Darren Lapthorne has announced his retirement from professional cycling after eight years in the peloton. The Australian started and ended his career with the Drapac team, with spells at Rapha Condor and Sparkasse in between.
“I always loved riding since a young age but never thought I was going to make it my career until later when I first joined Drapac in 2006. I was 22 at the time when I thought there was a possibility of taking cycling to the next level,” Lapthorne said in a statement released by his team.
“I would say one of the best memories I have was when I had my first taste of racing in Europe when I was 23 in 2007, current Australian road champion with Drapac. We were a close bunch of mates traveling and taking in the experience of racing some tough tours like Tour of Austria and Brescia along with racing some pro kermesses in Belgium along the way.
“Michael Drapac, team owner has always been committed and provided me with the opportunity to race at the highest level. Drapac Professional Cycling has been a major part of my life and I will always be thankful for his belief in me. These years of riding in red for Drapac will always be memorable ones.”
Teammate Lachlan Norris paid tribute his former squad member, reflecting on his dedication and application when racing.
“You can never underestimate Lappers. He always looks calm on the outside but when it comes to racing, he has a good bit of mungrel in him. I wish him all the best in his career after cycling,” Norris said.
Lapthorne has no confirmed plans for 2016 but although he has hung up his wheels he would like to remain within cycling.
“No matter what I do in the future I’ll always give my all and do the best job I’m capable of just like I did in cycling. I can look back and say I rode with integrity and respect, and will always strive to do the same in the future in any role I do. I would love to stay involved with the sport so we will see in the year ahead,” Lapthorne said.
“Thank you to my teammates over the years, my sporting directors and my wife and family. Cycling is full of passion, emotion, it can be brutal but beautiful which I love and what life is about.”