Named after Italian cyclist Felice Gimondi, Félicia Ballanger was the strongest track sprinter of the 1990s, racing for Vendée la Roche Cycliste. After losing the Olympic bronze in 1992 against Ingrid Haringa, she then won the sprint at the next two Games. In 1996 she beat defending champion Erika Salumäe in the quarter-finals, after using her sur place technique for 3 minutes. In 2000 she was forced into a third run in the final, her first in 3 years, by Oksana Grishina. Four days earlier, she had won the 500 metre time trial, beating her main rival, Australian Michelle Ferris by 0.556, whom she had already beaten in the Olympic final in 1996 and in three World Championships. After two bad accidents in 1993 (a broken collarbone and a pierced rib), she returned to competition, winning the World Championship silver in 1994 in the sprint, and she won 10 world titles in all, achieving double victories in all years between 1995 and 1999. She won 19 French titles and bettered the world record in the 500 m six times. Her last, 34.01 in 1998 in Bordeaux, stood as a French national record for over a decade. She retired after the Sydney Olympics and became the vice-president of the Fédération Française de Cyclisme. She also became a commentator French television during cycling events.