The only rider to hold cross-country, cyclocross and road racing world titles at the same time, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot is a three-time XCO world champion.
There aren't many athletes who can claim to be at the top of their chosen sport in three distinct disciplines. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot is one such athlete.
The bike racer competes at the very highest level of mountain bike cross-country (XCO), cyclocross and road racing and is past senior World Champion in each. Indeed, the Frenchwoman is the only person in history to hold the road, cyclocross and mountain bike world titles at the same time.
Riding a bike came naturally to Pauline. Her parents ran a bicycle school, while her sister and brother also compete in France. Since stepping on a bike as a five-year-old, this native of Reims, France, has had victory on her mind.
A junior World Champion on the road and cross-country, Pauline turned pro in 2012 with the Rabobank-Liv team. The Dutch-based cycling outfit was the perfect place for her, as they allowed her to pursue objectives with them across road, cross-country and cyclocross.
The years 2014 and 2015 saw Ferrand-Prévot at the peak of her powers. Two XCO World Cup wins in 2014 were followed by victory at the Road Race World Championships in Spain. Early 2015, saw Pauline add the Cyclocross World Championship title to her palmares, followed by a second place in the Giro Rossa multi-stage road race in spring. Another XCO World Cup win came in Windham in August of that year and a month later she took the Worlds XCO title in Vallnord, Andorra.
Niggling injury problems severely hampered Pauline's performances during the 2016 season, but as 2017 progressed she began to regain the form that makes her such a special bike rider, culminating in bronze medal at the UCI MTB World Championships in Cairns, Australia.
After being forced to undergo complex surgery to repair a damaged artery in her leg, Pauline was sidelined for months at the beginning of the 2019 campaign. Showing her class and determination, though, she made an incredible recovery to win the Val di Sole World Cup round in August.
She then went on to claim the biggest prize in the sport, the UCI Mountain Bike XCO World Championships, for the second time when she rode through the field to take a dominant gold medal in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada, capping an incredible comeback that reminded the world just how talented a cyclist she really is.
Pauline once again showcased her class in 2020, despite the disrupted calendar. She added another World Cup win to her tally during a hectic week in Nové Město, Czech Republic and then went on to become the first woman to successfully defend the XCO World Championship title in Leogang, Austria, a week later.
She then took first place at the European Championships in Switzerland, with these dominant performances signalling to to all her competitors that she will be the rider to beat.