Jeremy Powers retires from pro cyclocross racing
Four-time U.S. national cyclocross champion Jeremy Powers is retiring from pro racing, closing out a 14-season elite career that saw him amass 94 UCI race victories. He confirmed the news Tuesday in a Facebook post.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Beyond his lengthy record of race victories, which also includes a Pan American Championship title in 2015, Powers contributed to the sport in numerous ways.
In 2003, Powers, Alec Donahue, and Mukunda Feldman created the JAM Fund. This non-profit organization works to develop cyclists to become ambassadors of the sport, not strictly athletes. Stephen Hyde, the reigning three-time national cyclocross champion, got his start as an elite cyclocross racer with the JAM Fund.
Seven years later, Powers and Sam Smith created Behind the Barriers TV, an online video series that brought fans behind the scenes as he traveled to races with his team. The video lineup soon expanded to include other popular ‘cross video series, such as “Who’s #1,” “How the Race Was Won,” and “Cross Talk.”
In 2017, Powers started his own cyclocross team, Aspire Racing, which brought on a high-profile sponsor in apparel company Rapha. The team also supported young talents, such as Ellen Noble and Spencer Petrov.
Over the last couple of seasons, Powers has struggled with injuries and illnesses that rendered him less dominant than he was in his halcyon days, 2010-2016, when he racked up 10 or more UCI wins each season and a few top-10 results at World Cup races.
Despite those setbacks, Powers’s happy-go-lucky personality never waned, and that was reflected in his Facebook post, which also confirmed that he’ll go on to work for Global Cycling Network (GCN):
“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.”