Committed to precision

Committed to precision

Interview with Audrey Cordon-Ragot 

ALTEN, the FFC and the CNRS have joined forces to devise innovations that can help cyclists realize their full potential. In this interview, French women’s European cycling champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot gives testimony to the importance of this collaboration in enabling her to excel. 

How did you come to work with ALTEN and the CNRS? 

I was put in touch with them via the French Cycling Federation, which was keen to help its athletes make progress in time-trial disciplines. We knew that as individual athletes we had what it takes, but we also knew that there were new techniques that could help us tackle a time trial in the best possible way. It’s true that it didn’t immediately click in my head; it wasn’t immediately obvious to me. I had a good amount of experience and had been working in a particular way for several years. So, I had to be convinced. From the first tests, I realized that I wanted to continue. 

When was your first experience in applying the methods that emerged from this collaboration? 

Our first experience together was on the Ventoux, where we started fine-tuning the data from the model we were developing. It has to do with how I manage my time and it needs to be very precise. The first full-scale experience was the 2022 French championships in Cholet, where I came out on top. So, it was a pretty successful first experience. 

How did you feel when you crossed the finish line and raised your arms? 

It was a validation. I could see that indeed, this works well and it’s something I’m capable of doing. With this method, you have to be very, very committed to following the plan as closely as possible. So, the victory at the end, that was it, that was the Grail. I achieved some of the best times of my career, and that pushed me to keep on working. 

Has this collaboration helped you in other ways? 

Yes, it’s not just about pure numbers. It’s also helped me to be much less stressed before setting off, to know exactly what I have to do at each moment. Before, I always had the impression of going into the unknown. Today, I set off with a lot more confidence, knowing exactly what I have to do and how I have to do it. And that’s been a big, big plus. 

With the challenges ahead, how do you feel today? 

I’d say that today, I’m in a conquering frame of mind. I want to get at least the same results as last year, if not better, and that means continuing to work with the teams to be even more precise.  I’m motivated for the Olympic Games in Paris – that’s the ultimate goal.  

Do you have ideas for improving in the collaboration with ALTEN? 

I think we can always do more for each other. Every time we meet, we go into a little more detail, we improve a little more, we exchange a little more about how we see the time trials. And that’s what makes us progress every time. Cycling is a world I really love and in which I want to continue to evolve.