Alain Prost hopes to « qualify for the world championships » of cycling in the Pyrénées-Orientales

Just off the train, the quadruple Formula 1 world champion, Alain Prost was doing a reconnaissance this morning in St-Estève to prepare for the « 66 degrees south » cycling race from April 28 to 30 in the Pyrénées-Orientales.

Retired from Formula 1 for 29 years now, Alain Prost has not yet drawn a line under the sport. Passionate about cycling since 1992, « the professor », as his fans used to call him when he was still a pilot, still rides in the saddle regularly… At 67 years old. The desire to surpass herself again and again has never left her. And it should continue to support the man who has just left his post as non-executive director of the Alpine team, on April 30 on the roads of the Pyrénées-Orientales on the occasion of the 125 km race of the « 66 degrees south ».

Why did you decide to take part in the second edition of the « 66 degrees south »?

For me, it’s a very important race, because it qualifies for the world championships which will take place in Italy in September. Over the year, I have set myself two or three specific challenges and this race is one of them. It’s a fun challenge for me. I hope to qualify.

Do you know a little about the Pyrénées-Orientales?

I haven’t come here often, but I’ve already done a race not far away, at Le Boulou, a few years ago.

So this is where you hope to get your ticket to Italy…

Exactly. I have done the world championships several times, but I missed the ones that were most important to me, two years ago in Vancouver (Canada, Editor’s note) because of Covid. This is an opportunity for me to catch up for the next ones in Italy.

But before that, there is the « 66 degrees south », where it will not be easy to qualify. How to best prepare?

That’s for sure. Qualifying for this kind of event can be played at not much. That’s why I came on reconnaissance today. It is very important for me to come on site to identify the places and to be as prepared as possible.

After a long sports career, how do you still manage to find motivation to play sports?

It’s true that I do a lot less shopping than before, but I’m still cycling and I like it. I’m getting a bit older, so it’s normal for me to slow down. I am often faced with the decision of whether or not to continue competitive cycling. But hey, as long as I can, I don’t stop. I enjoy training and it keeps me in shape.

And precisely, in this regard, how do you judge your physical condition?

You should know that I still have two herniated discs… And I continue to cycle. Nobody knows, but I fight a lot. I suffer regularly. I had to give up one or two races because of my back pain. But that’s how it is. I can no longer do any sport other than cycling. Before, I did about fifteen races a year. Now I have to make do with two, three, or even four at the most.

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