Helluva Roubaix: Jackson, Dagenkolb edition


" I saw it coming. I had clear space. It's a dream come true... I dream of winning. A lot of themes all those dreams have stayed dreams. It's unreal to make it happen in real life. I have few words. Either you don't ride and you lose the race or you ride hard and you have a chance. I trusted myself and my passion and heart and it turned out with a win. I wanted to be part of the action; I wanted to be ahead of the race. Our team has been waiting and it hasn't been working. Because we had rain it was going to be slick out there. In a race like this, you need to avoid bad luck. When the move went, I was waiting and available and wanted to ride it."
-Alison Jackson. She makes history and becomes the first Canadian and North American to win the Hell of the North in the Paris-Roubaix Femmes 2023.

"The way she rode in the final was really impressive. She pushed that breakaway to the end and was working the whole time and still beat everyone in the sprint. She proved she was the strongest and it was fantastic to see. It's a fantastic achievement for Alison and Canadian cycling. Congratulations to her for such a historic victory as the first Canadian man or woman to win Paris-Roubaix.
-Steve Bauer. It's been 33 years since Bauer narrowly missed out on victory by one centimetre behind Eddy Planckaert in 1990... until today.

"We rode a good race as a team today and the guys put me in position for the key moments, before it split a long way out. On the Carrefour I know that I was on the right side of the section and Jasper moved to the right a bit. I was already there in the ditch and Mathieu squeezed his way through and there wasn't any space for me anymore in the end and I crashed into the spectators at the side of the road. I have quite a bit of pain in my shoulder just now. It's not easy to describe how big the disappointment is. It's been a long time since I've been up there in a final like this and I think we rode a really good race. It's really disappointing to have that chance taken away of a really good result. For sure I wasn't the strongest in that group but Roubaix is Roubaix and anything can happen once you're in that group and so close to the final."
-John Degenkolb

Derek Gee

Canadian Derek Gee was without drama as he was in the breakaway but suffered a mechanical in the Arenberg Forest...

"It was an amazing experience for sure. I was jumping in a lot of moves but at the end of the day, I think it's a lot of luck that one of the ones I jumped across to stuck and then I had this surreal moment of knowing 'oh I'm in the breakaway at Roubaix, that's really, really cool.'
The part of the mechanical problem that was really frustrating was that I had good legs and I still felt good so I though maybe I could at least find some guys and ride to the finish but there was no one around so I rode solo. There was no way I was stopping. I knew I was going to make it, even not knowing if I would be in the time limit or not."
-Derek Gee. He entered the velodrome 25 minutes and 44 seconds down not knowing if he made the time cut or not. Later in the team bus, it was confirmed that he crossed the line in 135th position, the last rider to make it inside the 26: 18 time cut.