Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Pauline Ferrand-Prevot looks to pad historic resume in Richmond

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot won three world titles in the last year in road cycling, cyclocross, and mountain biking. She's eyeing another one.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

RICHMOND, Virginia (AFP) — Defending champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot of France is confident entering Saturday’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships after having completed a historic hat trick of women’s global crowns.

Following her victory in the 2014 worlds road race, the 23-year-old won the world cyclocross and world mountain bike titles this year to become the first rider in cycling history to accomplish the versatile triple.

Now, Ferrand-Prevot faces the challenge of trying to keep her rainbow jersey — and she likes her chances.

“I’m really motivated to keep this world championship,” she said. “Since my mountain bike title, I was extremely motivated. Training these days was not a problem. When you win a world title, you are motivated to work. I’ll be in very good form, much better than last year.

“I think I can play a leading role on Saturday.”

Ferrand-Prevot sees her usual Rabo-Liv teammate, Dutch star Anna van der Bruggen, and Great Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead as major rivals in her repeat bid.

“It’s not just me,” she said. “Van der Bruggen. I also think Lizzie Armitstead won a lot of times this year when it passes the bumps and is very fast in the sprint. I can see her among the big favorites.”

The Dutch team is without three-time world champion and five-time worlds runner-up Marianne Vos, who scrapped her season in June due to nagging injuries. “I know the Dutch team is going to be prepared,” Van der Breggen said. “It’s going to be exciting. We’re ready for it. That rainbow jersey is the most beautiful jersey there is.”

Other contenders include Belgian sprint star Julien d’Hoore, 2010 and 2011 world champion Giorgia Bronzini of Italy, 2013 runner-up and 2014 bronze medalist Emma Johansson of Sweden, and Germany’s Lisa Brennauer, last year’s road race silver medalist who was third in her time trial title defense.

The 129.8-kilometer road course includes Libby Hill, a narrow, 200-meter climb over cobblestones, a 19 percent slope up another short city rise, and a 300m climb just before the finish line.

“I did not think it would be this hard,” Ferrand-Prevot said. “It’s clear that there will be no mass sprint in women. It’s a good thing.”

Ferrand-Prevot finished eighth in the 2012 Olympics road race as the youngest entrant, and is already starting to plan for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

“The Rio Games, it will be a big goal,” she said. “For me, the preparation starts now. Last year, I arrived at the world championships less sure of my form. Now I feel like I’m really fit, like I want to win.”