The cycling season for Audrey Cordon-Ragot, the seasoned 34-year-old French cyclist, closed on an unfortunate note this Tuesday as she suffered a fall during the Binche-Chimay-Binche race in Belgium. This incident marks a fitting, if not bitter, end to a season that has been as tumultuous as it has been eventful for the Breton rider.
Audrey Cordon-Ragot’s year kicked off with promise as she began her season in stellar fashion. However, the path was rocky too after her initial team B&B Hotels closed before even racing and she suffered a stroke as well. Then when racing did get underway she encountered difficulties with her team, Zaaf Cycling. The veteran then switched her allegiance mid-season to join the American outfit, Human Powered Health. During this transitional period, she lost her two French national jerseys on the Cassel circuit and narrowly missed becoming the first French woman to don the iconic yellow jersey in the rebooted version of the Tour de France Femmes.
Despite the challenges and the absence of individual wins this season – though she secured 15 top-10 finishes and six podiums – Cordon-Ragot clinched a European title in the mixed relay. This is no small feat and lends a silver lining to an otherwise tempestuous season.
The conclusion of Cordon-Ragot’s season with a fall during the Binche-Chimay-Binche race encapsulates the ups and downs she has experienced this year. While crashes are, unfortunately, a part of the sport, ending a season on such a note can take both a physical and psychological toll on any athlete. The episode necessitates a period of reflection and perhaps rehabilitation for Cordon-Ragot, as she will no doubt be keen to return to her previous form.
As Audrey Cordon-Ragot takes time to recover and recalibrate, questions linger about her future prospects. Will the next season see her regain her former glory and possibly even exceed it? Or will the challenges she faced this year act as stumbling blocks on her road to further achievements? With her contract secured for 2024, hopefully then next season will provide more security and less off the bike drama than 2023 has provided.