Annette Edmondson retires, leaving a sport that is now in a better place


Australian cyclist Annette Edmondson ended her cycling career in the UCI Track Champions League. elite national titles.

The 29-year-old, who has raced both track and road, had to face some tough years with limited international races and a Tokyo Olympics not going as planned but after extending her career for another event, she ended with a trip to the podium. Edmondson took third place behind fellow retired rider Kirsten Wild and victorious Katie Archibald in the Champions League final in London.

“I still have a few years in me physically, but my mind is done,” Edmondson said in an article on his website. “Although I didn’t reach my ultimate Olympic track gold medal goal, I achieved almost everything I set out to do.”

“On the road, I’m a little dissatisfied. I think I had more to offer, but I chose the track, and I failed to do both disciplines at the highest level because some athletes are capable (here is Lisa Brennauer!) I would have loved to see how I would have gone for full road engagement for a few years, but now I’m ready (and more excited) for a different phase, “said Edmondson who has won seven international road wins in his career and is the reigning Australian criterion champion.

“The risk of falling also played a role in my decision, after having suffered a serious concussion in 2018. I am now experiencing some concerns following this incident which put my goals in perspective.

Edmondson, who first donned the green and gold jersey as a junior 15 years ago, thanked the many people who had helped her along the way, especially endurance trainer Tim Decker, adding that his time in sport had given him a lot.

“I might not have been the ‘perfect’ athlete but I was me,” said Edmondson. “I wouldn’t have survived the intensity of the elite sports world without being a little rough around the edges. I implore you all to do the same. Never get lost, even in the pursuit of your goals. Speak up if you need help and use your team around you. Make a plan, and if you run into a roadblock, make another. The world is truly your oyster.

Edmondson said she was leaving a sport that has changed dramatically since she started racing on track and then on the road, where she raced with Orica-GreenEdge for two seasons starting in 2013 before moving on to Wiggle Honda and Wiggle High 5 until the end. from 2018.

“I’m proud to leave this sport in a better place than when I started,” said Edmondson on his site, “I rode for $ 0 for my first two years as a professional road professional in 2013 with one of the best teams in the world. I won two equivalent round-the-world races (including the Global Tour GC) and was re-signed the following year for $ 0 with a bonus of $ 5,000 AUD. This team now pays the same minimum wage to all its runners, ie a minimum of 65,000 euros per year.

“Track cycling is in a better place too, with UCI Cat 1 and 2 all over the world giving riders many more opportunities to race. Despite the negativity about Australian cycling, I think we are in a better situation than when I started.

The support structure for the Australian Olympic cycling team was overhauled after the Olympic Games in Rio when silver and bronze medal results on the track fell below expectations, with Simon Jones being appointed performance director for trying to turn the results of the high performance medal-oriented unit. about. Jones, who arrived with lofty goals, left and the Tokyo Olympics team – who passed the time before the Games without international competition as the COVID-19 pandemic held runners back in their home countries – came away with a bronze medal on the road and one on the track.

Edmondson – who represented Australia at the Olympics in London, Rio and Tokyo – may have acknowledged the negativity of Australian cycling, but also pointed out the positives.

“When I joined the Women’s Track Endurance (WTE) program, the average age of our group (and the entire 2012 Australian Olympic team) was 22,” said Edmondson. “It was unusual for female endurance riders to survive in the program past the age of 23, due to ‘burnout’ or a ‘toxic environment’. The average age of our WTE program in Tokyo in 2021 was 26. I think we are in a much better and healthier environment, with athletes equipped with better tools to extend their careers.

“While Australia haven’t had a lot of opportunities to race lately, I think the depth is there and the talent is ready… we just need to develop it and unleash it! “

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