Audrey Cordon-Ragot announces retirement plans for end of 2024 season

Audrey Cordon-Ragot

Audrey Cordon-Ragot has announced that she will retire at the end of the 2024 season, following her seventh French Elite time trial championship win on the Saint-Martin-de-Landelles course. The 34-year-old Breton cyclist aims to finish her career at the peak of her abilities.

Reflecting on her decision, Cordon-Ragot said to DirectVelo, “It is important for me to leave on a high note. I believe I have achieved that today. My career has been beautiful, and I have no regrets. It’s time to let the younger generation take over. We have an incredibly strong new wave of riders who will be world and Olympic champions. If I can help them in any way, I’ll be happy, but it won’t be on the bike.”

The timing of her retirement aligns with her selection for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, a decision that caused significant discussion within the cycling community. Cordon-Ragot acknowledged the controversy, stating, “Yes, this title is special because it will be my last. When the selection for the Olympics was announced, it caused a lot of controversy. I understood the disappointment from others and wanted to make a point today out of respect for them.”

Maintaining Focus Amidst Criticism

Cordon-Ragot’s inclusion in the Olympic team, over notable contenders like Evita Muzic, drew both support and criticism. She candidly addressed the backlash, saying, “I didn’t take it well. I know what it’s like to be on the other side, having missed out on the World Championship time trial last year. The announcement of my Olympic selection was something I dreaded, and I stayed off social media because it hurts. People don’t realise the impact of their words. The only opinions that mattered to me were those of the girls who weren’t selected. Other than that, I think I managed well.”

Audrey Cordon-Ragot
Audrey Cordon-Ragot

Despite the controversy, Cordon-Ragot remained focused on her preparation for the championship. She credited her close-knit support system, including family, friends, mental coach Anne-Julie Briend, coach Paul Herman, and her manager. “Being surrounded by the right people is key to success for a high-level athlete. I wanted to stay calm and concentrate on my performance. I kept reminding myself to be the best version of myself, and it worked,” she shared.

Retirement Plans

During the press conference, Cordon-Ragot confirmed her retirement plans. “It’s important for me to leave on a high note. I think I’ve done that today. I have no regrets; my career has been beautiful. Now, it’s time to make way for the younger generation. We have an incredibly strong new wave of riders who will be world and Olympic champions. If I can help them in any way, I’ll be happy, but it won’t be on the bike,” she concluded.

Reflecting on her victory, Cordon-Ragot said, “Yes, this title is special because it will be my last. When the selection for the Olympics was announced, it caused a lot of controversy. I understood the disappointment from others and wanted to make a point today out of respect for them.”

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