Pauline Ferrand-Prèvot has been cleared to train after she underwent surgery on her leg.
The former world champion in multiple disciplines hasn’t raced since La Course in July last year, after doctors discovered a blood pressure issue in her leg.
Now after weeks of enforced rest following the operation, the Ferrand-Prévot has been given the all clear to resume a normal training load.
The 27-year-old, who has ridden for Canyon-SRAM since 2017, said: “It was a long nine weeks to arrive to this point, but I’ve been following the guidelines to the letter, so I’m smiling now that I have this clearance.
“At first it wasn’t easy not being allowed to ride the bike.
“I took some time to adjust, but instead of being frustrated at the time off, I used it to do a lot of things that my cycling career sometimes doesn’t allow.
“The time was long, but overall it wasn’t as bad as I expected.”
In early February, the French rider underwent surgery to correct the blood flow issue in her leg.
After four weeks of no exercise, she was allowed to start walking and then another two weeks later she could start low-intensity cycling.
She has now been given the all-clear to resume a full training load and back to riding four hour sessions.
Ferrand-Prévot, former world champion on the road, mountain bike and in cyclocross said: “I started cycling quite slow – two days on, one day off – with first just 30 minutes and slowly building up to three hours.
“I can see that I lost quite a lot of muscle during that time off, so I needed more recovery in between my sessions.
“I was getting tired easily and standing up out of the saddle at first was hard.
“Now it’s okay and I feel much better.
“I’m allowed to train as long or with as much intensity as I want.”
The reigning French mountain bike champion is focused on winning cross country gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, but in the short term she hopes to return to racing in May.