‘We’re gonna feel it a lot’ – Audrey Cordon-Ragot says greater media attention this year will grow women’s cycling

Audrey Cordon-Ragot says professional riders will feel the benefits of having more races available to watch on television and online.

The Trek–Segafredo rider says having Paris-Roubaix and the Tour de France Femmes broadcast around Europe can only help bring greater audiences and new fans to the sport.

“What for me is changing a lot is the approach of Roubaix and the approach of Tour de France,” she said.

“I think the attention the media are giving to those two races is really big, like we never experienced that before.

“We never really get the same attention as Roubaix and the Tour.

“I think we’re gonna feel it a lot, like a lot more approaching Roubaix. And then of course, in June and July approaching the Tour [de Femmes].”

Cordon-Ragot says having the races broadcast to more people will likely result in more female fans of the sport and gives the opportunity for female cyclists to become idols to aspiring cyclists around the continent.

“I think this is the big step we’re gonna take with the Tour,” she said.

“Being broadcast in a lot of countries – every little girl like a Polish girl, a British girl, a French girl can watch us and can think ‘okay, I watched the stage and then I go around the house riding my bike’.

“I want to be Lizzie [Deignan], and I want to be Audrey, I want to be Marianne [Vos]. And it was not possible before.

“I was this little girl and I was playing as [Laurent] Jalabert, I was playing as Richard Virenque but I was never playing a woman role because I couldn’t because to me., I didn’t even know that some women were cycling.

“This new coverage is just giving a new step to women’s cycling and it’s going to make it grow so fast, from now like even faster than the last couple of years.”

The 32-year-old, who topped the time trial standings at the National Road Championships last year and came eighth at Paris-Roubaix, believes women in sport still have a lot to prove.

She added: “I deeply think that women are still in the mood that we have to prove a lot, that we are questioning ourselves a lot more than the men probably. And we are never really happy of what we achieve.

“And we always want to achieve better, to do it better, to go further, to go stronger.”

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