Cécile Ravanel - She's Found a New Role Within the Team


Nine months after a fall that could quite easily have cost her general mobility, Cécile Ravanel has gradually regained form and most importantly, is riding her bike! Like every year at the Roc d'Azur, we took the opportunity to reflect on the situation and the year the team has had.

COMMENCAL: How are you?

Cecile Ravanel: A lot better! Obviously, things never happen as quickly as you want them to in this situation, but I'm still happy with the evolution and progression.
I was told that it would be more than a year before I would find form/feel comfortable. I can walk, play sports, ride my bike… So, it's positive!

C: Have you been able to resume training?

CR: It's pretty tricky. I can do gym sessions to get fit.
I do bodybuilding when I feel good, but I am extremely tired in the hours and days that follow.
It's pretty frustrating for now because I still don't get to get on with regular training, if only to gain strength.
It prevents me from having a long-term goal, to set a date to get back to racing...

C: Have you had the opportunity to ride a bike?

CR: I actually raced for the first time in a round of Crankworx Whistler in August.
Since then, I’ve ridden from time to time, at my own pace, with the young guys and girls I work with in the Fréjus. Also, with the POWER.
It's generally still physically difficult, but I'm taking my time and enjoying it.

C: Do you have a date in mind for a return to the racing?

CR: Whatever happens, the doctors have forbidden me to return to racing before February 2020.
We will see then, but it gives me time.
Even if I want to ride every day and I miss racing a lot, I do not want to rush things.
A crash can happen quickly and it could greatly aggravate the situation.
I lost a hinge point in my spine, so it would be super risky to fall again.
I don't have much to prove in the Enduro World Series, so it would be too unnecessarily risky.
My body and my health, I know them well now! I also know where I need to be for a possible return to racing.
There must be no risk involved.

C: How did you get through this season on the other side of the tape?

CR: During the first two rounds of the Enduro World Series, I was really not in great shape.
It was difficult, I didn't imagine being able to ride a bike so i was just happy to be able to accompany my team and be closer to them through race weeks.
It became more complicated during the Madeira round (early May).
The corset was off and I was much more mobile but at the same time, I could not ride.
So I had to stay in the pits and wait.
Even if I participated in team life, I felt really useless.
In Canazei, Italy (end of June), I was still forbidden to ride but I couldn't help accompany Antoine and Cedric with my POWER for a few kms.
This little tour made me crazy happy but at the same time, it exhausted me.
I realised the road to full recovery was still long…

C: You're already a coach outside of the race circuit. Has that played a role in your life with the team this season?

CR: It's true that the more the rounds of racing passed by, the more I discovered a coaching role for myself within the team.
I was there to fix things, manage training and practise, prep before race starts etc...
I was very grateful for the fact that I could accompany them everywhere and follow the season from a different perspective.
I was 100% focused on the team, even when the guys were racing.
To give you an idea, I haven’t even followed the results of the women this year.

C: The team had an amazing season, how did you find it?

CR: It was great to live this different season together. The team's results gave us a great visibility, especially with the breakthrough of Antoine, who got everyone talking.
The only shame is that if i'd ridden all season as normal, we could have won the overall team classification of the Enduro World Series.
There’s nothing more enjoyable than winning a collective trophy within a team.
But that's how it is, the team is still moving forward whatever happens!

C: After Antoine Vidal's exceptional season, how does the team see things for next season?

CR: It's true that the performances he has achieved this season are incredible, especially when you know that this was the first year he's followed a training program.
He has been in the Top 5 or 10 across all categories several times, we did wonder if we should put him in the Elite category…
But he will stay in the U2 for at least another year as he must not lose this speed and the motivation he has.
This year, he had a lot of travel between the Enduro World Series and the DH World Cup in which he competed in a few rounds.
By moving into the Elite category, it could be too tiring.
We think it's better for him to continue strongly this year in his category, so he's still gaining experience and confidence.

C: What are the goals for this season?

CR: For Antoine the goal will obviously be to win the Enduro World Series overall in its category, by winning a maximum of rounds and getting as close to the Elites as possible.
In DH, he will participate in one or two well-known rounds for training and fun.
These DH races will be strategic, the calendar falls very badly this year and he will ride Elites in this discipline.
He will have a lot more pressure in qualifying rounds, etc.
And he mustn't forget that DH is a bonus for him, it must remain a pleasure to take part.
As for Cedric, he doesn't know whether he will ride or not yet.
At the moment, his job is to prepare everything for next season: travel, shopping, equipment...
He spends most of his time on the computer and has not thought about the sporting side yet (she laughs)!

C: What can we wish for you next season?

CR: To have fun, have fun and have fun! ;)

 
 


       

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