Live comments from Becky Hart.

The second Paris-Roubaix Femmes delivers on drama

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What a race! Plenty of different breakaways, crashes behind, a disqualification and a worthy winner. Elisa Longo Borghini upgrades her third from this race last season to the win, her first victory of the season so far and a very hard-earned one. The Hell of the North gave the women kinder weather, but it didn't make it easy for them today.

So close for the other places

Longo Borghini is being embraced by her crew, as the chasers pretty much cross the line in a bunch. It is very close for second and third, but it looks like Kopecky just took it from Brand.

Longo Borghini wins Paris-Roubaix Femmes!

What a finish to a brilliant race. Different to last year's but no less epic. Elisa Longo Borghini raises her arms, first bumped her way across the line as she has just enough energy left to roar in delight. But the sprint is on behind for second...

1.1km to go: Longo Borghini nears the velodrome

Paris-Roubaix finishes at the historic velodrome, and in she goes to be greeted by roars from the crowd. One and a half laps to complete, and she knows she has this one.

2.1km to go: Longo Borghini enters Roubaix

She has over half a minute and is biting her lower lip in concentration as Longo Borghini enters the town. She glances over her shoulder, but can't see the chasers. Onto the final section of cobbles, she is bouncing her way to the win.

Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy and Team Trek - Segafredo attacks in the breakaway during the 2nd Paris-Roubaix 2022 - Women's Elite a 124,7km one day race from Denain to Roubaix

Image credit: Getty Images

4km to go: Still Longo Borghini leads

The gap has gone up to 41 seconds now, and the Italian does not look like she is being reeled in. It will be back to back wins if she can cross the line in the velodrome for the Trek-Segafredo team, Deignan having won for the outfit last October.

5.7km to go: The gap holds steady

Do the chasers have anything left in their legs? Van Dijk and Brand are in there, and they won't be chasing their team mate down, and that leaves the impetus with the rest. The gap is still at around the half a minute mark, and van den Broek-Blaak is looking downwards, sweat dripping from her brow.

7km to go: The lead stays at 30'

It's starting to look like Longo Borghini's day here today. She attacked at the perfect moment when the peloton was regrouping, and knows the finish to this one, having ridden it alone on her way to third last season.

9km to go: Chase not organised

No one else wants to help van den Broek-Blaak or Kopecky here, perhaps fearing the Belgian's turn of pace. But if they can't get this chase better organised, this race will be over. Longo Borghini leads by 28 seconds and the kilometres are rapidly disappearing.

Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy and Team Trek - Segafredo competes in the breakaway through a cobblestones sector during the 2nd Paris-Roubaix 2022 - Women's Elite a 124,7km one day race from Denain to Roubaix

Image credit: Getty Images

11.5km to go: Still Longo Borghini leads

This is danger territory for the chasers now. The Italian has extended her lead, which is up to 40 seconds. There are seven riders left in the chasing group but plenty of weary legs, can anyone reel Longo Borghini in? There are still a couple of very short cobbled sections to go. Van den Broek-Blaak takes over the chase.

14km to go: Kopecky hits the front of the group

Kopecky isn't letting this one go just yet, and why not - the Belgian is in such fine form this year. But surely she can't keep these big turns going, and Longo Borghini has yet to show any signs of slowing down up front. What awaits? The Roubaix velodrome beckons now...

15.8km to go: van Dijk still in the mix

Unbelievably, the chasing group - whittled down once more - contains van Dijk, who dropped way back after a puncture on one of the very early sections of cobblestones. She has Kopecky for company, who hasn't given this one up just yet. The gap to Longo Borghini is 22 seconds as the Italian leader comes to the end of that stretch and returns to the flat tarmac.

17km to go: Carrefour de l'Arbre up next

Did someone say, cobbles? There is a reason this race presents the winner with their own cobblestone in the form of a trophy, and for Longo Borghini, this is the last really touch section to survive. She's onto the last five star section here, and is riding way over to the left of the road as she tries to find the smoothest line through here.

19km to go: More cobbles incoming

Still Longo Borghini leads, as that elite bunch and the main peloton converge into one big group. Van den Broek-Blaak is the one picking up the pace at the front, as Team SD Worx try and bring this one totally back together, perhaps for Kopecky to have another crack.

Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy and Team Trek - Segafredo competes in the breakaway during the 2nd Paris-Roubaix 2022 - Women's Elite a 124,7km one day race from Denain to Roubaix

Image credit: Getty Images

21km to go: Pfeiffer Georgi attacks

The young Brit has a quick go off the front of the chasing group, to see if she can close up to Longo Borghini. But the rest are having none of that, reeling her back in and in doing so, that allows the Trek-Segafredo leader to gain a few valuable seconds back. She has 22 seconds now, with just over 20km to go.

23km to go: Longo Borghini still leads

Just, just. Longo Borghini has 10 seconds now, on an elite chase group. Behind comes the bigger bunch and it looks like that is where Kopecky has ended up. In terms of the pre-race favourities, van den Broek-Blaak is in that elite chasing bunch, and so is Norsgaard. But it looks likely that the peloton will be coming back together before too long.

25km to go: Kopecky still has energy left

Kopecky might have seen her breakaway caught, but she isn't done today just yet as she starts the chase on the front. And she has managed to get that gap right down to 12 seconds over the next section of cobbles, with pure concentration on the face of the Belgian as she reels in her target. Back onto the road, and van den Broek-Blaak picks up the pace... and it looks like Kopecky has dropped out of the peloton now!

27km to go: Longo Borghini still leads

There's still a few cobbled sections still to come, including the other five star segment of Carrefour de l'Arbre. But as it stands, the Trek-Segafredo rider has a 26 second lead, with Movistar trying to organise the chase.

30km to go: Time to catch a breath

Well, that was a mad few moments. To recap, Longo Borghini has a 30 second lead now, but is up there alone. It's been a mixed day for Trek-Segafredo, Balsamo now disqualified, both Hosking and van Dijk suffering mechanics and Brand's breakaway attempt being reeled in. But is this the decisive move?

32km to go: Leaders caught, counter attacks incoming

And it is all kicking off again - the lead three have been caught, and as they were, Longo Borghini used that as a springboard to counterattack. She means business here and is really stretching her legs as her team mates try and control the chasing peloton.

34km to go: Balsamo has been disqualified

Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) has been disqualified. The commissaries spotted an irregularity, when she was handed a bottle from a team car and held on... A touch too long. Those are the sorts of things you just can't get away with these days with cameras everywhere. Just not her day.

36km to go: The race is coming alive

"I can handle the cobbles very good, enjoy I don't know but it's just like an adrenaline [rush], it makes the race so cool," said Kopecky before the race. Well she must be feeling the adrenaline now, as that lead group has still got a small gap. But it looks like there is drama behind...

Team SD Worx's Belgian rider Lotte Kopecky (L) rides in a breakaway during the second edition of the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic cycling race, between Denain and Roubaix, on April 16, 2022.

Image credit: Getty Images

38km to go: The chase gets organised

More cobbles, dust flicking up and creating a haze that easily signifies where the peloton are amongst the wheat fields. The gap has come down to 13 seconds now and the leaders are very much in the sights of the peloton who have had enough of this one, and want Kopecky and her cohorts back in the bunch. Movistar have been instrumental in trying to drag this break back.

41km to go: The speed picks up

The leaders are on the flat again, and are able to pick up the pace. What's left of the peloton is trying to chase them down, although they haven't picked up the pace somewhat surprisingly.

45km to go: The lead extends

Chiara Consonni (Valcar-Travel & Service) looks to have crashed, the cameras pick her up by the side of the road and fingers crossed she is able to get back up from what looked a nasty one. Up front, the leading group of three have extended their lead to 18 seconds now, not conclusive but certainly one to think about with the level of talent in that front three. How Kopecky's legs hold up though will be worth watching, as her victory in the Tour of Flanders wasn't too long ago...

48km to go: Bike handling skills on show

Cavalli is trying to get back to the peloton still after her earlier mechanical, and she isn't far away as the cameras pick up Balsamo who has managed to get back onto the last wheel. But it isn't straightforward, as Balsamo catches a huge cobble and sends her bike airwards, just about managing to stay upright. It's been a tough race, this is what happened to Chloe Hosking earlier on...

Chloe Hosking of Australia and Team Trek - Segafredo crashes while passing through a Tilloy à Sars et Rosières cobblestones sector during the 2nd Paris-Roubaix 2022 - Women's Elite a 124,7km one day race from Denain to Roubaix

Image credit: Getty Images

52km to go: Kopecky leads, Brand joins the break

Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) managed to bridge to the breakaway, but those front three only have an eight second lead and it doesn't look like this one is going to stick here. Further back, Balsamo has a rear wheel puncture and has dropped off the back. She gets a new bike, and should be able to rejoin the peloton.

