The former world champion produced a dominant ride on the 115.6km course and a powerful late pounce by Dutch great Marianne Vos to win by one minute and 17 seconds.
“I feel incredibly proud,” said Dignon, who links maiden Paris Roubaix to his other notable victories, including last year’s Lige-Bastogne-Liege.
“Women’s cycling is at this juncture, and is part of history today. It proves women’s appetite for cycling and that riders can do one of the toughest races in the world.”
“Today I was the third rider (in the team) and I had to be at the front of the first cobbler section to protect my leaders. But then I saw there was a gap so I just kept going.”
After three circuits around Denan, Trek Segafredo rider Dignon established a short lead on the pack with over 80 km remaining in the first of 17 cobbled sections.
With riders struggling to put up a solid chase, many of them slammed on sleek cobbles, former world champion Dignon powered into a commanding lead.
The Trek-Segafredo rider took a two-minute 30-second lead over a group including Vos (Jumbo Visma), teammate Audrey Corden-Ragot and Germany’s Lisa Brennauer (Seratzit-WNT) with 30 km remaining.
Dignon, handling the bone-shaking “pave” cobblestone with aplomb, maintained his advantage as several imaginary riders, including European champion Alain van Dijk, crashed heavily.
Vos eventually put down the hammer to try and catch Dignon, slicing into the lead as he powered through the Carrefour de l’Arbor cobbled section.
Vos closed the gap of 1:18 as Dignon started the final 10km, but Dignon proved unstable from the front as the famous Roubaix velodrome neared the finish.
Dignon was so far ahead that the finish inside the Roubaix Velodrome was like a lap of honor as the Yorkshire rider inscribed his name in the cycling history books.
Vos was more than a minute behind, with Deignon’s teammate Alyssa Longo Borghini finishing third.
Organizer ASO, which also owns the Tour de France, added a women’s version of the 125-year-old Paris Roubaix last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic meant she had to wait another year to ride the so-called Hell of the North fell. .
The race for the Paris Roubaix Femmes and for the first time a women’s Tour de France next year is seen as a step in the long battle for gender equality in professional cycling, although there is still a long way to go.
While Sunday’s men’s long-distance race carries a total prize money of 91,000 euros, the women’s race carries only 7,505 euros, with Dignon receiving 1,535 euros – almost 1/s of what the winner of the men’s race takes home. 20th part.
Credit : www.cnn.com