Simon Gerrans calls time on his professional career

BMC rider to spend time with family before announcing next move

Australia's Simon Gerrans has confirmed he will retire at the end of the 2018 season, bringing down the curtain on his successful 15-year professional career.

Thirty-eight-year-old Gerrans announced his decision to retire in an open letter published by the BMC Racing Team, suggesting he was not retiring but "changing careers".

"Although I feel that I am still performing at a good level physically, my passion for the sport is not what it used to be. Professional cycling is too hard unless you are able to commit wholeheartedly. 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," Gerrans wrote in his open letter.

“In the short term, I plan on spending some time with my family. Family has always been the most important thing to me, but for the past 20 years, they have made great sacrifices and have been incredibly supportive of my career. I am now looking forward to giving my wife, Rahna, and our children, Oscar and Isla, my attention.

"Over the past couple of years I have received some really interesting career opportunities from within and outside the world of cycling. I hope to maintain an involvement with the sport in some capacity, however, initially I am motivated to gain some experience and develop my skills in a new area. I hope that the skills and attributes I have developed and the networks I have built throughout my cycling career will provide a solid foundation to support this goal. The idea of getting out of my comfort zone and embracing a completely new career is daunting, yet excites me, and for these reasons I know it is the right thing to do."

33 career victories

Gerrans turned 38 in May and rode the Tour de France in July after joining fellow Australian Richie Porte at BMC Racing this season. His long career included spells with several French teams, the Cervélo TestTeam, Team Sky and GreenEdge.

Gerrans was known as one of the most tactically astute riders in the peloton. He won 33 races, including Milan-San Remo in 2012, Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2014 and four editions of the Tour Down Under in 2006, 2012, 2014 and 2016. He also won the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal in 2014, two stages at the Tour de France and the Australian national championships in 2014.

"I would especially like to mention each of the professional teams that I have ridden for throughout my career. AG2R Prévoyance, Crédit Agricole, Cervélo TestTeam, Team Sky, GreenEDGE and BMC Racing Team. Thank you for the opportunities I received and what I learnt while racing in your colours. One of my goals was to make a positive impact in each team by contributing both on and off the bike, and I feel as though I achieved this," Gerrans wrote.

"When I look back over my racing career, my fondest memories don't come from winning Classics or Grand Tour stages, but the happiness and joy my victories created for the team and the people close to me. I also cherish the times when I was able to contribute to the personal success of my teammates.

"The process of meticulously preparing for my objectives and working hard in training is what I loved about being a professional cyclist. 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.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the tactics of cycling; the times I was able to outsmart an opponent in a high pressure situation and beat someone stronger was satisfying. I also loved working within a team environment; the camaraderie amongst my teammates and team personnel was something I'll never forget."

Simon Gerrans' open letter regarding his future:

Cycling has been a huge part of my life for a long period of time and through which, I have met a lot of fantastic people, many of whom will remain life-long friends. I am very proud of what I have achieved during my career and I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in my journey.

Although I feel that I am still performing at a good level physically, my passion for the sport is not what it used to be. Professional cycling is too hard unless you are able to commit wholeheartedly. 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.

I would especially like to mention each of the professional teams that I have ridden for throughout my career. AG2R Prevoyance, Credit Agricole, Cervelo TestTeam, Team Sky, GreenEDGE and BMC Racing Team. Thank you for the opportunities I received and what I learnt while racing in your colours. One of my goals was to make a positive impact in each team by contributing both on and off the bike, and I feel as though I achieved this.

When I look back over my racing career, my fondest memories don't come from winning classics or grand tour stages, but the happiness and joy my victories created for the team and the people close to me. I also cherish the times when I was able to contribute to the personal success of my teammates.

The process of meticulously preparing for my objectives and working hard in training is what I loved about being a professional cyclist. 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. I thoroughly enjoyed the tactics of cycling; the times I was able to outsmart an opponent in a high pressure situation and beat someone stronger was satisfying. I also loved working within a team environment; the camaraderie amongst my teammates and team personnel was something I'll never forget.

With regards to my future, I want to emphasise that I am not retiring, I'm changing careers.

In the short term, I plan on spending some time with my family. Family has always been the most important thing to me, but for the past 20 years, they have made great sacrifices and have been incredibly supportive of my career. I am now looking forward to giving my wife, Rahna, and our children, Oscar and Isla, my attention.

Over the past couple of years I have received some really interesting career opportunities from within and outside the world of cycling. I hope to maintain an involvement with the sport in some capacity, however initially I am motivated to gain some experience and develop my skills in a new area. I hope that the skills and attributes I have developed and the networks I have built throughout my cycling career will provide a solid foundation to support this goal. The idea of getting out of my comfort zone and embracing a completely new career is daunting, yet excites me, and for these reasons I know it is the right thing to do.

Finally, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart all the supporters of cycling, sponsors, teams, teammates, friends and family that have made my time as a professional cyclist such an unforgettable chapter of my life.

- Simon Gerrans

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