"Cycling is balance. If I stop pedaling, I fall."
Axelle Dubau-Prevot, former pro cyclist and Veloine ambassador, shares her personal cycling story with us. An inspiring conversation #aboutcycling with a multi-talented woman.
Hello Axelle! Please introduce yourself in a few sentences.
ADP: I’m Axelle Dubau-Prevot, former pro cyclist, passionate about my sport and a healthy lifestyle. I also love yoga, hiking, running, good healthy food – and French red wine.
How did you get into cycling?
ADP: I grew up in a family of cyclists: my mother was a good national cyclist and so was my father. He also had a bike shop, which he inherited from his father. My brother and sister were also cyclists – both really determined. Today, Pauline is the best international cyclist the world may have known! Damn, if I had known I would have taken a little more example of her ;-)
What does the sport mean to you today?
ADP: Cycling means the world to me. I didn’t choose cycling, this sport imposed itself on me and has been rocking my childhood and my life still today. Now, I am engaged to a cyclist, I am a dietician and naturopath specialized in sport, everything in my life is about cycling and sports in general. It’s one of the things I do best, it is something so obvious to me, something I will always do. Cycling is balance. If I stop pedaling, I fall.
What does your cycling routine look like these days?
ADP: I usually train 20 hours a week, always cycling with my fiancé who is a professional mountain biker. On the other days I run. Yes, I’m a bit hyperactive! I do a lot of core stability and balance exercises, it may seem strange, but I love that. I am also a certified yoga teacher. When I have time, I like to do a session to relax.
“It’s not the results that will remain, but the encounters the sport has given me. These moments will stay forever.”
What is your most precious cycling memory to date – is there any special moment you will always remember?
ADP: I have a lot... Obviously, each of my sister’s wins was a highlight. Personally, for me it is not the results that will remain but the encounters that sport has given me. The selections into the national team to prepare the international championships with one of my best friends… this sense of sacrifice… this determination to give your best… this adrenaline that only sport can bring. This madness and excitement! Just talking about it does something to me. These moments will stay forever. Regardless of the results, sport has this special ability of multiplying the sensations and making each moment even more intense.
Let’s talk about women’s cycling in particular. What do you associate with being a Fearless Female Cyclist?
ADP: It has a big meaning to me. I’m so thankful that life gave me such a tough character in this cycling world. We as women need it. It’s no small thing to start a race surrounded by guys. You need to make room for yourself. I am small, so I shout out loud to show that I am there. Fearless Female Cyclist for me is a reminder of the basics: It’s training twice as hard, it’s passing like men, it’s daring to show up in the middle of a pack of guys, it’s sprinting with them at the finish. A Fearless Female Cyclist is a badass who’s not afraid of hurting. That’s what I love.
As a former pro cyclist and as a woman, how has women cycling developed over the last years from your point of view?
ADP: It's crazy how women's cycling has grown in recent years ... it's fabulous. Thanks to all these inspiring girls who make this sport even more interesting for everyone. It makes me proud to be part of this community of women cyclists.
“Build yourself a solid body. And a solid mind. You will take setbacks.”
For women who just started cycling or those who are looking to do it more intensely, what would be your top tip - mentally and/or physically?
ADP: Build yourself a solid body. And build a solid mind. It’s a difficult sport, you’ll take a lot of setbacks. And each time you do, get back into the saddle immediately and become even stronger!
You’re based in France, in a town not far from Spain. Do you have a favorite route every cyclist should have on their bucket list?
ADP: Col de Banyuls. It’s a nice place between France and Spain. I don’t go there very often because there are also lots of tourists, but at the end of summer, when it’s not that crowded, I really appreciate to go there for a long ride with Hugo. Last summer, we did a five hours training session over there, with a waffle stop at the end, it was super cool.
What are your personal cycling goals for 2020?
ADP: For the coming year, I would like to have the opportunity to go to Canada for the UCI Gran Fondo world championships which I would like to win.