Denain - Roubaix 116.5 km
It's here, it's finally here. No introduction needed, it's the first ever edition of the women's Paris-Roubaix.
The course isn't too long unfortunately but instead they have chosen intensity in the form of using the same final 83 km as in the men's race which should make this plenty hard.
Sadly TV coverage starts late so we won't see every cobble. Coverage is scheduled to start in time for us to see the peloton hitting Mons en Pévèle though.
Queen of the Classics: Ellen van Dijk
When the race was announced many moons ago my first picks as favorites where Ellen van Dijk and Lucinda Brand. Brand is opting for cyclocross so that leaves us with Ellen. That her form is absolutely peeked with silver and gold in the Euro champs, TT gold and a stellar ride in the road race at Worlds, doesn't hurt. On paper she is the perfect Roubaix-machine.
Roubaix is never simple though. In my private ranking of favorites I gave two riders 5 stars and two riders 4 stars: Van Dijk and Lotte Kopecky are my top favorites, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak and Lisa Brennauer are my 4-star favs. I'd be very surprised if the winner wasn't among those four but then again Roubaix is almost always surprising.