54km to go: The race hits Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée

Section 12 of the cobbles is up next, and Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) is quietly sitting around fourth of fifth wheel, keeping herself out of trouble. It looks like van Dijk might have made contact with the back of the bunch though, which is great to see. Kopecky moves forward and drags Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team) with her, and those two suddenly have escaped a few seconds up the road.

57km: Marta Cavalli has a mechanical

The FDJ favourite has popped out the back of the bunch for what looks like a bike change there. Alison Jackson (Liv Racing Xstra) has also been off by the looks of the dust on her shorts, as she hops back on and tries to gather some momentum back. Nothing about this race is straightforward, with pitfalls at every turn.

61km to go: Erath is finally caught

Erath is caught and swallowed up, after a decent breakaway effort today. Up front, FDJ are driving the pace at the moment as the peloton approaches a sharp right-hand corner and hits more cobbles. And now with the wind picking up, the dust is being whipped around and certainly disrupting visibility. Team SD Worx Chantal van den Broek-Blaak hasn't been mentioned yet today, she is in a good position towards the front of the bunch.

63km to go: The peloton is back in one group

This is a brutal race, even in these supposedly 'benign' conditions. Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin of Team Cofidis crashed in the last section of cobbles, but has managed to get back up. Further forward, there have been some cross winds to negotiate as if this race needed more drama, but the peloton is safely into a built up section now, protected from the conditions at the moment by terracotta houses and brightly coloured shop facades.

Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin of Canada and Team Cofidis Féminin crashes during the 2nd Paris-Roubaix 2022 - Women's Elite a 124,7km one day race from Denain to Roubaix

Image credit: Getty Images

65km to go: Bike change for another favourite

Movistar's Emma Norsgaard has had an issue, grabbing a fresh bike and with a push gets going again. After those five minutes of madness, the peloton has come back together into one main bunch, with only Erath still up the road. Norsgaard doesn't take long to make it back to the bunch.

67km to go: Team SD Worx now at the front

Well, that's shaken this one right up. Van Dijk and Hosking have made it to a team car, but they'll have a tough job to get back. The peloton is being controlled by SD Worx, with Erath up front from the original break leading by just 20 seconds.

70km to go: Masetti has a puncture

It's all go - Masetti in the lead group of three has a puncture, and with van Dijk still pushing the pace at the front of the peloton, that lead has been whittled down to 25 seconds. But then van Dijk gets a flat and drops back, and Chloe Hosking has also had a moment and come off her bike into a field. She was trying to pull over to one side with another puncture, hit the gutter and crashed. They will have a hard job making it back to the bunch now.

73km to go: The peloton hits the cobbles

Paris-Roubaix is famous for so many things, but most people tune in for these sections. Watching the bike handling skills of the riders is incredible, and sensibly the peloton have started to try and give themselves room here, as they get even more strung out. The favourites are all well tucked up behind van Dijk, who is still leading across the cobbles.

A supporter, wearing a rainbow jersey, looks at the pack during the second edition of the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic cycling race, between Denain and Roubaix, on April 16, 2022

Image credit: Getty Images

76km to go: The break heads for more cobbles

The pave is coming thick and fast, and the first section has already done plenty of damage to this race. Up front, Lutro, Erath and Masetti has a 55s lead as they head towards a short sharp bumpy section, just the three stars this time. Masetti is leading this one out, and those three look comfortable at the moment.

79km to go: The lead group down to three

Bos and Clouse have been dropped now by the breakaway, leaving just three leading this one out here. The gaps are coming down to the chasing peloton, with van Dijk motoring at the front for Trek-Segafredo, and her pure pace has dropped a huge amount of riders off the back. This race is absolutely coming alive, and there are still many cobbled sections to come.

81km: The break reach the cobbles

Eleonora van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) is leading the peloton which is chugging along at a rapid pace now. Up front, the leading group of five have started to splinter on the cobbles, although they may well come back together. The peloton behind have just hit the cobbles themselves...

83km to go: A crash at the back

There has been a crash, Julie de Wilde has gone down and there are reports that the Plantur-Pura rider has abandoned. Everyone else seems to be back up on their bikes, which is good to see. It looks like that was caused by an increase in pace at the front of the peloton, which seems to have caused a fair few to drop off the back there.

