Canadian cyclist Alison Jackson just won Paris-Roubaix Femmes
The 34-year-old Canadian rider was not one of the favourites to win the race, far from it. She was one of 18f competitors in a breakaway group that simply was never caught by the peloton. Entering the velodrome that marks the end of the famous French race, the group was down to seven with the woman they call "Action" Jackson in third.
One rider went down after bumping wheels and when the final sprint began it was Jackson who had enough gas left in the tank for one final push that put her over the top.
Crossing the finish line, Jackson threw her hands up in the air, a look of disbelief etched into her face, one that would stay for many moments following her victory as the reality of her epic achievement began to wash over her. And then she danced. Oh, how she danced.
"When we did the pre-ride and rode around this velodrome, I just dreamed of winning," the Olympian and former road race and time trial national champion told the CBC. "But a lot of times, those dreams just stay dreams. It's unreal to make it happen in real life. I have few words."
Jackson grew up in rural Alberta on a bison farm. The EF Education-TIBCO-SVB team member finished 32nd in the road race at the 2020 Summer Olympics and sixth at the 2021 UCI Raod World Championships.
This is the biggest win of her career.
Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel won the men's race today.
Paris Roubaix is a one-day professional cycling race that takes place in Northern France every April. The race, also known as the "Hell of the North," has a long and storied history that dates back to 1896 when it was first held. The race was originally organized by two French newspapers, Le Vélo and L'Auto, as a way to boost circulation and to promote their brands.
Over the years, the race has become known for its punishing cobblestone sectors, which make it one of the toughest races on the cycling calendar. Paris Roubaix has produced many memorable moments and legendary champions, including Eddy Merckx, Roger De Vlaeminck, and Tom Boonen, and it remains one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the year for cycling fans around the world.
Paris Roubaix is also the race that inspired the founders of Ontario's Paris to Ancaster Bicycle Race, which also takes place this month.