A show of strength and determination by the Breton. Second place for Van Anrooij in the Netherlands.
Audrey Cordon-Ragot is once again the Champion of France. Two days after her success in the time trial and two years after her first success in the road race, the Breton takes a historic double win by beating Gladys Verlhust in a two-up sprint to the line.
The double Time Trial & Road Race is a special win that very few athletes have managed to achieve, only three in the history of French women’s cycling. Even now, I have not fully realized this achievement, but the pride is enormous
“I approached the race feeling very relaxed and that helped me manage the finish. I knew I didn’t have many chances to win, but I was also aware that I was doing well: an ideal starting condition to play my card at my best”
“There were more teams with a numerical advantage and I let them manage the race in the early part, waiting for the moment I thought was most favorable and that was basically when I got back to the first group. That was the key moment of the race, the one where I realized it could be the right move to go to the finish with a small group, when the idea that I could actually win got in to my mind.”
“From there on, I worked to increase the gap with the chasing riders. On the last lap, I attacked several times to select the group. I felt marked, but when Verhulst followed me, we found a good combo to create enough of a gap to play for success between us. I knew she was faster than me and I had to manage myself in the best way. In the last kilometer, with headwind, I let her pull. I waited, waited and waited again, then I sprinted to the line with no hesitation.”
“The victory came thanks to the strength of the mind, because it took so much calculation, of the legs and finally of the heart: the motivation to wear the jersey again was huge. It gives me immense pride and I look forward to each race giving two hundred percent to honor it.”
The road race in the Netherlands was also decided in a two-way sprint but, this time, Shirin Van Anrooij had to settle for second place behind Riejanne Markus. A result that does not fully reward the grit and determination with which the young Dutchwoman raced, especially in the finale. However, it certainly does not overshadow the great talent that is ready to blossom. Shirin was able to celebrate the title of Dutch U23 champion and, like Audrey, achieved the historic TT & RR double.
“This result gives me mixed feelings. I’m proud of how I rode and really happy about my form, but disappointed to lose the sprint with such a small difference. Before this week I for sure didn’t expect to win silver twice with the tt and road race at my age amongst the elite, but now it’s hard to miss the title in this way,”
“It was really frustrating that Riejanne didn’t ride with me anymore in the last 5 km. I knew I could have a pretty strong uphill sprint, but was too scared to wait and started too early. Before the race we talked about it and I made the mistake to just go. So now I’m still angry at myself that I made this mistake,”
“These are the races and moments that will make me so much stronger for the future, but right now it’s hard to miss the national jersey by a sprint. It was a painful flashback of losing the worlds title in cyclocross a few months ago in a sprint as well. So, I raced really strong, I was in almost every break and attacked a lot. I found the good moment for the attack with 10 km to go and was almost able to win”