The French Champion sprints to second behind Vos but declared the winner by the race jury
Audrey Cordon-Ragot had to wait more than 20 minutes before she stepped onto the podium of the Vargarda WestSweden Road Race for the award ceremonies. That was the time needed by the race jury to decide whether she should take the second or first step. And, in the end, the French champion jumped onto the highest one.
The jury’s decision overturned the road verdict, where Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) beat Audrey in the final sprint. At the end of the race, however, the jury suspended the verdict, charging the Dutchwoman with an illegal bike position that occurred 12kms from the finish. Hence the decision was made to disqualify her and declare Audrey the winner.
To be honest, I have a mixed feeling. I’m super happy for the race I did, super proud of the performance of my teammates. We showed our strength with an amazing teamwork and my role was to finalize the huge work they did. That, for me, was the most important thing happened today and what I’ll retain from the race - Audrey Cordon-Ragot
“On the other side, it’s a strange situation,” says again Audrey. “After the finish line I was happy for my second place, and I am still proud of it. I had no regrets because I was beat by the strongest rider in the peloton at the moment. I was definitely not embarrassed to be second. But then I was told I was the winner and my name will be on the palmares. Chapeau to Marianne, because she was the first who recognized that a rule is rule and accepted the sanction,”
“I feel this day, with my good performance and the win, even if unexpected, it’s a good reward for the efforts and sacrifices I did since the beginning of the year. Winning or not, I feel today it’s a day to enjoy. I’m not proud and happy because I won, but because me and my team rode strong.”
Audrey’s words matched what was evident in the race. Though the victory came only through a jury’s decision, Cordon-Ragot presented a bold performance to stake her success on the road until the very last meter.
Audrey’s gutsy ride best represents the spirit with which Trek-Segafredo approached today’s race. An aggressive ride that saw Lauretta Hanson and Chloe Hosking on the attack followed by Shirin van Anrooij and Ellen van Dijk. The forcing of the TT World Champion made the decisive selection with around 20kms to go and set the stage for Cordon-Ragot, Vos, Georgi and Demay to successfully arrive to the finish together.
The French Champions explains that “In the briefing of the morning we agreed that we would need an aggressive approach to have a chance for a win against strong and on form competitors like Vos and Wiebes. We needed to play a different strategy. I think we did an amazing job to make it happen. Every lap of the final circuit we attacked, with Ellen and me waiting until the lasts laps,”
“In the second to last lap, we decided to force the pace on the climb to make a real selection. And we did it very well. The teamwork put me and Ellen in a small group with the best riders. We kept attacking, first Ellen and then my attempt was the right one to select again the leading group. I found myself in the breakaway with Marianne and we cooperated well to keep the gap with the peloton, unlike Georgi and Demay who just followed our wheels,”
“The attack of Georgi in the last kilometers dropped Demay so, at the end, it was three riders for the sprint. In the meters before launching the sprint, I tried to keep Vos closed. To be honest, I thought that was my only way to have a chance against her… but Marianne is Marianne, and she won,”
“The rest of the history, after the finish line, is already known.”