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by Neal Rogers
July 15, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: A Frenchman on Bastille Day: Barguil fights his way to Stage 13 victory at Tour de France; Albrecht takes Stage 2 victory from breakaway at Thüringen; Barnes outsprints Vos to assume lead in BeNe Ladies Tour; UCI race jury reverses 20-second penalties on Uran, Bennett at Tour de France; Fuglsang abandons Tour de France two days after fracturing wrist, elbow; Sagan to return to Tour de Pologne for first time since winning overall in 2011; American teenage phenom Adrien Costa taking leave of absence from pro cycling; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 13 highlights; Video: Inside team meetings at the Tour de France.
The Axeon Hagens Berman team announced Friday that American phenom Adrien Costa will take a break from competitive cycling for the remainder of the 2017 season. The California native, who is one of the sport’s most promising young talents, has cited fatigue as the reason behind the hiatus, explaining that at age 19, he wants to make sure that he doesn’t rush his development.
“This was an incredibly tough decision for me to make, but for my personal development I think it’s the best option. I want to take time to do other things that I’ve always been passionate about and finding a new balance between the sport I love and the rest of my life. I dream of achieving so much in cycling, but at my age it’s important to remember that I have time on my side and that the worst thing I could do is rush myself and ultimately burn out before I’m ready.
“I’ll take the rest of the season to study and travel in Europe, and give myself the time and the space that I need to prepare myself for the future. There’s so much I want to achieve, not just in cycling but in life in general, and I want to make sure that I make the right calls at this stage of my career. I feel like I’m lucky to be able to take this time, and that’s thanks to the incredible people I have around me. I am so grateful for the support and understanding I’ve received from the team, and I look forward to returning to cycling as soon as I’m ready.”
Now in his second year under Axel Merckx’s guidance within the Axeon Hagens Berman program, Costa had a stellar debut season in 2016, becoming the first American to win the Tour de Bretagne. That special victory was followed by taking second overall at the Larry H.. Miller Tour of Utah, against some of the strongest riders in the American peloton.
The 2017 season has been a difficult one for Axeon Hagens Berman, with the passing of young American rider Chad Young in April after a high-speed crash at the Tour of the Gila, followed by the passing of team communications director Sean Weide, who was found dead in his apartment in Omaha, Nebraska, at age 49.