Britain’s Lizzie Deignan took a sensational breakaway win in the first edition of the women’s Paris-Roubaix.
The Trek-Segafredo rider pulled away from the peloton with more than 80km to go, before rain affected the course.
The legendary race on the brutal ‘pave’ cobblestones returned this weekend after the coronavirus pandemic caused it to be postponed in 2020.
Deignan powered away around halfway through the 116km race before the riders reached the unforgiving cobbled sections that permeate the race known as the ‘hell of the north’.
The 32-year-old took cobbled corners covered in mud gingerly to stay on the bike to protect a lead of two minutes 30 seconds.
But Jumbo-Visma’s Marianne Vos of the Netherlands broke away from a group of 19 riders chasing Deignan and halved her lead by 10km to go.
However, Deignan brilliantly held on to the bike as her rear wheel slewed left and then right across the mud on the treacherous Camphin-en-Pevele sector.
Deignan, who has won the road world championships, Tour of Flanders and the one-day women’s Tour de France, beat the sport’s greatest riders to lift the famous cobblestone trophy.
She crossed the line in soaking wet Roubaix outdoor velodrome ahead of Vos in second and team-mate Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy third.