The COVID-19 pandemic has brought professional cycling to a halt. In the coming weeks we will be reaching out to pro riders and other personalities from the sport to understand how their lives are continuing amidst the shutdown.
Few cyclists are more decorated than France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot. World champion on the road as well as mountain biking, and cyclo-cross, Ferrand-Prévot is one of the country’s most popular athletes. But like everyone in France, she is living in lockdown as French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced the suspension of all mass public gatherings until mid-July in an effort to curb the coronavirus crisis.
As a result, like all French cyclists, professionals and amateurs, Ferrand-Prévot is forced to train at home as best she can. We caught up with her at her home in Fréjus, in the south of France.
What are the current regulations for where you live about going outside?
In France, we are not allowed to go outside to train. We have the right to leave our home for a maximum one hour, but we are limited to a one-kilometer radius of our home and we must have a travel certificate even for that. We can go shopping as well, but only for essential items.
What races were you planning to do that have been canceled or postponed?
Most of them, for sure! French Cup cyclo-cross in Marseille, the World Cup in Nove Mesto, the world championships in Albstadt and of course, the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
What are you doing today?
I keep training at least twice a day and then I spend some time in the spa and work on getting suntanned without cycling tan lines… I am conscious that we are not living the worst way to stay at home: we have a house, a pool and I can train on my home trainer… that doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it’s way more “acceptable” than for many other people.
Are you doing workouts? If so, what specifically?
Yes, as I said, I keep training. For example, I do an intensity session on my home trainer in the morning, and then some core or TRX exercises — I’ll do a core training live on my Instagram account in the coming days. Feel free to follow me! And then later in the day I usually do an easier home trainer ride.
What indoor gear are you using?
TRX, home-trainer, running shoes.
What is your motivation to train now?
I don’t want to waste time to come back at my best level when the races start again.
How are you communicating with friends and family?
Well, as many others, we use Skype, Face Time… Some Skype dinners with the family… That’s obviously the hardest part of this period: not being allowed to see Julien’s [ Absalon] parents or mine.
Have you received any helpful advice?
“There’s something positive in everything.”
When do you think you’ll race again?
Who knows? Everything depends on the global sanitary situation, for sure. But I race every day against myself on my home trainer… and I must say I am my hardest opponent!