Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Canyon-SRAM) announced through her social media channels on Thursday that she has been struggling with an 'inexplicable pain' in her left leg for four years, and was only recently diagnosed with a problem with her blood pressure in that leg. The former multi-discipline world champion is scheduled to visit a specialist on December 12.
"I have good and bad news to announce to you," Ferrand-Prévot wrote in a post on Facebook. "For four years now I have inexplicable pain in my left leg. When I have to make an effort to more than 70% of my max, I have a feeling of a ‘dead leg’ (as if it compresses me at the level of the thigh and the foot)."
Ferrand-Prévot went on to explain that she has "seen a lot of doctors" and "followed a lot of ineffective treatments." Upon a second examination, however, doctors found that she had a problem with the blood pressure in that leg.
Ferrand-Prévot has competed in a mix of road and mountain bike this season. She secured podium places in two World Cups; Stellenbosch and Nove Mesto na Morave. She also won the French Championships and raced to a fourth place in the Val di Sol World Cup. She was second at the European Championships in Glasgow and competed at the La Bresse World Cup at the end of August, where she was fourth. She did not finish the World Championships race in Switzerland in September.
"I was starting to get sick because I did not understand why I had this pain, why I had very little strength, why I could not finish my training and (far too many) races,” Ferrand-Prévot wrote, noting that she managed to perform at the World Cup until the issues with her leg persisted to the point where she could not pedal 200 watts.
She sought additional medical attention when the pain in her leg worsened and it began happening during the night.
"I was very scared, so I asked my coach to make appointments for exams," she wrote. "I had an echo that was normal. But then I had another exam, where the doctors saw that I had a blood pressure problem in my left leg."
She said the reason for the problematic blood pressure in her left leg is still unknown, though she has an appointment to see a specialist in December. In the meantime, she is not competing in the cyclo-cross season.
"I'm a bit sad to read your messages about the cyclo-cross season on social media," she wrote. "If it were up to me, I would be in the woods, but in the meantime, I'm counting the days because I cannot wait to know what the doctors will tell me."