Pauline Ferrand-Prévot won’t race in the upcoming French national cyclocross championship this weekend due to a pending surgery Friday to treat iliac artery endofibrosis.
Ferrand-Prévot was sidelined last year after undergoing surgery for the same condition, but returned to mountain biking last summer, and quickly won her second world cross-country title. The French star is targeting the 2020 Tokyo Games and wants to resolve any problems as soon as possible.
“During the last 15 days, I felt abnormal symptoms in the left leg during cyclocross,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “A recurrence of iliac artery endofibrosis was confirmed yesterday, and although it is less severe than before, it will require surgery.”
The condition that began bothering her as early as 2016 and renewed surgery, similar to what Fabio Aru has faced at UAE-Emirates, will force Ferrand-Prévot to juggle her season. She had hoped to target a fourth French cyclecross title before taking on the worlds. After that, she was hoping to quickly transition to mountain biking to gain points to improve her position on the start grid for the Tokyo Games.
Ferrand-Prévot already has most of cycling’s major titles, including two world crowns in mountain biking (2015 and 2019), the road race title (2014) and cyclocross (2015). At 27, she’s still chasing an Olympic medal. Unlike 2012 and 2016, where she raced both road and mountain bike, she will focus solely on mountain biking in Japan.
After her emotional comeback last summer, it appeared the worst was behind her. Yet after a training camp in South Africa under warm weather, she said she started to feel pain again in her leg.