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Jeremy Powers retires from racing

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US Champion Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) on the front row

US Champion Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) on the front row (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Jeremy Powers tries to find the right line

Jeremy Powers tries to find the right line (Image credit: dejansmaicphoto)
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Jeremy Powers in the lead on the opening laps

Jeremy Powers in the lead on the opening laps (Image credit: Angelica Dixon)
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USA Champion Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) moving up in the peloton late in the race

USA Champion Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) moving up in the peloton late in the race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Jeremy Powers on his way to fifth place

Jeremy Powers on his way to fifth place (Image credit: dejansmaicphoto)

Four-time US cyclo-cross champion Jeremy Powers has retired from racing, according to an update on his official Facebook page. The 35-year-old from Massachusetts said he will take a role as a presenter on the Global Cycling Network in June. 

"When I started out, I never envisioned my ability as a cyclist would carry me as far as it did," Powers wrote in his Facebook post. "I fell in love with the bike as a 12-year-old, wild, energetic kid from Connecticut. I rode my bike absolutely everywhere. It brought me so much freedom to explore and get that energy out of my system. I’ve built a life around two wheels, and cycling is as special to me now as the day I started riding."

Powers won the elite men's USA Cycling Cyclo-cross Championship four times throughout his career, taking his first elite stars-and-stripes jersey in 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin. He backed it up with championships in 2014 and 2015, the year he won the Pan American championship, and then again in January of 2016. Powers also raced on the road, competing with the Jelly Belly Continental team from 2004 through 2014.

Powers initiated the popular 'Behind the Barriers' video series, documenting his life on the US cyclo-cross circuit and competing across the pond in Europe, and he created his own Rapha-Focus cyclo-cross squad that eventually hired riders from his JAM Fund development program, which helped current US champion Stephen Hyde during his early career. 

But Powers' reign as the undisputed king of US cyclo-cross during his run of championships literally came crashing down during a warm-up lap at the Trek CXC Cup in September of 2016, when he fell hard on his ribs and was able to complete just one lap before abandoning the race. X-rays later showed he several broken several ribs, and the injuries set his season back substantially after he had started with two wins at Rochester.

Since that 2016 crash, untimely illness, injury and emerging new talent limited Powers' victory tally to just one win in a UCI race over the past three seasons; he took out the victory at the NBX GP of Cross in 2017. Powers hoped to turn things around during the 2018-19 'cross season, but he failed to take any wins and finished fifth in the national championships. 

"Retiring has many layers to it - I always told myself if I'm not improving or not having fun, then it’s time to move on," Powers wrote on Facebook. "I’ve always wanted to stay true to these points because as a pro cyclist, you do have a ‘best before’ stamp. I’ll turn 36 in June of this year, and like everything, it can’t last forever. I’m a husband, a father, and our little man Finn is howling “dada!!!” all the time. I’ve checked off many of the boxes I had as a pro rider but even still it’s not easy - the mind is constantly trying to make deals with the body, trying to convince you, ...you can do one more!

"While working through this long decision with my wife Emily, I said, 'Well I REALLY want to win just a little more…' and she looked at me and said, 'Jeremy….don’t you think everyone wants to win, just a little more?' Haha.

"I always wanted to end my time racing being competitive, with my head up and a smile on my face," Powers wrote. "I’m proud of everything I was able to bring to the sport over my career and I’m equally stoked on everything it gave me back."

Jeremy Powers' statement on retirement

The time has come - my life as a pro racer is ending, and in June I’m taking a role with the Global Cycling Network as a presenter. I’m extremely excited to work with their amazing crew! When I started out I never envisioned my ability as a cyclist would carry me as far as it did. I fell in love with the bike as a 12 year old, wild, energetic kid from Connecticut. I rode my bike absolutely everywhere. It brought me so much freedom to explore and get that energy out of my system. I’ve built a life around two wheels, and cycling is as special to me now as the day I started riding.

Retiring has many layers to it - I always told myself if I'm not improving or not having fun, then it’s time to move on. I’ve always wanted to stay true to these points because as a pro cyclist, you do have a ‘best before’ stamp. I’ll turn 36 in June of this year, and like everything, it can’t last forever. I’m a husband, a father, and our little man Finn is howling “dada!!!” all the time. I’ve checked off many of the boxes I had as a pro rider but even still it’s not easy - the mind is constantly trying to make deals with the body, trying to convince you, ...you can do one more!

While working through this long decision with my wife Emily, I said, “Well I REALLY want to win just a little more…” and she looked at me and said, “Jeremy….don’t you think everyone wants to win, just a little more?” Haha.

I always wanted to end my time racing being competitive, with my head up and a smile on my face. I’m proud of everything I was able to bring to the sport over my career and I’m equally stoked on everything it gave me back. I loved it all, the good and the bad - especially as I reflect more and more on my time in the sport. I will miss the competition and pushing myself to the absolute maximum, testing myself against the best in the world and trying to master the art of cyclo-cross - its gnarly, ever-changing conditions, and the leg-sapping mud.

I look back at it all with amazing memories, Jelly Belly, Cannondale-CycloCrossWorld, JAM Fund, BTB, BTBTV, Aspire Racing...it’s all documented really well through the Behind THE Barriers show. All the stories from over the years, the highs and lows, the wins and the losses. I recently organized them all, so when you need some entertainment on the trainer, or some motivation to get out there and go, you can jump back into the time machine and get lost for awhile: youtube.com/behindthebarrierstv

The best part about saying goodbye today to you all is that I’m not actually saying goodbye. You probably won’t see me on a lot of start lines next season, but you might see me at the podium interviewing somebody else on the podium. Getting the opportunity to work with GCN will keep me intimately involved with the sport at the ground level. I'll be able to be at the races but also undertaking other adventures on two wheels.
Whatever lies ahead, I’m excited to take it all on.

I have checked the box on the racing portion of my cycling career. I loved the climb it took to check those boxes over the years and sharing that all with you. I want to thank you all so much for your support and love over the years as a racer, all the incredible stories you told me, the pictures you took, the life you allowed me to live by supporting my sponsors and partners, the events you came out to, the shows you watched. Thank you for following my career. To the brands and people inside those companies who sponsored and partnered with me over the years, thank you, your support helped make it all come true and I’m forever grateful to you all.