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by Mark Zalewski
November 30, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Jack Bobridge forced into early retirement; More reactions to team size reduction plan; Roland Liboton: ‘Wout van Aert should be worried’; FDJ moving forward with women’s programme addition; Tour de France to race on Tro-Bro Léon roads in 2018?; Ghent-Wevelgem retires bib 192 for Antoine Demoitié; Louis Vuitton in talks to buy Rapha; Descending the Stelvio with no handlebars or brakes; Police seize $100k of bikes in Gold Coast town; ‘Tour de Celeb’ cycling reality TV show kicks-off; Video: Behind the scenes of Roadtripping Bali; Revolution Cycling Champions League Manchester highlights; Emu attacks cyclist.
Current Australian national road champion and three-time Olympian Jack Bobridge announced his retirement, effective immediately, due to the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. The 27-year-old was diagnosed in 2010 but managed his condition with medication. However, following the Rio Olympics, where he won a silver medal, he took stock of his situation and decided the toll on his body was too much, ending his contract with the Trek-Segafredo team in September.
“Since the [Rio] Games and backing off the training and racing load I’ve found my arthritis has been 100 per cent better and I’ve been able to get off all meds medication] as well,” he told the Adelaide Advertiser. “I chose to come back to Australia last year to concentrate on the track, and when I went back into the WorldTour this year it was one last stab at it.
“I don’t really care what anyone else thinks I could have done or what I’ve done, I only went back to Europe this year to finalise things in my own head and I found it wasn’t enjoyable with the arthritis and the pain. The stuff you have to go through in the Grand Tours and racing, it’s just not fun. There’s pain in my feet, hands and my back. When you get the flare ups your body is fighting it and a Grand Tour is hard enough as it is.
“Obviously I love the bike, the racing and the lifestyle, but I’ve got a two-year-old now and I could drag on for three or four years but come 40 or 50 the damage it’s going to do and the arthritis in my body … I don’t see sport is worth it.”
Bobridge is planning to open a coaching business in Perth this December. “I’m going from being an athlete and being coached to the other side and trying to help other people reach their goals,” Bobridge said.
Click through to read more at The Advertiser. And follow the link for a CyclingTips interview with Bobridge in which he talks about his post-retirement plans.