Wiggle HIGH5 rider Audrey Cordon-Ragot told us that although there was no clear plan for her to target the jersey ahead of the race it was great to make it onto the podium.
The French Time Trial Champion picked up maximum points in both of the day’s intermediate SKODA Queen of the Mountains to take a firm grip at the top of the classification.
After winning over the first, 3rd category climb of Haselbech after 24.8km, the Breton rider then went on to take the much harder, 2nd category Rockingham Hill after 73.9km, all while performing her usual hard-working role for her teammates.

“I was feeling all right today, and Directeur Sportif Martin Vestby said that we were allowed to go for it if we were in a good position so I did!” she laughed. “It was open to any of us to go if we had the opportunity, so when I saw I was in a good position for the first one I just jumped on the chance.
“And then Martin asked to do the second one so it was all right for me.”

Audrey Cordon Ragot Wiggle HIGH5 Daventry
Although Cordon-Ragot secured success for the Wiggle HIGH5 team, the high standards they set meant that there was still an air of disappointment after the finish of Stage 1. Despite former two-time road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini finishing the 147.5km stage between Daventry and Kettering in fourth place it still felt like a missed opportunity.

“We are a bit disappointed about the result,” Cordon-Ragot explained. “We really wanted to win this stage and we tried hard to bridge on Kasia but we missed organisation and cooperation with the other teams.
“Everybody gambled a bit with the others and obviously it wasn’t the best choice when you have such a strong rider up the front,” she admitted.

With four stages of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour remaining the French rider told us that Stage wins will definitely be the focus for her team even though they are currently holding a jersey.

“Yes we are ready to fight to the end to get a stage win,” she confirmed. “If we need to sacrifice my jersey for a stage than I do it with pleasure for one of my teammates.”