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The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift 2023 came to a close with an individual time trial around the city of Pau. Audrey Cordon-Ragot put in an impressive ride to come 11th on the stage, while Barbara Malcotti‘s performance was good enough to cement her top 25 place on GC.
Racing started on July 23 with a loop around the city of Clermont-Ferrand. This was followed by a very attritional day to Mauriac. It was a brutal start to the race.
The ‘sprint stages’ were often such in name only, with just one true bunch kick across the eight days.
Stage four of the race was the team’s big moment. Cordon-Ragot made it into a break of 14 riders and was the best placed in GC. The break was allowed 12 minutes and it looked like the yellow dream could happen for the French star. Despite being in virtual yellow for 110km, it wasn’t meant to be for the French star.
The GC fight all came down to the seventh stage in the Pyrenees. The peloton battled up the legendary duo of the Aspin and Tourmalet, with Barbara Malcotti the team’s best placed rider in 24th overall.
All focus turned onto the time trial with Malcotti looking to keep her top 25 and Cordon-Ragot targeting a good result in the stage.
Both of these objectives were achieved with Malcotti holding onto her 24th place in the GC, while Cordon-Ragot posted a very strong time, missing out on 10th place by three seconds.
After the stage, Cordon-Ragot said: “We were kind of the smallest WorldTour Team on the Tour and we were coming here to show our strength and to show how good we can be all together.
“I think we did really well. We achieved the goals we were coming for with the GC for Barbara in the top 25.
“Personally, I really wanted to show myself and to enjoy. To try everything I could and yeah, I think with a good last TT it has been a succesful week for us.
“We are still learning to work together. It is pretty new for me to work with the team and also pretty new for Barbara to play for GC. I think we are on the right path to make it even better in the next races.
“I’m really happy. I’ve spent a really good week with the riders and all the staff. We all worked really well together and we are all going in the same direction for the rest of the season.
“The Tour has been very exciting. We were pushed by the public who were on the side of the road every day. Pushing us so much. It has been amazing to share all those emotions with everyone. The Tour is unique for this reason. I’m really proud I could finish this second Tour.”
All that’s left to say from Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Barbara Malcotti, Marjolein van’t Geloof, Alice Barnes, Henrietta Christie, Eri Yonamine, Antri Christoforou, sports directors Joanne Kiesanowski and Kenny Latomme, as well as all the staff is… Merci, Le Tour