France head into today's women's road race at the World Championships in Richmond with defending champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot and a number of other options, according to her teammate Audrey Cordon, who believes that the team's strength in depth will be critical.
"I'm in good shape for Sunday's road race and that gives me confidence and that gives me good legs to help Pauline and the other girls as much as I can. If I have a chance I will take it too," the Wiggle Honda rider told Cyclingnews.
"We have the defending champion, the jersey on our shoulders and we don't want to lose it. It will be a really hard race but we'll have the chance to have seven of us at the start so that will be an advantage.”
France have already tasted success in these World Championships with a medal in the men's elite time trial and victory in the U23 men's road race. In the latter they showed their dexterity and fluidity in tactics and Cordon believes that similar traits could be exploited with Ferrand Prevot a marked card.
"We have cards to play but we also have really good sprinters and I'm someone who also likes these really Classic-style races. It should be really interesting," she claimed.
Last year Cordon worked for Ferrand Prevot and claimed 16th spot, France's second best finisher on the day. Of course, all that matters is who wins, and Cordon and the French collective will be looking to honour the defence of their rainbow jersey. Ferrand Prevot is the protected leader – understandably so given both her stature and form – but Cordon adds that she too could have her own opportunity.
"It was a really big honour for me to help last year in chasing the win but you always want to have a chance at a personal result. If I can be better than 16th and have my chance to do a podium I will take. Of course we'll protect Pauline for the end but will be marked so maybe we can play on that with the other girls."