88km to go: Cobbles looming large

Hornaing to Wandignies is the first cobbled section and it is not too far up the road now, and as a four star section, is a bit of a rude awakening for the riders. The lead group of five are holding steady at just under the two minute mark, but will any of those riders try and springboard an attack or will they go for safety in numbers and survival over the cobbles?

91km to go: The lead is holding steady

This could not be more different to last year's inaugural race, held in October rather than spring. The riders finally crossed the line in Roubaix caked in mud, and in many cases, blood, with crashes left, right and centre across the entire event. So far there was a crash at the back of the peloton early on, but everyone looked like they got back on their bikes.

95km to go: Heading out of Denain

The gap to the leading group is at 1m 40 as the riders head out of Denain and wind their way towards the first cobbled section. There are 17 sections in total which makes up 29.2km of the race, and two of those sections have been given five stars to boot. There will be a fair few nervous faces in the peloton now, as they start to prepare for what is usually some sort of chaos.

98km to go: Conditions are perfect for racing

The sun is shining down today as the riders negotiate the early parts of today's race. Hell of the North? Not yet - but the pave sections are yet to appear, and in Paris-Roubaix, it's best to expect the unexpected. The leaders have increased their gap slightly, up to 1m 35s as it stands.

Illustration picture shows the pack of riders in action during the second edition of the women elite race of the 'Paris-Roubaix' cycling event, 124,7km from Denain to Roubaix, France on Saturday 16 April 2022.

Image credit: Getty Images

103km to go: Thoughts turn to the cobbles

Oh, those infamous cobbles. The first section is where Lizzie Deignan decided to lead out from the front last year, only to discover she had a decent gap and the rest is history. Not in the starting line up this year, will anyone else try an audacious breakaway or is that tactic going to be well covered this year? Riding up front over the treacherous cobbles is a safer tactic, although conditions are much more benign today that they were last October.

111km to go: The gap is at 55 seconds

The riders are still on the streets of Denain, and as for the intrepid riders out front, they have nearly a minute gap now. Gaia Masetti, Leonie Bos, Amalie Lutro, Katie Clouse were the original four in the breakaway, and they were later joined by Tanja Erath. As for the big news today, Marianne Vos isn’t on the start list, she had to pull out after contracting Covid-19. Having sat out Amstel Gold Race last weekend to make sure she was in the best condition for today, it is a huge blow for Team Jumbo-Visma.

112km to go: The women are up and running

Welcome to our live coverage of Paris-Roubaix. The women are already on course, and plenty has happened to get you up to date on. There is a group of five riders up front, who have around 45 seconds to the chasing peloton.

Illustration picture shows the pack of riders in action during the second edition of the women elite race of the 'Paris-Roubaix' cycling event, 124,7km from Denain to Roubaix, France on Saturday 16 April 2022.

Image credit: Getty Images

Who will be crowned Queen of the Cobbles?

Last year’s winner Lizzie Deignan is not returning to defend her trophy, sitting out the 2022 season as she is expecting her second child. That leaves the field relatively open but there are a few familiar faces on the starting list that are definitely worth keeping an eye on despite a late withdrawal.
Marianna Vos is a legendary name that can never be ignored - the Dutchwoman finished second in Gent-Wevelgem this season and seventh in Strade Bianche. She was the first to sense the danger last year when Deignan was pulling out a lead up front on her now infamous lone breakaway, and the Dutchwoman did everything she could to track the Brit down, in the end coming home just over a minute behind. She opted to miss last weekend's Amstel Gold Race despite being the defending champion, choosing instead to focus all her energy on Paris-Roubaix. But then early on Saturday morning she returned a positive Covid test, ruling her out of the event.
With Vos absent, Trek-Segafredo look to be strong contenders. They have Elisa Balsamo in their line-up, ably supported by Chloe Hosking and Elisa Longo Borghini.
Balsamo is still in the rainbow jersey as she was in October, and will be hoping for a less eventful edition after crashing in the horrendous conditions last year. She did make the finish line, although later admitted that it had taken her a full week to recover.
If the forecast does deteriorate, watch out for Lotte Kopecky. She’s been in fine form his season, winning Strade Bianche and the Tour of Flanders, and growing up in Belgian is well aware of the terrain. She’s had very decent support from her Team SD Work cohorts so far this season, and there’s no reason to think they won’t be out in force for this one.
Read Becky Hart's full preview here

How can I watch?

Eurosport has you covered, with coverage of the women’s race from 12:15 to 15:10 UK time on Saturday – bookended by The Breakaway. You can also watch both editions of Paris-Roubaix on and GCN+.
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