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Cordon-Ragot and Sanchis retain French and Spanish Time Trial Titles

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Audrey Cordon-Ragot and Anna Sanchis have added two more National Time Trial Championships to the black and orange roster, as both riders retained the French and Spanish titles that they took last year. After Elisa Longo Borghini and Emma Johansson took the Italian and Swedish Championships yesterday, this takes the number of national titles in the team to four.

Cordon-Ragot completed the 20.7km French Championship course, in Vesoul, in the eastern Franche-Comté region, in a time of 31 minutes and eight seconds. This was 22 seconds quicker than Edwige Pitel (Michela Fanini), despite Pitel having been ahead in the early kilometres, while Elise Delzenne (Lotto-Soudal) was 1’09” behind in third.

“The time trial was not hard, but the main problem was the heat,” Cordon-Ragot said. “We had to manage, I knew that Edwige would be better than me over the first bump, so I managed my ride. I wasn’t too far behind before tackling the second part of the course, and that suited me better. When I knew I was ten seconds behind at the 1st intermediate, I’m wasn’t distracted because it was exactly the same between me and Pauline Ferrand Prevot last year already.

“I thought in my head ‘play your own game.’” she added. “I knew I was in shape, but I still suffered. Wearing the blue-white-red jersey is a real pride for me. I love my country, my region and I am proud when I can wear these colours. I’m the only one of the team to be French, and I’ll wear this jersey twice shortly on the roads of the Giro d’Italia.”

Sanchis was able to enjoy almost a home race on the 18.9km in Ibi, near Alicante, not far from her native Valencia as she took her fourth red and yellow time trial jersey. She completed the course, which climbed the short, steep Port d’Ibi twice, in 27 minutes, 59 seconds, which was 37 seconds quicker than Gloria Rodriguez (Murcia), and 44 quicker than Mavi Garcia (Baleares).

“I’m so happy,” Sanchis laughed. “It was near to my home so all of my people came to support me, and I really wanted to win for them, for me, for everything. Especially because now I’m out of the Olympics, this is my last motivation, so I’m very happy.

“It was a very, very hard grade,” she said of the Port d’Ibi. “Not so long, but it was very hard in the first km. I felt so bad! In the first km my radio stopped so I could hear nothing, so I didn’t know the times of the other girls or anything. But I did all I can and I won!”

Having retained her time trial championship, Sanchis’ form should make her one of the favourites to retain her road race title in nearby l’Alqueria d’Asnar.

“It’s a hard race too,” she said. “But it will be very difficult because I am alone and there are a lot of teams. Today was more depending on me, but tomorrow I don’t know. I will try to win again of course!”

1. Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

2. Edwige Pitel (Michela Fanini)
3. Elise Delzenne (Lotto-Soudal)

1. Anna Sanchis (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

2. Gloria Rodriguez (Murcia)
3. Mavi Garcia (Baleares)

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