After a stunning fall season that saw Pauline Ferrand-Prévot win four separate world championship titles and sign with Ineos Grenadiers, the French racer is stopping her cyclocross campaign early.
Ferrand-Prévot announced in the fall that she would target 2023 cyclocross worlds. She was aiming for a fifth world championship title in under 12 months. If successful, it would have added to an already-historic run of cross country (XCO), short track cross country (XCC), marathon cross country (XCM) and gravel world championship titles that Ferrand-Prévot won between late August and October.
The Ineos rider’s cyclocross campaign started out alright only to be derailed by injury. Now, that injury is preventing her from contesting her first world championship since joining the the powerhouse team.
“Obviously I would have loved to compete at the cyclocross World Championships but my leg just hasn’t healed as quickly as we would have thought,” Ferrand-Prévot shared in a statement from the team. “So I have taken the decision, along with my coach and the team, to concentrate on recovery so I can come out fit and strong for the start of the mountain bike season in April.”
While the past-cyclocross champion won’t return to her CX throne, Ferrand-Prévot did add that she’s still, as one would hope, very happy with how her ’22 season ended.
“I cannot be disappointed with how this season has gone, to have won four rainbow jerseys is pretty mind blowing when I look back at it. Then joining this Team has been incredible, everyone has really welcomed me in and I already feel at home here. The support I receive from all the staff is pretty special. I’m looking forward to having some downtime and then coming back and seeing what we can do together for the rest of the year.”
Ferrand-Prévot isn’t the only Ineos rider skipping cyclocross worlds. Tom Pidcock announced he will skip his cyclocross world championships defense to focus on the road Classics. Pidcock won ’22 cyclocross worlds in the U.S. as the start of his own quest for a trio of world championship titles in one year. That effort fell apart at mountain bike world championships at Les Gets.