Emily Newsom is leaving the road with EF Education-TIBCO-SVB to focus on gravel
After five years with the US squad, Newsom is choosing to race closer to home and her family.
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Emily Newsom of Team EF Education-TIBCO-SVB is bidding adieu to life in the Women’s WorldTour.
The 39-year-old has been with the North American squad — which gained its WorldTeam status this year — since 2018. She was a dedicated teammate and worker, frequently found in the breakaway.
Newsom was selected to race in the inaugural Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift this year and waged successful campaigns in both Europe and the domestic off-road circuit in the United States. She was part of Team USA’s selection for the inaugural gravel world championships.
Newsom leaves Team EF Education-TIBCO-SVB to spend more time at home with her family, which includes her seven-year-old daughter Marijke and plans to continue racing gravel and cross-country mountain bikes.
Newsom said that this year, in which she traveled back and forth between Europe and the US frequently, was challenging.
“It showed me I perform my best when I have a stable home base to return to after races,” Newsom said. “American riders racing in Europe usually move there for the racing season, something that has not been possible for me to do. Traveling back and forth took a toll and though I was happy to carry out what was asked of me, I felt that it was difficult to find my groove as it would be time to leave as soon as I was adjusted to the new environment and time zone.”
From April to October, Newsom raced at five of the six Life Time Grand Prix races across the US. She finished fifth overall in the gravel and MTB series, despite not having a mountain bike background. Her best results this year were third at Unbound Gravel and second at Big Sugar.
Newsom said that being already familiar with the domestic gravel and off-road scene gave her more confidence to step away from racing on the road in Europe.
“With gravel booming right in my backyard, combined with my natural propensity towards it, it seemed like a wise step to turn my attention more fully on it,” Newsom said. “I also have discovered how much I love the environment surrounding gravel and mountain biking. Riding through wide open countryside, dense forests or stark desert mountains, I feel a great peace and I know that I am happier here than in a chaotic peloton.”
Newsom, who pursued a career as a professional concert pianist until her late 20s and didn’t become a professional cyclist until her mid-30s, said that her time with EF Education-TIBCO-SVB gave her the tools that she’ll carry on in whatever she does next.
“Cycling has been a tool for self-learning,” Newsom said. “I learned I am stronger and more resilient than I realized, but I also found fragile and insecure parts of me that I needed to address and face. I faced fears that I would have rather buried and learned how to accept myself even when I didn’t perform to my expectations.
“I realized the power of a positive outlook and the importance of visualization. I saw how much I need others to succeed and how much they need me in return. Teamwork instilled in me the power of working together and how united we can win, but divided we will always fall short.”