Arnaud Jouffroy has decided to end his career. The 23-year-old Frenchman of the Telenet-Fidea cyclo-cross team is lacking motivation.
"I don't feel that spark anymore. I want to try something else because I am not as good any more on the bike. I still love cycling, but I won't do anything to be a pro cyclist," he told DirectVelo.
Jouffroy dominated the junior ranks and became junior world champion cyclo-cross in 2008 in Treviso. In 2010, he finished third in the U23 category in Tábor but was crowned world champion after the Polish Szczepaniak brothers, who finished first and second, tested positive for EPO.
He signed with BKCP Powerplus in 2010, but suffered from multiple injuries. In 2011, he joined Telenet-Fidea but Jouffroy never lived up to the expectations after his many victories in the junior and U23 ranks. His contract with the Belgian team ends this month, and Jouffroy struggled to find a place in a French team. His deal with the French Army team fell through at the last moment.
"That was a blow to the morale," Jouffroy told Directvelo. "Every day it takes me more and more effort to go out on the bike. Cycling is a beautiful sport, but I get the impression that the harder I train, the results are getting worse. I have to be realistic. In cycling you have to give it 100% or quit. There is no compromise. If you want to be a pro cyclist, you have to sacrifice a lot. I don't want to give everything, both from a sports perspective and financially, without getting results anymore."
Jouffroy is not afraid he will regret his decision. "As a junior when my legs burned, I felt the adrenalin and the desire to pedal even faster. I don't have that sensation anymore. The thought of quitting crossed my mind more often but the results of the past weeks tipped the balance."
"I already feel better after the decision to quit was taken. I will continue to ride my bike for fun and cherish great memories from my years on two wheels. For now I hope to become a firefighter and be involved in cycling somehow but at the moment I don't know how exactly."