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VN news ticker: Ferrand-Prévot abandons ‘cross campaign, Red Bull partners Bora-Hansgrohe for scouting project

Here's the news making headlines on Saturday, January 14.

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Pauline Ferrand-Prévot pulls plug on ‘cross campaign after recent injury

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot abandoned her cyclocross campaign, officials confirmed. The newly signed Ineos Grenadiers rider is struggling to shake an injury sustained at the Gavere World Cup on December 26 and looking to recover strong for her mountain bike ambitions in the spring.

Ferrand-Prévot dived back into cyclocross this winter for the first time since 2020 and was targeting a return to the ‘cross worlds in February as she kickstarts an ambitious multi-discipline program with Ineos Grenadiers.

“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,” she said. “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.”

Ferrand-Prévot became Ineos Grenadiers’ first female athlete off the back of a 2022 season that saw her score three MTB world titles and the rainbow bands at the inaugural gravel championships.

“Pauline can only look back on this last season and be really proud of what she has achieved,” said deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth. “She has been such a great addition to the team and we have all been impressed with her work ethic, attitude and knowledge. It’s now important that she takes some time to heal so she can come back stronger and ready to go all in for 2023.”

Bora-Hansgrohe launches global talent scouting program with Red Bull

Red Bull Junior Brothers
Red Bull Junior Brothers launches February 1.

Bora-Hansgrohe is partnering energy drink giant Red Bull for a talent scouting project, the “Red Bull Junior Brothers.”

Riders under 19 years of age will compete via Zwift or Strava before a test camp in August. Two winners will be handed a spot on Bora’s junior squad, Team Auto Eder, and a contract as a Red Bull athlete.

“This is the first time that Red Bull is involved with a project in road cycling globally, and I am proud that they are doing this together with Bora-Hansgrohe,” said team manager Ralph Denk.

“In addition, the program itself is also a milestone for us in terms of scouting. Through the Red Bull Junior Brothers, we can search for talent worldwide and even reach those who might not otherwise take part in races at all.”

The Zwift Adademy-style program will first rely on data gathered via online platforms before character and racecraft are tested at the final camp.

“Successful applicants must bring with them talent and strength, but also the potential to improve,” said Dr. Christian Schrot, team head of scouting and development. “Particularly at the camp, we will have the opportunity to put the riders through their paces, and also get to know them personally. Character is important, because to have a professional career, you need commitment and stamina.”