Sky’sMichael Barry will ride his final race at this year’s Tour of Beijing. The 36-year-old has spent the last three seasons riding for the British Sky Team however this year has been one he would happily forget. After breaking his elbow and recovering after a crash in Tour of Qatar, he fell on the same arm again at Tour de Wallonie.
"2012 will be my last racing season. The Tour of Beijing will be my final race. Cycling will forever be my passion but it is time to change direction to spend more time with my family. I’ve reached a period in my life where I want to grow in other directions and experience some of what I had put on hold while racing," he said on michaelbarry.ca.
His best result of the season was an agonisingly-close second place at his Canadian national championships in June where he was beaten to the line by Ryan Roth of SprideTech.
Barry’s most recent win was in 2009 at the Giro d’Italia when, along with his former Team Columbia-HTC squad, they won the opening team time trial.
The Canadian has ridden for a number of teams over the years. He began his career with the Saturn Cycling Team before joining Johan Bruyneel at US Postal and the Discovery Channel Team. Barry then moved to Team Columbia for two seasons before leaving and signing for Sky from 2010 onwards.
"Through my 14 year professional career I’ve been fortunate to race with many of the top teams. From my first coaches and clubmates to Dave Brailsford and my Team Sky teammates I’ve had the opportunity to race and learn from many of the best. The last three years on Team Sky has been ideal on every level. Racing is the job I dreamed of doing. I must thank my teammates, coaches, and rivals for making the job satisfying and memorable. The emotions after crossing the finish line, sitting on the bus with teammates and recounting the day will be hard to recreate," he said.
"Over the last year, as I’ve thought of retirement and reflected on my career, this has become increasingly clear. The racing journey has been a thrill but the cycling journey will continue."