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Interview: Pauline Ferrand Prevot
By Bart Hazen
Date: 11/25/2011
Interview: Pauline Ferrand Prevot

Interview: Pauline Ferrand Prevot
Interview with multi-talented 19 year old Pauline Ferrand Prevot. New signing of the Rabobank women's cycling team. Ferrand Prevot is world class in MTB, Road and Cyclocross and her main goal in 2012 are the Olympic Games.

19 year old Pauline Ferrand Prevot, the rising star in the international cycling circuit, is going to ride for the Rabobank women's cycling team alongside Marianne Vos next year. Recently she won the bronze medal at the European Championships cyclocross in Lucca, in the past she also won several world titles on the road, in time trialing and on the MTB in the junior ranks. Next year her focus will be on the Olympic Games in which she hopes to compete in both the road race and on the MTB. An interview:

Most of the people will know you from Cyclocross or Mountainbike. For the people who donít know you. Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Pauline Ferrand Prevot, 19 years old of age, and I live in Reims (France), the Champagne region. I hold a scientific bachelor and I am following a study in physical therapy.

How did you get involved with cycling?
Very naturally. I started with riding on a road bike at the age of five. My parents took care of a cycling school, so must say that I a from a real cycling family. In my family everyone rides a bike. My parents are recreational cyclists and my sister (15 years), my brother (21 years) and I are competitive cyclists.

Three years later I started with mountainbiking and cyclocross. My first big win was French Champion with the cadettes, in my first year, I have always been precocious.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot had a very good road season with a top 10 place in Fleche Wallonne and two top fives in Luxembourg. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

I read somewhere that your mother didnít want that you started with cycling because it was not female enough. Now you are so successfully how does she see that now?
In fact, my mother is a former cyclist, she would have preferred me to do an other sport than cycling. For example figure skating. My mother thought it was wrong that her daughter was going to do the same sport as the parents and my brother. She didnít want to impose.

But ultimately it was my mother who introduced me to cycling. She really believed in me. It was my mum who trained me before I got trained by Gerard Brooks. I inherited her will, she is always there for me, and she likes women's cycling.

How do you look back at your road and mtb season? Having some good results in UCI road races in Belgium and Luxembourg early in the season.
I am very happy with my first season in the Elite Womenís category. I left the juniors category and to finish in the top 10 of a World Cup, the Fleche Wallonne, is superb!
In Mountainbiking I won the U23 World Cup and was third at the World Championships. This are great results, but it was a very challenging season also due to the traveling.
After a rest period I started with cyclocross. I see I am making progression which gives me a lot of satisfaction.

Pauline started her cross season well with a third place at the European Championships, a second place in Hamme Zogge and a win in the Coupe de France. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

You finished in third place at the European Championships CX behind Daphny van den Brand and Lucie Chainel. It was your first big international race of the new season. Did you expect that?
No I didnít expect it because the European Championships was my return to cyclocross. I was not prepared for such a result. But from that race on I am making lots of progress† and I feel more and more comfortable.

Which races you will do in the current CX season?
Itís a bit frustrating, but my winter program will be shortened. In fact, I decided with my coach to stop my cyclocross season immediately after the National Championships in the beginning of January. The reason is simple, I have to be ready early in the year to collect points in both MTB and road races. My goal is to get selected for 2 Olympic disciplines, but there are only two spots for the French team. So it will be very tough.

What will be your goals for this cyclocross season?

To have pleasure, and why not a first national title with the elite.

Climbing with the best riders in the world at the Fleche Wallonne. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

After the Cyclocross season the focus will be on the Olympic Games in London. On which disciplines you will focus? And what you are aiming for?
Participating in two disciplines (MTB/Road) is a great challenge. But achievable if you look to the dates of the races. I hope to do good races, in the top 10, and gain valuable experience for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (2016).

You are active on the road, in cyclocross and in MTB. How do you manage all this?
It isnít difficult for me to switch from one bike to the other. To me this is useful, I am not from the monotony and I am never tired. The most difficult part of being a cyclist is traveling. I also have to make choices on the calendar. The disciplines are complementary.

In a later phase in your career you want to become a full-time off-road rider or road rider? Or where will you focus on.
I didnít make a choice yet. But Iíll see myself in a beautiful womenís team. (Note: Interview was done before Pauline signed with the Rabobank women's team)

Pauline is very multi-talented as she is world class in MTB, Cyclocross and Road. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

What will be your goals on long term as a person and as a cyclist?
There are still lots of things to learn, lots of good races to win and the Olympic Games are always a great moment in the career of an athlete.

You are world class in different disciplines. Some may see you as the French Marianne Vos. How do you manage/handle the pressure?
Itís an honor if people compare me with Marianne Vos. I am a fan. I donít feel the pressure, I am cool.

Do you have role models? And if so who will that be?
There are many girls who I admire in all disciplines of cycling. I admire them for their performances, behavior and femininity and I have good relations with other athletes. I am not exactly a model, I am myself.

On the podium at the cyclocross in Hamme-Zogge. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

What is Pauline doing when not riding a bike?
It is rare but I'll do other sports, studying, my darling, my family and traveling.

What do we have to know from you †what most people donít know?
I think with all these questions, there are no secrets, except that I like to eat, and drink sometimes a little sweet white wine. And I always spent the holiday season with my family.

You are studying Physical Therapy. How does the material you have to study help you in the races on physical aspect?
I mostly practice manual massage for recovery.

In Luxembourg in the break with Emma Johansson, Judith Arndt, Annemiek van Vleuten, Marianne Vos and Noemi Cantele. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

You are posing in the new edition of the cycling passion as well. How was it to be involved with this project?
It was a very nice experience. I like photo shoots. I wanted the pictures to be perfect, so I am satisfied with the outcome of the calendar.

Final question. What is your motto?
To those who believe they have won, take nothing for granted.
(Pour ceux qui croient en remportant, Il n'ya rien pour acquis.)


Together with Marianne Vos. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

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