Pauline Ferrand Prevot Pulls Out of the 2021 Race Season

Sep 4, 2021
by Ed Spratt  
Pauline cool and calm before the start.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot has announced on social media that she will not be racing in Lenzerheide tomorrow or at any more big races this season.

In her post on social media, Pauline states she decided to pull out of racing as her body is not fully recovering from training. Pauline does not want to cause any damage to her body by continuing her race season this year. The news follows a 12th place in the XCC Short Track race on Friday. Pauline says she feels "deeply tired, mentally and physically" from racing.

bigquotesStarting my off-season today in Lenzerheide, with chips and spritz while the others are doing the last recon before the race. I feel deeply tired, mentally and physically. I don’t have energy and my body is clearly not recovering from training. I decided to stop my season before I make too much damage to my body. I’m happy with my decision because I know it’s the best one. I will come back stronger next year.

Thanks a lot for your support and good luck to all the athletes who are racing! 1st place or 49 or whatever, you are all true heroes
Pauline Ferrand Prevot

It's sad to hear that we won't be seeing Pauline lining up tomorrow or at any more big races this year, but we can't wait to see her back at full speed for the 2022 race season.


  • 146 26
 Neff destroyed her mentally at the olympics thats for sure
  • 84 31
 And it was a glorious thing to watch
  • 46 9
 @Willikers: haha, even though i was educated to not enjoy the pain of others, that brake check before the drop was a green light for Jolanda to bully her on the uphill rocky swing, for me that was the best part of Tokyo 2021 and i watched all track&field events.
  • 8 27
flag mtbcrosscountry-com (Sep 4, 2021 at 14:31) (Below Threshold)
 @Narro2: there was no brake check involved though
  • 13 4
 @mtbcrosscountry-com: it doesn't matter if there was or there wasn't, PFP's reputation for sure made it look like there was.
  • 4 0
 @Willikers: So glorious
  • 3 4
 @Narro2: No, facts matter.
  • 11 0 for those who missed it or want to watch it again
  • 8 0
 @rifu: Thank you. That is great footage. And it shows clearly that the assertion that Jolanda squeezed PFP out are so ridiculous, because when PFP is stationary on the track on the right, that Frei, Lacomte, and Indergand (?) all had enough room to pass on the RIGHT of PFP.
  • 6 3
 @Willikers: Good job kicking someone when they are down. You must be really proud of yourself.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: why did she stop then?
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: panic braking when suddenly Jolanda appear on her peripheral field of vision and miscalculating that they will crash into each other?

@iamamodel no worries mate.
  • 3 1
 @magnusc: you are under the delusion that she reads pink bike comments


She put herself on the floor, not me nor Jolanda.

I'm not proud of myself because I didn't do it but if somebody self-sabotaged in a race, brake checked me then blamed me for it I'm going to enjoy every opportunity I get to ridicule that Rider;-)

Anyway it's pretty obvious you've never raced a bike. PC assertions when it comes to racing are so stupid.
  • 2 2
 @Narro2: she stopped to give herself an excuse for losing the race.

Did you see the glacial pace she took to retrieve her bike?

She knew her actions were stupid and was concocting a story in her head that made sense to her

Anyway the Olympics and worlds bring out the most clueless people
  • 1 2
 @magnusc: I saw your PC comments in another thread, Alain Prost

Get off my lawn!
  • 1 2
 Neff gave her fans a victory lap today sacrificing the worst finish of her career for it Total class act
  • 4 0
 @Willikers: dude, take it easy, it is just bicycles and a site on the interwebs, no need to get so personal...

@rifu @iamamodel , this is a part of the beauty of racing isn't it? seeing the psychology behind the riders, if you watch just the video without the context of being behind the handlebars and inside PFPs mind one would think there were no tricky games, just an accident, but Pauline's post race comments pretty much said it all...

"Neff went left, I went right. We were going at the same speed and we arrived at the same time, I said to myself, ‘If she doesn't brake or if I don't brake, we'll hit each other,’ so I braked"

...that's pure fear, one was afraid the other one was determined, one was bullied the other one bullying, in the context of racing of course.

