkenburg9:43
40BRAAM DaniqueLotto Soudal Ladies9:53
41WIEL JadeFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope9:55
42VANDENBULCKE JesseLotto Soudal Ladies9:55
43BUJAK EugeniaAlé BTC Ljubljana9:55
44KESSLER NinaTeam TIBCO - SVB9:55
45SMULDERS SilkeLotto Soudal Ladies9:59
46GUTIÉRREZ SheylaMovistar Team11:32
47PENTON SaraDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.11:38
48STEIGENGA NicoleDoltcini - Van Eyck - Proximus CT11:39
49GUARISCHI BarbaraMovistar Team11:41
50CHABBEY EliseCanyon//SRAM Racing11:41
51VIGIE MargauxValcar - Travel & Service11:41
52HANSON LaurettaTrek-Segafredo Women11:41
53UNEKEN LonnekeTeam SD Worx12:00
54DE ZOETE MylèneNXTG Racing12:00
55VERHULST GladysArkéa Pro Cycling Team12:00
56DEMEY ValerieLiv Racing12:00
57BALSAMO ElisaValcar - Travel & Service12:00
58GEORGI PfeifferTeam DSM12:00
59BARNES HannahCanyon//SRAM Racing13:30
60GROSSETÊTE MaëlleFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope13:35
61PARKINSON Abby MaeLotto Soudal Ladies13:49

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

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