Garfoot to step away from racing in Europe

Double Worlds medalist will target Commonwealth TT, but wants to stay closer to home and family

Katrin Garfoot has told News Corp that she won't return to racing in Europe with Orica-Scott next season, choosing instead to stay home in Australia to focus on family and winning gold in the time trial at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast of Australia where she lives.

"I decided in May that I did not want to race in Europe next season and that was before all that happened with Cycling Australia and Orica," she told News Corp.

"There's just more to life [than pro cycling] and I'm married. My first plan was just to do it until the [Rio] Olympics but I wasn't going that well that year so I thought Comm Games," she said. 

"Chris [Garfoot's husband, ed.] is here by himself and I'm in Europe, and that's not very ideal. I could still race another four years, but I do value family because that's actually what lasts past racing, I want to maintain that. You've just got to make decisions in life, and I do love time trialling, but road racing is more a love/hate relationship, and one part of that is I have to stay in Europe away from family.

"There are a lot of different plans floating around in my head, but I haven't had time to sit down and figure those out because there is so much else that's more urgent."

Garfoot appears to be in the form of her life after finishing second to Chantal Black in the UCI Road World Championships last month in Bergen, where she finished third in the time trial behind Dutch riders Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen. She is the reigning Australian time trial and road race champion after changing citizenship from German to Australian in 2014.

Garfoot previously took bronze in the Commonwealth Games time trial in 2014, and she says aiming for gold in April is one of the few firm goals she's set as she decides on what kind of race program is possible without a top team's support.

"There are a few little goals but that's definitely the big goal, and being on the Gold Coast makes it special," she said of the Commonwealth Games. "I'm still trying to figure out how I fit into everything. Nationals is usually individual anyway, but for [Tour Down Under] and Cadel's Race, which are UCI races, you cannot start individually, so that's something to work out, but I'm not the only girl in that position.

"Whatever happens, happens," she said. "It's rather unlikely that I will walk away [from cycling completely], but I don't discount it totally. But that's just me – I don't discount anything. I'm happy to keep time trialling, I don't think you need proper racing to be good at a time trial because it's different energy systems.

"I think you can prepare properly from Queensland, it's just that it's hard to stay motivated, that might be the only thing."

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