I still consider Pauline an amazing rider and she'll come back strong I am sure, and thats what makes racing beautiful.
  • 1 3
 @Narro2: I'm totally cool

Just explaining the ropes to the youngster with a limited worldview
  • 1 1
 @Willikers: Seems like you have some anger issues … or maybe just the average boomer.
  • 1 3
 @magnusc: haha!

You're not very smart are you?
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: be my guest
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: Did PFP say that? There was room for two other riders between them on those rocks!
  • 2 0
 @mybaben: Yes. Narro2 has her quote above.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: Ha, that's lame. There was tons of room. Thanks mate.
  • 1 2
 @Narro2: I don’t belive PFP ever said there where any tricky games or that she got squeezed? From the quote you postet above she does not blame Yolanda. PFP probably though the speed was uncomfortably high and was afraid to crash with Yolanda on the rocks, so she braked. I don’t understand why some are trying to make this into some sort of teenage high school drama …
  • 4 0
 @magnusc: PFP didn't explicitly said so, but for some people that read between the lines, her quote does lead into thinking that she felt she got squeezed by Yolanda.

There is always drama in racing. In downhill, usually it is against pressure to perform or mental blocks eg: Vali winning qualies but keep crashing in last turns. In cross country it could be in tactical moves against other competitors eg: Nino blocking Avancini from taking his bottle in tech zone at Lenzerheide. It was clear from Avancini reaction that he didn't like it.
  • 1 0
 @magnusc: beef, drama, personality, charachter, individuality always go a long way in Racing, hence Wario and Waluigi are the most picked drivers in MK8D when playing online, even though Metal Mario and Metal Peach have the same stats.

If you want to belittle racing drama as highschool drama, well, thats on you man... but i am pretty sure next time you see Neff and PFP battling another podium next summer, the Olympic drama will come to your mind and make you more invested.
  • 2 1
 @Willikers: since when slowing down for a feature is considered brake check ...
  • 1 1
 @mtbcrosscountry-com: those are two different things
  • 1 1
 @Narro2: now that you said it, IIRC isn't there also some beef between Rissveds and Courtney?
  • 1 0
 @rifu: i dont now tbh, but i'll keep'em on my eye for the next UCI WC race, thanks!
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: Neff and PFP where hugging after they crossed the finish line in the Olympics. That’s quite a different "drama" than what we saw when Nino/Flueckiger crossed the line in the WC.

Sorry, I cannot relate to your Super Marie references :-) Been a decade since I played games, except for Zwift.
  • 51 5
 That must have been a hard decision to make. All the best and hope to see you back when you're ready!
  • 38 1
 Lot of PFP shade on here. She's not my favorite XCO racer, but that's a testament to the quality of the women's field more than anything else. She gets knocked for not having Jolanda's skills or panache, but who does?

