The 21 year-old rider turned professional in 2017 after leaving his home in Bremen at the age of 14 to attend the Cottbus Sports school. He was junior world time trial champion in 2014 and was third in the 2015 under 23 world championships in Richmond.
He completed a full WorldTour season in 2017 with Team Sunweb, including riding 17 stages of the Vuelta a Espana. However has not raced since Milan-San Remo. Team Sunweb said it would allow Kämna to “take some time to review his situation as an athlete and set long-term goals before getting back into racing.”
Kämna was part of the Team Sunweb squad that won the world team time trial title in Norway. He went on to finish second in the under 23 road race behind Benoit Cosnefroy of France.
“The first part of the 2018 season wasn’t what we had hoped for, due to some sickness and a few infections. Many things have come together over the recent months and after conversations with the team we decided that a short break was necessary to re-orientate and re-set our long-term goals. The understanding and patience from the team helps me a lot and I am very thankful for that,” Kämna said in a statement from Team Sunweb.
Team Sunweb has an under 23 development team and carefully nurtures its riders. It said Kämna situation is being closely monitored, with Team Sunweb’s coaches and trainers having created a plan for a possible return to racing later in the season.
“We realise that at some point in everyone’s life people need to take a step back and re-evaluate their career. Together with Lennard the right decision was made for him to take a break from racing,” head of coaching, Rudi Kemna said.
“He continues training and at the moment we’re creating the race plan for the second part of the season, without pressure for a fast return. We always put long term focus at the top of our priorities and with Lennard we recognize that he needs this precautionary moment to reconfigure and avoid future challenges, before continuing the focus on growing as a rider.”
Last summer, talented American Adrien Costa announced he was taking time away from racing to study and travel, citing fatigue from racing. He opted not to race with the Hagens Berman Axeon in 2018.
In 2015 Australia’s Campbell Flakemore left the BMC Racing team after just a few months a professional rider. He won the 2014 under 23 world time trial title but soon realised life as a professional rider was not for him.
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