Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, the 31-year-old French cycling sensation, has revealed her openness to a return to road cycling in the future, despite her recent focus on mountain biking and gravel racing. Currently competing for the off-road division of INEOS Grenadiers, Ferrand-Prévot has had a glittering career in multiple disciplines. Notably, 2014 stood out as her ‘wonder year’, during which she clinched victory at La Flèche Wallonne and earned the World Championship title in road cycling at Ponferrada, Spain.
Ferrand-Prévot confided in the Geraint Thomas podcast that the itch for road cycling has been growing, especially now that there’s a Tour de France for women. While she’s concentrating on the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic Games, she didn’t rule out the possibility of hitting the road again in subsequent years. “I do miss it,” she admitted, citing her enthusiasm to possibly compete in the Tour de France Femmes.
However, Ferrand-Prévot has been far from a traditional road cyclist throughout her career. She also participated in mountain biking and cyclocross, fully dedicating herself to these off-road categories since 2019. The last time she was seen on the road was during the 2021 French Championships. Not the first multi-disciplinarian, she probably rivals Marianne Vos as one of the most successful.
Looking ahead, the rider has her sights set on the 2024 Paris Olympics, an event she eagerly anticipates, given it’s on home soil. Remarkably, despite bagging 13 World Championships in various disciplines, she’s yet to secure an Olympic medal. She expressed her enthusiasm for the games and believes that her recent self-awareness and experience will help her manage the pressure better. “I can’t wait for July 28, 2024”, she declared, referring to the date for the Olympic cross-country competition.
Ferrand-Prévot’s past experiences in London, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo, where the pressure seemed to overwhelm her, have served as learning curves. She feels more prepared and self-aware now. This newfound focus is also a driving factor behind her decision to join INEOS Grenadiers. She aims to further develop herself in the lead-up to the Paris Olympics, looking to finally add that elusive Olympic medal to her already impressive palmarès.