Inside Hell - Behind the scenes at Paris-Roubaix Femmes

Cycling Weekly jumped in one of the Drops Le Col team cars to watch the glorious chaos of Paris Roubaix unfold

Paris Roubaix Femmes
(Image credit: Getty images)

Knees bloodied, body bruised face liberally splattered in mud Lizzy Bennett is still smiling. The Welshwoman hasn’t won, in fact she hasn’t even made the timecut at the first ever women’s edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes but if there’s anyone that seems to sum up the mood on this sodden afternoon in northern France it’s her.

“I’m good now, maybe not so much a couple of hours ago,” she says laughing and still wiping the mud off her face. “I was in the front group and maybe on the third sector in I crashed and I’m not saying my day was over from there but I was on the back foot. I ended up crashing three times. It was a mudbath on most sectors to be honest, each time I just lost the front wheel and went down.

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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.