Day one in Hell this weekend: Paris-Roubaix Femmes

"It was crazy like expected and that’s it."

Catch up on the third edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes with reaction from Lucinda Brand and photos from three very talented photographers who were out on the cobbles for Trek-Segafredo today: Pauline Ballet, Dan King and Ross Bell.

We won the first two editions, we tried for a third one, it didn’t work but we did what we could so we can’t blame ourselves.

It was a very complicated, difficult race. Of course, the breakaway had way too big a gap with such strong riders in it. I think we took our responsibility. Would have been nice to have some more help there, but it went how it went.

Photos from Pauline Ballet

We had a good situation with a rider in the front group but Lisa had been ill at the beginning of the week so we couldn’t gamble everything on that. We tried to come closer and we wanted to have numbers in the final but in the end it didn’t go our way.

On the cobbles it was hard to make a difference because there was a headwind so in the wheel was much easier. There were so many sprinters in our group so we had to try to get away, but the front group was really strong. Very well done to the breakaway, we were just too late.

Photos from Dan King

We kept some hope there and we came very close. I was thinking we were going to make it, but there were still some strong riders up front and lots of sprinters sitting on in our group, which doesn’t motivate us to chase. Even if we had caught the front group I’m not sure we would have made any difference because Elisa and me tried a lot already and we were definitely not the fastest in the group.

Photos from Ross Bell

We had Elisa Balsamo pulling quite early which shows we tried to do something, while she is a rider who could normally do well in a sprint. We got her to pull because we believed in our strong [ability in the] final. Next year we’ll try again.

We quickly got in a group after the crash and I tried to motivate them to work together and chase. I felt that not everybody was not putting everything in there, which you see because the group behind came back. I gave it all, I tried a few attacks on and off the cobbles. If you can’t go there then you’re not strong enough.