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Chloe Hosking: “I’m not the only card to play” in La Course by the Tour de France

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Chloe Hosking will be just one of the black and orange team’s options in Sunday’s La Course by the Tour de France, which will be the next round in the UCI Women’s WorldTour. The 89km event will race 12 times around the famous Paris circuit of just over seven kilometres, which will be raced on by the Tour de France peloton just hours later. Australian Hosking comes into the race as one of the favourites for victory, following her victory in the Tour of Chongming Island in May, and her maiden Giro d’Italia stage win earlier in the month.

“I think it’s a bit of a different sprint, but I’m a bit nervous to be honest,” Hosking said. “I feel like there’s a bit of pressure, so we’ll see how we go with that. But I’m feeling really super strong on the bike right now, which is good because I had a bit of a lull in the spring, and I was disappointed in myself there, so I’m glad that I’ve put in the hard work and it’s starting to pay off with my Giro win.

“I hope I can pull off another really good result for the team on Sunday, but it’s not going to be easy. Marianne Vos is racing! She’s just come off three stages at Thüringen. I think Barbara Guarischi’s there, and Canyon-SRAM has an amazing lead out train…”

Last year’s chaotic race, over the slick, rain-soaked cobblestones of the Champs-Elysées, was won in a final lap breakaway by Rabo-Liv’s Anna van der Breggen, while Hosking led out then Belgian Champion Jolien D’hoore to second place behind her. With D’hoore focussed on the Olympic Omnium this year, Hosking has stepped up and will be taking on sprinter duties herself this year.

“It’s going to be a hard race and, also, with Anna van der Breggen winning it solo last year, it’s not an easy race to control on the really wide roads and the cobblestones,” Hosking confirmed.

“I don’t know what the team tactic is going to be – we’ll talk about that on Saturday – but hopefully we can go in, and the team backs me again.”

Although Hosking’s form makes her one of the riders to watch, however, she will be far from the only option for Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling on the day.

“I was just looking at a podium photo from last year, and Amy Pieters was third!” Hosking laughed. “So I’m not the only card to play, and we’ll just see what happens.”

Alongside Hosking and Pieters will be a third sprint option in two-time junior World Champion Lucy Garner, who has proved she can perform on the big occasion this season with her second place in the Tour de Yorkshire race. The three fast finishers will be supported by some of the most powerful riders in Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling in Dani King and Amy Roberts. King’s dominant victory in the recent Red Hook London criterium should serve as a warning to other teams of the Olympic Track Champion’s power, while Roberts’ attacking style has lit up several circuit races of this type in the past.

The black and orange team will be completed by French Time Trial Champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot, who will be extra motivated to perform this year after having been forced to sit out last year’s edition with the fractured collarbone she sustained in the Giro d’Italia just a few weeks before.

“I’m really proud to be present at the start on Sunday!” she exclaimed. “It’s an incredible chance to race on the most beautiful avenue of he World.

“It’s a small drop of happiness in those difficult times we are leaving at the moment,” she added sombrely. “I love my country and The Champs Elysées are the symbol of France all around the world.

“I hope that we can do an aggressive race and showing the world that women cycling is interesting and deserve more attention,” Cordon-Ragot added. “We have great sprinters and many cards to play, it will be really interesting.”

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team for La Course by the Tour de France
Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France), Lucy Garner (Great Britain), Chloe Hosking (Australia), Dani King (Great Britain), Amy Pieters (Netherlands), Amy Roberts (Great Britain)

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