Pauline Ferrand-Prevot will continue to combine road and mountain bike duties when she joins Canyon-SRAM in 2017, though she hinted that she will have a less hectic mix of disciplines than in recent years.
"What motivates me is to continue doing everything because I need that variety – but at my own rhythm," Ferrand-Prevot told L'Équipe. "Since I was very young, I've always done one thing after another without taking time to rest or even to savour things. I should have enjoyed my victories because it might be the case that there won't be others."
The Frenchwoman claimed three rainbow jerseys in three different disciplines in the space of twelve months when she won the Worlds road race in Ponferrada in 2014, and then added the cyclo-cross and mountain bike world titles in 2015.
Ferrand-Prevot targeted both the road race and mountain bike event at the Rio 2016 Olympics, but could only place 26th in the former and abandoned the latter after a season plagued by injury and illness. In a lengthy social media post the following week, Ferrand-Prevot said that cycling "had become a nightmare" and has not competed since.
"The days after [the Olympics] were the first. I stayed in Paris for two weeks at my best friend's house, without seeing anyone. The worst two weeks of my life, I think," Ferrand-Prevot said. "On the day of the race […] I was only disappointed with myself. But afterwards, even though I avoided social networks and switched off my phone, I heard what was being said, very hurtful things from people who spoke without knowing."
Ferrand-Prevot's switch from Rabo-Liv to Canyon-SRAM was confirmed in September. She will ride the Mégavalanche mountain bike event in Reunion on November 27, but will not resume competition in earnest until March or April 2017 at the earliest.
"That [Mégavalance] gives me an objective, because I can't go the whole winter without one, but there's no pressure," she said. "The idea is to go on feeling and train without obligation. If I feel ready, I'll return to competition in March or April. If not, I'll take all the necessary time. But I've signed for four years with Canyon and I don't think they're going to pay me to do nothing for four years."