Pauline is still a stone-cold killer who is simultaneously one of the best climbers and best sprinters in the field. She's aggressive and tactical at the same time, and while she doesn't have the technical flair of some others, she rode away from the field in the 2019 Worlds mud-fest which was one of the most difficult courses I've ever seen. She's overcome some tough chronic health issues to stay at the top of the sport for the better part of a decade. She's a brilliant talent and the sport is better for her presence. I hope she enjoys her well-earned offseason.
  • 6 2
 So you don’t understand sports fans.
  • 1 0
 @owl-X: I do, unfortunately.
  • 42 14
 I really think the required XCC for starting positions was a bad decision by UCI and only for pushing this new discipline. If there is a separate world championship, then it should be separate from XCO. The recovery time is too short between XCC and XCO, and the stress on body is only compounded making recovery that much longer. You can especially see this in the older athletes who require a longer recovery period then 20-something. The UCI essentially forced an upper age limit. There is a reason Nino and the likes did not race XCC in the worlds. I hope that riders and coaches band together to get rid of this, but I suspect the manufacturers are also pushing for the required XCC to get the exposure.
  • 7 15
flag Jamminator (Sep 4, 2021 at 10:45) (Below Threshold)
 I must have missed it, where was the short track at Tokyo? Or the Swiss Cup? Or Italia Championship? Or European Championship? You're falsely equating four races to a whole season.
  • 8 6
 @Jamminator: but the impact of the “just four races”, is compounded with additional stress. So no, I am not falsely equating. Those of us that race know how much of a difference to recovery just one additional race in a compact season makes, let alone 4, and not having adequate time to recover.
  • 31 5
 Ever hear of the Tour Day France? I hear those wimps rode like everyday for a month
  • 26 2
 For Athletes of this caliber, a short (but very intense) XCC race is not much stress on the body. Those races are only about 20 minutes long which adds very little overall stress and workload on their bodies. I love that they are including them.
  • 9 0
 @like2pedal: oh come on. Tour de What? Next you're going to tell me each stage is more than 20 min too. Unbelievable. Smile
  • 5 2
 @mrkkbb: Since you claim to be familiar with racing, then I'm sure you know that most of them will do at least one 'flying lap' in XCC course practice during the week, right? Some will do multiple flying laps throughout practice week. That's 12-15 minutes each lap at intensity to open the lungs. XCC is a set schedule they train around before the season even starts. If all the top riders are doing it, then it's the same for everyone as far as recovery or stress - that's why they added UCI points and start grid requirements, so people like Nino are forced to race and don't skip it to sandbag for Sunday.
  • 10 8
 XCC is trash anyway. Every track has been cyclocross-esque with the only skill required being the ability to sprint on hardpack or asphalt.
  • 3 4
 @like2pedal: The medical and recovery support riders get in the TDF is light years ahead of what she gets. It's not a fair comparison.
  • 1 0
 @jayacheess: it’s not really supposed to be technical skill, it’s mostly about racing tactics trying to outwit your opponents. If you’re not really into xc and don’t get the racing tactics I guess it’ll be a bit boring than the XCO
  • 1 0
 @BigPapi69: I can appreciate that there's other stuff going on, sure. I don't know that it should be used to dictate the starting list on an XCO race, though, given the differences.
  • 4 1
 @BigPapi69: I guess it's just a bit weird that one race format is used to "qualify" for another when they emphasise different skills and abilities.
  • 6 1
 @Jamminator: it is impossible to ride at the same intensity as in a race, no matter how hard you try, racing will always be that one step up. All I’m saying is that by adding races that are close to each other increases stress on the body making it harder to recover. You can’t argue with that.
  • 2 1
 Yeah man, I enjoy watching the XCC but don't like the way it is structured as part of XCO, making it a massive disadvantage for those who sit out
  • 1 0
 I'm going to respond to this now Courtney was cruising in the xcc to get a result at xco Neff strafed the xcc but didn't have enough left in the tank for the xco.. totally expected given her season
  • 26 1
 good for her, not feigning an injury
  • 23 2
 Smiling with celebratory bag with of chips knowing you have the rest of the year off must feel pretty sweet!
  • 2 0
 I would have grabbed a hand full, not the tiniest chip in the bag ;-).
  • 2 0
 @jeroenk: I smash them all up in the bag so I can pour them into my mouth.
  • 1 0
 I would have a burger and beer in my hands
  • 4 0
 @iamamodel: amateur, I blend them up and drink them.
  • 11 1
 Wise decision, Pauline. Always listen to your body/mind. Get your game back!
  • 7 1
 Well, there goes my fantasy xc team's chances...
  • 2 2
 And, congrats Loana!
  • 4 0
 She was too expensive anyway. That one is on you ;-)
  • 10 4
  • 5 0
 pffft. my off-season started ages ago.
  • 3 0
 my life is an off-season
  • 6 2
 Pounds bag of chips.......yeah, I don't feel so good!
  • 7 7
 Sad that she thinks you can only have some chips and wine now the season is over. There's the reason right there that she's burnt out. The female cyclists obsession with being as thin as possible is extremely dangerous, Lecomte is exactly the same. So refreshing to see such an athletic lady in Evie win world champs, particularly considering where she came from with her own eating disorder. If only these cyclists focused on being healthy, eating well, not counting calories and being as strong as possible instead of as thin as possible.
  • 1 0
 Yep. It's a shame that she thinks those foods are only acceptable in the off season. I know commenting on women's bodies and eating decisions is a big no no but as a female who has at times struggled with my own issues, i feel like it's pretty obvious from her instagram that she's obsessed with her size and that's probably resulting in her continuously undereating which is probably a key driver of her physical and mental burnout. I also listened to catherine pendrel on a podcast the other day saying she lost her period for many years while competing. I'm guessing this is true for many women in the field. It's not healthy. I'm also sure many of the men go through this too not just the women.
  • 1 0
 Follow your gut and training metrics.
  • 2 1
 Brave decision on her part.
  • 1 0
 Good move. Racing Sucks.
  • 15 18
 Few days ago Greg Van Avermaet same thing, he blamed the vaccin.
  • 21 3
 I guess he was shocked that over training and age can happen? At least Pauline is honest about it.
  • 8 0
 @Sscottt: it's amazing to see how talented she still is when she is not at 100%
  • 32 7
 I am old, and the vaccine has given me new KOM's.
  • 5 0
The comments section on cyclingtips on the GVA article, are worth a read.
  • 36 5
 @stikmanglaspell: the vaccine gave me the ability to continue breathing, which is pretty sweet
  • 29 1
 @stikmanglaspell: the 5G really helps with my strava upload times
  • 2 1
 @stikmanglaspell: oh jeeze the comment section that was something else.
  • 5 17
flag sonuvagun (Sep 4, 2021 at 9:36) (Below Threshold)
 @a-mc: no it didn't
  • 12 4
 Don't need the vaccine with my horse paste at the ready.
  • 2 2
 @stikmanglaspell: because 'POCKET OUTDOOR MEDIA TAKES HARDLINE ANTIVAX STANCE' sounds better than 'G. Van Avermaet Probably Blames Lack of Form on Covid Vaccination'
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I'm sure that's what it is.
  • 2 0
 @JohanG: Ha, you and Joe Rogan?
  • 2 4
 @greener1: Sure. It's not toxic and doesn't interfere with any other treatments so for $20 it's worth a slurp.
  • 6 3
 “Other data proves that there is something wrong with my immune system. My body is fighting an unknown adversary and that is probably the vaccine.”
  • 2 4
 @JohanG: Hey, maybe it will have some merit down the road, who knows.
  • 6 2
 @JohanG: By that logic you should be cramming every cheap medication you can get your hands on into your body.

