Viviani wins in Abu Dhabi, Barnes in Valencia, new Shimano shades: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

February 23, 2018

Viviani wins stage 2 of the Abu Dhabi Tour; Barnes wins stage 1 of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana; Von Hoff fractures four vertebrae, yet keeps fingers crossed for Commonwealth Games; Olympic MTB champ Jenny Rissveds breaks contract to address mental health; Boonen takes up role with Lotto-Soudal and Captains of Cycling project; Shimano unveil new S-Phyre R and X premium eyewear; New Cannondale aero bike spotted; Video: WNT-Rotor ready for 2018

Olympic MTB champ Jenny Rissveds breaks contract to address mental health

by Neal Rogers

Reigning Olympic mountain-bike champion Jenny Rissveds and her Scott-SRAM team — the only pro team she’s ever known — have agreed to part ways so that she can focus on mental health issues rather than competition.

One of the biggest names in women’s mountain biking — with an Olympic title, as well as a rainbow jersey at the 2016 U23 World Championships and the 2015 U23 World Cup series title — the 23-year-old Swede terminated her contract with the team she has been a member of since 2014.

Rissveds made her decision last week and informed team manager Thomas Frischknecht, director of the Scott-SRAM team which also boasts Olympic and world champion Nino Schurter. Frischknecht stated that the “door will always be wide open” for her to return.

“After winning the Olympic Games in Rio 2016, Jenny Rissveds found herself in a completely new situation — one might say a new life entirely,” a Scott-SRAM team press release read. “A lot of things changed for her in a short period of time. Some things were positive, but some unfortunately were negative. Most notably the unfortunate situation of a disagreement with the Swedish Cycling Federation and losing both her grandfathers in a short period of time. As a result Jenny faced mental issues holding her back from racing for a good part of the 2017 race season. With the 2018 season starting soon, she has come to the conclusion that it is better for her to first fully recover and then think about a comeback as opposed to trying to fulfill obligations that she can’t keep up with. The result of this decision is a withdrawal from her contract with Scott-SRAM.”

Rissveds thanked her former team and said she hopes to return to racing. “I am very thankful for the years I have had with Thomas and the Scott-SRAM team,” she said. “They have provided me with unique and vital support. Without Thomas and the team, I would have never done what I have been able to do on the bike over the last few years. I also want to thank Scott Sports for their unwavering support and belief in me, especially throughout the last year. I would love to stay a part of the team, but to be part of a team you need to contribute and unfortunately, I am simply not able to do so at the moment. It hasn’t been an easy decision, but I am convinced this is for the best for all parties involved and that this will provide me with the best conditions for coming back, better and stronger than ever.”

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