Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Canyon-SRAM) crashed out of the ninth and final cyclo-cross World Cup of the season in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, on Sunday. The newly crowned French cyclo-cross champion was carried off the course on a stretcher and taken to hospital following the crash. She was later cleared of any major injuries, according to a team press release.
"I'm pleased I have no major injuries and I'll use the next days to recover as best I can before the world championships," said Ferrand-Prévot, who is a former world champion of cyclo-cross and a top contender to win the world title in Valkenburg on February 3.
Ferrand-Prévot used the second lap of the race in Hoogerheide to move through the riders and work her way up into the chase group. She joined Evie Richards and Jolanda Neff, and the three riders pursued eventual winner Sanne Cant and runner-up Eva Lechner.
They reached an off-camber descent on the fourth lap and Richards took a fast line though the highest side. Ferrand-Prévot started high but halfway through she dropped back and touched Neff, who was passing her on the lowest side of the descent. They both crashed and looked to be in a lot of pain. Ferrand-Prévot was transferred away on a stretcher. Neff also abandoned the race.
"Before the crash I had a great feeling on my bike. I was trying and hoping to join the two leaders," Ferrand-Prévot said.
Ferrand-Prévot returned to cyclo-cross this season after two years of injury and illness, and she cited being burned out. She won back-to-back national titles in 2014 and 2015 before going on to win the world title in 2015, she also won the road race world title a few months earlier and the mountain bike world title, all within 12 months of each other.
Upon her return to cyclo-cross this season, she enjoyed successes at DVV verzekeringen trofee in Essen (fourth), Telenet Superprestige Diegem (second) and won Vlaamse Druivencross. In the World Cup, she was fifth in Namur, fourth in Heusden-Zolder and third in Nommay. She recently won the French national title and made the decision, along with Canyon-SRAM, to compete in the world championships next weekend.
She will next race the UCI Cyclocross World Championships on Saturday 3 February in Valkenburg, Netherlands.
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