British downhill athlete and 2014 World Cup Champion, Manon Carpenter, is retiring from downhill racing.
Earlier today, Manon released this statement:
“The decision for me to withdraw from racing has come about quickly, but the reasons have been there for a while.
Over the races this year I’ve been finding it harder to face up to difficult situations – high consequence sections or changing conditions – and during National Champs weekend I came to the conclusion that I just didn’t want to take the risks involved with racing at 100% anymore.
Racing Downhill is gnarly and you have to have the confidence to commit to whatever is put in front of you, whereas I’ve become more aware of the consequences of crashing and, as much as I’ve tried to put this out of my head, it’s stopped me from enjoying racing as I would like to. I’ve had everything I needed to prepare myself as best I could for racing this year with a great bike, sponsors and support from Radon Factory DH Racing. Everyone has put their best efforts into helping me and I wanted to finish the season with Radon Bikes, as I know I made commitments to them, but quickly realised that World Cup racing isn’t something I should force myself into if my head isn’t in it.
Racing on the World Cup circuit has been an amazing and unexpected opportunity for me. After racing as a Junior years ago I set out to race in Elite for a year to see what I could do before starting Uni, but my first season showed promise and everything else went on hold. I wanted to race until I got as far as I could, or until I injured myself, so I’m happy to have made it this far relatively in one piece!
There have been some huge highlights and I feel like I’ve given as much as I had, now I’m looking forward to having time to enjoy riding at home and to see what else there is for me to do. I’m very grateful to everyone who has followed, supported and believed in me over the years of racing and to those who have been supportive of this decision so far.” – Manon Carpenter