Ferrand-Prevot proves her point
Pauline Ferrand-Prevot has described her victory in the cross-country race at the Mountain Bike World Championships at the weekend as proof that she can be competitive in three separate events at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Ferrand-Prevot is also the current world road race and cyclo-cross champion, and she will seek to defend her road crown in Richmond in just under three weeks, but she said that her triumph in Andorra at the weekend was not a message of intent to her road rivals.
“No, it’s more a message to those who asked me to choose between mountain biking and the road, not to mention cyclo-cross,” Ferrand-Prevot told L’Équipe. “I was right not to listen to anyone but myself. I knew that it was possible to succeed in three disciplines.”
The Frenchwoman suggested that she will look to combine the road race, time trial and mountain bike events at the Rio 2016 Olympics, and confirmed that she will visit Brazil for a test event in early October.
“I’m not going there on holidays, I’m going there to see the three circuits,” she said. “I’m going to look for accommodation because there’s no question of staying in the Olympic Village, it’s too noisy. I want to get the maximum amount of information so that I can come back next August saying to myself ‘Ah, I know this place'. When you know a place, it’s more reassuring.”
Bouhanni resumes Worlds build-up
A week after being forced out of the Vuelta a España by the mass crash on stage 8 to Murcia, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) returned to action at the GP de Fourmies on Sunday and resumed his build-up to the World Championships road race in Richmond.
Bouhanni had to settle for third place in the sprint behind winner Fabio Felline (Trek Factory Racing) and Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) but declared himself guardedly pleased with his afternoon’s work.
“[French coach] Bernard Bourreau came to see me at the Tour de l’Ain and he showed me the Worlds course. My objective is to get there on top form, and I feel on schedule for that, even if I didn’t feel very good today,” Bouhanni said, according to L’Équipe.
“But ten metres after the finish line, I was in front, and I didn’t think I’d get back as quickly from my three crashes at the Vuelta, especially because I still have a lot of pain at the base of my back and on one side.”
Bouhanni’s build-up to the Worlds will continue with the Tour du Doubs next Sunday, followed by the GP de Wallonie (September 16) and the GP d’Isbergues (September 20).
Katusha’s Bystrøm misses possible win due to confused finish
Katusha’s Sven Erik Bystrøm had been active throughout the race and was in no-man’s land chasing the lone leader and eventual stage winner, Lasse-Norman Hassen (Cannondale-Garmin). As he gave chase following the race officials on motorbikes, they took a wrong turn with the peloton soon after, leading to chaos and confusion at the finish.
“I attacked alone, and at first didn’t realise there was one guy still ahead since there are no radios in this race,” Bystrøm said. “But then suddenly before we hit the local circuits, they showed me the wrong way to go. I was just following the moto-bikes in front of me. Then they tell me I have to turn around and also the entire peloton who were behind me, it was over at that point.”
Cold, wet, and tired, the riders cruised to the finish before heading to their buses to warm up. Hansen was one of only two riders who took the correct turn – the other being Trek’s Laurent Didier with teammate Bauke Mollema crossing the line in third place. Mollema holds a 10 second lead over Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) heading into the final stage Monday.