Australian cycling great Simon Gerrans has announced his retirement from the sport.Australian cycling star Simon Gerrans is going out when he believes the time is right, befitting his hard-earned reputation as the most meticulous of planners.
The 38-year-old from the Victorian country town of Mansfield has announced he will end his racing career at the end of this season.
In an open letter published by the BMC team, Gerrans said his passion for the sport is not what it used to be.
“I am really happy to be able to walk away on my own terms and feel that the end of this season is the right time to transition to a new phase in my life,” he said.
Gerrans will bow out as one of Australian cycling’s all-time greats, his achievements stacking up comfortably against those of Cadel Evans, Anna Meares, Phil Anderson, Robbie McEwen and Kathy Watt.
“The process of meticulously preparing for my objectives and working hard in training is what I loved about being a professional cyclist,” Gerrans said.
“What made the biggest victories of my career the most rewarding was knowing that I perfected the preparation.
“During the best years of my racing career, those times when I got my preparation just right, I was competitive in the biggest races, against the best cyclists in the world.”
He is the only Australian to have won two of cycling’s monuments, the five top one-day classics – Gerrans was the first Australian to win Milan-Sanremo in 2012 and repeated the feat by taking out Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2014.
Indeed, 2014 was the pinnacle of his career – a near-perfect season where he also won the Australian road title, Adelaide’s Tour Down Under, two major one-day races in Canada and finished runner-up at the world road championships.
But weeks after being named Australia’s 2014 cyclist of the year, Gerrans crashed while racing his mountain bike and it wiped out the start of his 2015 season.
Gerrans was plagued by crashes and injury throughout 2015 and while he would win the 2016 Tour Down Under, the all-rounder would never regain the peak form of 2014.
Gerrans is one of seven Australian riders to wear the yellow jersey as race leader in the Tour de France and he is the only rider to win the Tour Down Under four times.
* DOB: 16/5/80
* Professional debut: 2004
* 33 professional wins
* First Australian to win Milan-Sanremo (2012), first Australian to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege (2014)
* Wore Tour de France yellow jersey for two days in 2013 – one of seven Australian riders to lead the Tour
* Stage wins in cycling’s three Grand Tours – Tour de France (2008 and ’13), Giro d’Italia (2009) and Vuelta a Espana (’09)
* Two-time Olympian (2008, ’12)
* Only four-time winner of the Tour Down Under (2006, ’12, ’14, ’16)
* Herald Sun Tour winner 2005, ’06