A total of 24 women’s teams will make history April 11 by taking part in the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes, with organisers ASO announcing the selection of all nine Women’s WorldTour squads and 15 Continental programmes.
The selection of men’s teams for the 118th edition of the ‘Hell of the North’ will consist of four French and two Belgian ProTeams to line up with the 19 WorldTour teams. That includes Deceuninck-QuickStep which last had a rider, Philippe Gilbert, hoist the coveted granite cobble in the velodrome in Roubaix and Lotto Soudal, the team Gilbert now rides for.
Joining Alpecin-Fenix and Arkéa-Samsic, who received automatic bids as the two highest ranked ProTeams, will be B&B Hotels p/b KTM, Bingoal WB, Delko, and Total Direct Energie.
Automatic invitations for the first women’s race over the iconic cobblestone sectors of Paris-Roubaix went to the nine UCI WorldTeams, Alé-BTC-Ljubljana, Canyon-SRAM Racing, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Liv Racing, Movistar Team Women, Team BikeExchange, Team DSM, Team SD Worx and Trek-Segafredo.
The Continental teams who finished 2020 in the top 15 of the UCI world rankings will also have the opportunity to ride across that finish line in the outdoor velodrome during the first women’s Paris-Roubaix. They are A.R. Monex Women’s Pro Cycling (formerly Astana), Ceratizit-WTN Pro Cycling Team, Lotto Soudal Ladies, Parkhotel Valkenburg, Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank and Valcar – Travel & Service. The further nine Continental teams rounding out the women’s field represent six countries and include two teams each from Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
Efforts to hold both men’s and women’s events in 2020 were thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic, with the original April appointment for men rescheduled to autumn, and the women’s edition becoming a surprise addition to the revised UCI WorldTour calendar. The spark of hope for a doubleheader on October 25 was extinguished two weeks out as both races succumbed to ultimate cancellation because of a high threat level for COVID-19 in northern France where Roubaix is situated.
In the buildup to the inaugural running of the Paris-Roubaix Femmes, it was revealed last September that the women’s peloton would tackle a 116km course featuring 17 sectors of pave. The men were set to compete in one of the longest routes of the season at more than 250 kilometres and bump across 30 cobbled sectors. Details are still to follow on whether or not the courses planned for 2020 will be used this April.
⭐ Team Selection #ParisRoubaix Femmes 🚴♀️😈 Here are the 24 teams that will take to the start-line of the 1st edition of #ParisRoubaix Femmes!😈 Voici les 24 équipes qui prendront le départ de la 1ère édition de #ParisRoubaix Femmes ! pic.twitter.com/O7OrsU3vaLFebruary 24, 2021
⭐ #ParisRoubaix Team Selection / Sélection des équipes1⃣9⃣ UCI WorldTeams🌍2⃣ first UCI ProTeams 2020: 🇧🇪@AlpecinFenix, 🇫🇷@Arkea_Samsic.4⃣ wildcards: 🇫🇷@BBHOTELSpbKTM , 🇧🇪@CTBingoalWB, 🇫🇷@TeamDelko, 🇫🇷 @TDE_ProCycling.😈 Welcome to hell! Bienvenue dans l’Enfer du Nord! pic.twitter.com/CXaEzMHGcqFebruary 24, 2021