Me, I wait for evidence of efficacy.
  • 7 0
 @boozed: You put de lime in the coconut, you drink 'em bot' up

--Harry Nilsson School of Medicine
  • 3 6
 @boozed: but there is a lot of evidence already but im guessing you neither look for that, nor accept it until you are told you can accept it?

Its amazing how many reputable scientists are saying there is evidence that it works but they are all disregarded because the mainstream media only publicises the studies and experts who say it doesnt work. Just like how everyone suddenly accepts that the lab leak theory is very likely when people wete being called lunatics before for suggesting it. Non stop propaganda 24-7.

Robert Malone, the man who invented mRNA vaccine technology seems to think ivermectin (amongst many other preeminent scientists) is a valuable tool in fighting the disease. But somehow his opinions are no longer valid.

We are living in a time when people are cheerleading for valid scientific discussion to be shut down. Its very worrying.

Strange that.
  • 6 2
 @humoroususername: this Dr Robert Malone?

A real bastion of integrity LOFL
  • 4 3
 @FaahkEet: yrs, that Robert Malone.

Im not really sure what smoking gun you think that wikipedia page contains. Have you even read it and are you aware anyone can edit a wiki page? Did you expect it to not contain criticism of his views on Covid 19 vaccines or something?

For anyone that has not read it, it basically points out that his career has been 100% stellar and that he is and always has been 100% credible. The only criticism of him in that article is post Covid19. He has criticised a lot of the way the vaccines have been used (he does not say they are poison or innefective for the vulnerable) and seems to believe that ivermectin has a use in this.

You do realise he is the man who led almost all of the research that has led to the mRNA vaccines that you are claiming we shouldnt question in anyway. We wouldnt have an mRNA vaccine if it wasnt for his research...yet you seem yo yhink he isnt credible because he isnt going along with the narrative.

Do you realise how insane and anti science what you are saying is?
  • 4 0
 @humoroususername: Malone is an MD and an LLC. You can hire him to do project planning and follow him on Twitter: An embattled underdog, he works from his 50-acre Virginia horse farm.

Here are some articles not written by his wife:

I like the first one because it's furthest away from professional politics
  • 1 0
 @humoroususername: In science there are no sacred cows. What do I mean by this? The opinion of an expert, no matter who they are, is entirely unimportant without supporting evidence. It would pay for you to comprehend this.
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