Essonne: in the saddle with Carole Gaunon, one of the few female road cycling referees

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Originally from Vigneux-sur-Seine (Essonne), Carole Gaunon is one of the few female referees to officiate in cycling races in the Paris region.
Originally from Vigneux-sur-Seine (Essonne), Carole Gaunon is one of the few female referees to officiate in cycling races in the Paris region. (© Gerard Briand)

It is present every weekend on bicycle races in the Paris region. At 47, Carole Gaunon still lives with as much passion his role road cycling referee. This mother from Vigneux-sur-Seine (Essonne) is one of rare women to exercise this function in the region.

“Not there only to apply the sanctions”

A role which, according to the Essonnienne, is still unknown to runners and their companions.

The referee is not there only to make the classification or to apply sanctions. Our role is to check and ensure that the races are safe for the runners, to discuss with them if there is a concern. Ranking comes last.

Official referee since 2018, Carole Gaunon has not yet never practiced cycling competing in the past.

When she was younger, she practiced gymnastic in competition before having to stop following an injury. Nothing to do with the little queen then.

” A good atmosphere “

“The idea of ​​becoming a referee came to me about ten years ago, when I accompanied my daughters and my husband during their races. I noticed the lack of referee and I liked to read the rules for them,” recalls Carole Gaunon.

Mainly officiating in road cycling and cyclo-cross competitions, La Vigneusienne also wishes to referee mountain bike races.

“I appreciate the teamwork and the good atmosphere between referees. I also like the diversity of the races as well as the welcome of certain organizers”, confides the forty-year-old who plans to become a referee at national level in the future.

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“I am happy to see more and more girls becoming referees”

Moreover, trainer young referees, Carole Gaunon also hopes for the future, a feminization of this function.

“I’m happy to see more and more girls become a referee”, rejoices the Essonnienne who gave birth to this vocation of refereeing in one of her daughters.

Carole Gaunon is also licensed in a club outside the department, at Bicycle Club of Fontainebleau-Avon-CPF in Seine-et-Marne. A way for her to be neutral during the races of her daughter, licensed at EC Montgeron-Vigneux, but not only.

“It’s a dynamic club which organizes superb races like the one at Paris-Avon Lorrez-le-Bocage and which also develops the female cycling as well as the bicycle school. In addition, many staff members and volunteers are female,” she points out.

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