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Pauline Ferrand-Prevot’s cyclocross campaign is in doubt after the 26-year-old Frenchwoman revealed that she is dealing with a blood flow issue in her leg.
Ferrand-Prevot detailed her struggles with an unknown ailment stretching back several seasons in an Instagram post.
“Since now 4 years I have an inexplicable pain in my leg,” she wrote. “When I push over 70% of my maximum power I don’t feel my leg anymore, and I have the sensation of ‘dead leg.'”
Ferrand-Prevot won world titles in cyclocross, mountain bike, and road across 2014 and 2015. While she has continued to shine in national championship events across multiple disciplines in recent years, she has struggled to put up consistent results in marquee international races since that remarkable stretch early in her career. She has not won any major pro road races since 2015.
As Ferrand-Prevot put it, the inability to train or race at her best left her feeling no longer herself. Repeated doctor visits to investigate her leg pain did not turn up answers, until recently.
“After few consecutive days of training in South Africa, I started to feel a lot of pain in my leg on the bike, but also during the night. I was super scared,” Ferrand-Prevot wrote.
“I asked my trainer if it was possible to do an examen because it was the first time I could feel it when I wasn’t pushing hard on my bike. We did an echo, and they couldn’t see anything. Finally, I did another exam and they detected a flow problem (too little blood pressure) in my left leg.”
Ferrand-Prevot will follow up with a specialist in December, making it unclear whether she will be able to race cyclocross this season.
Although it is unconfirmed if she has iliac artery endofibrosis, many top cyclists have suffered from this circulation condition in which a kinked artery inhibits blood flow.