'That was really not the plan,' says Lizzie Deignan after stunning Paris-Roubaix victory

The Brit says her attack was by accident, as she found herself with a gap after riding on the front to support her two team leaders

Lizzie Deignan
(Image credit: Getty)

Lizzie Deignan says that her outstanding Paris-Roubaix victory was not the plan at the start of the day, which the Brit proceeded to lead for the majority of the race, over every cobbled section, and cross the finish line Roubaix velodrome alone, the first women to ever do so.

Instead, the Trek-Segafredo rider says she was merely trying to ride on the front heading into the first cobbled section in order to protect her two team leaders but turned around saw she had a gap, so just ploughed on.

"That was really not the plan," Deignan said after the finish. "I needed to be at the front of the first cobbled section to protect my leaders, I was the third leader.

"I looked behind after the first cobbles and there was a gap so I thought at least if I'm in the front they have to chase me and so I kept going."

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Deignan did keep going, stretching her advantage out to more than two and a half minutes, and never letting Marianne Vos within a minute of her after the Dutchwoman countered in the closing kilometres.

After gritting her teeth to keep the pace high after dealing with the final cobbled sectors, Deignan only allowed herself a smile as she took the bell for the final lap inside the velodrome, pumping her fist twice in celebration as she came around the final bend to make cycling history.

"I just feel so incredibly proud," Deignan said. "Women’s cycling is at this turning point and today is part of history. We’re so grateful to everyone behind the scenes, and every fan watching this is also making history, it’s proving there’s the appetite for women’s cycling and the athletes can do this toughest race and I'm proud I can say I'm the first-ever winner.

"I’m so proud that this is where we are, that women’s cycling is on the world stage.”

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.