The Canyon-SRAM team announced today that it will part ways at the end of the year with Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, the six-time world champion across three disciplines who has been with the German squad for the past four seasons. Ferrand-Prévot said she would confirm her new team in the coming weeks.
A team press release did not say what prompted the change, but referenced the Frenchwoman would move “closer to the centre of her life, her family. It’s a move we understand, and yet it’s one we know will leave a gap in our Canyon family.”
Canyon-SRAM have had a flurry of new signings for 2021, which included a four-year deal with American Chloé Dygert. In the past few days the Women’s WorldTour team has also announced new additions of Elise Chabbey from Equipe Paule Ka, Neve Bradbury from the Zwift Academy, and has recent contract extensions for British champion Alice Barnes, Tiffany Cromwell, Lisa Klein and Alexis Ryan.
“It’s time for me to open new doors, thanking all those who believed in me despite the hardships, have accompanied and supported me during these four years rich in intense memories,” stated the multi-dimensional Ferrand-Prévot on her Instagram feed.
“Under contract until December 31, 2020, I will be able to tell you more about it next year … which is not far away! So a little patience, but in the meantime, I wish you all a happy end of year celebrations and to write each year a little…”
The French rider made history in 2015 at the age of 23 as a triple world champion, holding consecutive titles across three disciplines – road racing, mountain biking and cyclo-cross. She competed on both the road and mountain bike events at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, but was not at full strength due to injuries. She finished 26th in the road race and was a disappointing “DNF” In the cross-country mountain bike race.
Rather than retire, Ferrand-Prévot would move from Rabobank in 2017 to Canyon-SRAM, continuing to win French national championships in cross country and cyclo-cross, and taking a bronze in cross country Worlds, but no wins on the road. She would earn a silver at GP de Plouay and top 10s in Amstel Gold Race in 2017, followed by seventh in Liege-Bastogne-Liege and sixth at TrofeoAlferdo Binda in 2018. Then, after years of experiencing pain in her legs, she was diagnosed in November 2018 with double iliac artery enofibrosis, in one spot in each leg.
She had her first surgery in early 2019, and returned to competition on the mountain bike by late summer to capture world titles in cross country and marathon. A broken nose and the return of endofibrosis had her off the bike again for surgeries in October 2019 and January 2020, but Ferrand-Prévot came back yet again for a third cross country world championship this past October.
“I hope that my three world titles in 2019 and 2020 proved them right,” Ferrand-Prévot said about Canyon-SRAM sticking with her. Earlier this year she told Eurosport that she would continue to focus on participating in the delayed Tokyo Olympic Games, rescheduled for July 23 to August 8, 2021.
Team Manager Ronny Lauke confirmed that the team never had doubts about Ferrand-Prévot, saying in a statement, “I am delighted that CANYON//SRAM Racing, together with our partners, have been able to bring Pauline back to where she belongs: at the top of the sport. I wish her all the best for the future.”