It’s been a tough 6 months or so for Audrey Cordon-Ragot, leaving Trek, suffering a stroke, the abortive B&B Hotels project and recently the lack of payment for wages at Zaaf Cycling. That has seen the French national champion looking for other teams to ride for and successfully lobbying for a change in the perception of how the mid-season transfer rules were applied. By the letter of the rules, no Women’s WorldTour may register a rider before June 1st of each year but we’ve seen riders without a team sign anyway in the past. In Audrey’s case, a clarification was put in place for her situation where so now if ‘a rider had manifest and compelling reasons for terminating their contractual relationship with their previous team’, they may sign without having to wait until June 1st.
The team that has signed Audrey Cordon-Ragot is Human Powered Health who were first approached at the Tour de Normandie Féminin as the ordeal at Zaaf Cycling began to become known wider. With the legalities all sorted, Cordon-Ragot goes straight into the team’s line-up for Paris Roubaix Femmes this weekend.
“Audrey is an immense talent. It’s an honour to have a French national champion line up with us for Paris-Roubaix. We are delighted to bring Audrey on board – her health journey is incredibly inspiring. She’s another example of Human Powered Health and we can’t wait to help her share her story.”Ro De Jonckere, Human Powered Health general manager
“Starting Roubaix in the tricolore is one of the best feelings you can get in your cycling career. I didn’t have it in 2021 and 2022 when I helped my teammates win the race. Now comes this opportunity to race in the jersey so I am super excited. One of my qualities is to adapt quickly to any environment. I’m going to be so motivated whatever the situation.
After my stroke, I was just fighting to come back and focusing on nothing else. Now in the races I’m always thinking ‘Yes, Audrey you are suffering but you can suffer more, you’ve already proven it’ and that’s something that makes me a new woman, a new rider.”Audrey Cordon-Ragot