Pro racer Axelle Dubau-Prévôt emailed me a few months ago, and since then, she has quickly become one of my favorite riders (and ladies, her Instagram is amazing!). She’s super positive, super fast, and since she started riding at four years old, she’s had a lot of years to pick up some great tips that she shares in our Real Life Shred Girls Q&A here. So give it a read, learn some lessons, and definitely follow what she’s up to!
When did you start riding? What got you into it?
I started cycling in competition at the age of 4 years old. All my family practiced and I was bathed in it since birth. It was obvious!
Favorite part about riding?
What I like in this sport is the taste of the effort, to go to the end of oneself, to surpass oneself: This sensation when the body says no and the head says yes. I have always been very competitive, all young already I was doing “half wheel” during all training! I like going on competitions to find the atmosphere and adrenaline. Sunday always rhymes with race day and it is sometimes hard to stay at home during rest periods!
Least favorite part about riding?
On the other hand, is there really a part that I like the least …? If I’m looking good … Apart from the frustration of not doing as well as I will have wanted, there is not much! So practical this sport for so many years is that there is finally not much that bothers me!
Have you made friends through racing?
The world of cycling is a big family, I met great people who brought me a lot in my life as a woman and in my life as an athlete. I am thinking in particular of Audrey Cordon (Procyclist at Wiggle High5), she is one of those rare people to whom I give my complete confidence and who will be there I know it in moments of doubt as in success! Cycling weaves very strong links, that’s for sure.
Coolest trick or accomplishment you’ve had with riding?
The coolest trick I have with riding… Maybe follow my boyfriend during long and hard training (Hahaha 😅) I think this is my professional contract with the Experza-Footlogix team, it really announces a fabulous year!
What does a week of training/riding look like for you?
I love start the weeks quietly and finish hard with the race. That’s how I work best! Monday is recovery, Wednesday intensities, Wednesday a long training, Thursday rest, Friday exercises and Saturday relaxation before the race! I add at this some fitness and running according to the desire.
Best tip for someone your age or younger who’d love to get started riding/racing, but doesn’t know anyone else to ride with?
The best advice I can give would be to have fun whatever happens. Do not force yourself to do something if the desire is not there! It may be a mistake that too many people make. I often say that if the motivation is there, everything is fine.
Best tip for someone new to racing?
I will give the same advice to someone who starts competitions, just “enjoy your ride”! Have fun, animate the race, get hurt, give everything and regret nothing! We have nothing for nothing, so we have to fight. It works just as well in cycling as in life.
Absolute favorite piece of gear? (Can be your bike, helmet, shoes, a really cool shirt, whatever!)
My favorite accessory right now is my LAKE shoes, because I’m terribly good at it and I find the design really cool. All women love shoes (well … I think) I also love my bike shoes! It’s important to love your equipment from head to toe!
Obviously, your sister is a huge deal in cycling! (You might recognize the last name ‘Prevot,’ if you follow… road, mountain biking or cyclocross. Pauline Ferrand Prevot is one of the most famous—and young!—pro racers in the world, with World Championship wins in road, mountain bike and cyclocross.) How has that impacted your cycling and your career?
Today I will say that being “the sister of Pauline Ferrand-Prévôt” had a good impact on my career, it allowed me to boost myself and create my own universe. But it is neither a strength nor a weakness for me. I will not fight to be like her, I fight to be the best part of myself. I did not always have this speech and it was difficult for me. All the races I could have won, my sister had already won before me. Now I am aware of having my own qualities and being capable of good things in my turn, I can only think like that, to see a pride and be happy that my sister has managed to realize his dreams, tell me that nothing is impossible for me too! I do not dream of a career similar to hers and I want to create my own story, we are different, starting with our hair color! (😛) Maybe if I had taken this in this younger way things would have been different, or maybe not … Who knows? Today I see things in a very healthy way, that’s what’s important.