Ineos Grenadiers' only female rider Pauline Ferrand-Prévot eyes road return

Mountain bike legend could be back in the peloton next year

Pauline Ferrand Prévot competing in cyclo-cross
Pauline Ferrand Prévot competing at the 2022 cyclo-cross Superprestige Boom
(Image credit: Getty )

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, a former road world champion and holder of three mountain bike world titles, has set her sights on a return to road racing, but not before the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

The Frenchwoman is one of the sport’s most decorated riders, having claimed ten world titles across four different disciplines throughout her career. Last year, she won four rainbow jerseys, in short track, cross country and marathon mountain biking, as well as the inaugural UCI Gravel World Championships

In October 2022, the 31-year-old signed for Ineos Grenadiers as the team’s sole female rider, joining as part of their “off-road roster”. Speaking to Cycling Weekly earlier this month, she outlined that her future ambitions involve a return to the road. 

“I come from road racing originally, so of course I’d like to return to the road one day,” Ferrand-Prévot said. “But not right now, after the Olympics in Paris.”  

At her native Games in France, Ferrand-Prévot will target the women’s cross-country mountain biking event, hoping to add a gold medal to her extensive palmarès. She came 10th in the race in Tokyo two years ago, writing on Instagram afterwards that she was “disappointed but not dejected” with the result. 

Asked how she has found her time at Ineos Grenadiers, who she is contracted with until the end of 2024, the Frenchwoman told Cycling Weekly: “It’s going well. I’m finding my feet. We’ve got plenty of things in place. There’s plenty of new things for me, too, new team, new staff, new bike. It’s cool and it’s really interesting.” 

A return to the road for the former world champion is currently complicated by the fact that Ineos Grenadiers do not have a women’s team, and do not take part in women’s road events. 

Asked if she expects to compete for the British team, Ferrand-Prévot remained elusive. “I don’t know,” she said. “It’s not up to me to say these things. But women’s cycling is evolving really well. It’s really interesting to see the evolution and to see that the sport has grown enormously.

“What’s good in women’s cycling is that there’s no standard template for races, so it’s really interesting to watch.” 

Outside of National Championships events, Ferrand-Prévot's last competitive road races came in 2018, when she rode for Canyon-Sram. In 2014, she won the World Championships Road Race in Ponferrada, Spain in a tight sprint finish.

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Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.