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Former Zwift academy winner Tanja Erath calls time on road career with mental struggles

'I have been quite open with my struggles, especially my fear and my inability to cope with the mental struggle being back in the peloton after a severe crash.'

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Fomer Zwift Academy winner Tanja Erath will hang up her race wheels this winter.

Erath confirmed Thursday that her road career was at an end. Ever since a heavy crash at the 2021 Tour of Britain that left her with multiple fractures to her ribs, collarbone, and vertebrae, the German rider has not been able to get her groove back.

“After five years in the peloton 2022 was my last season as a professional rider,” Erath wrote on Instagram.

“To the majority it won’t come as a big surprise as I have been quite open with my struggles this season, especially my fear and my inability to cope with the mental struggle being back in the peloton after a severe crash.”

Also read: Erath rails at injury treatment at Women’s Tour

Erath won the Zwift Academy in 2017 to earn a spot in the pro ranks with Canyon-SRAM for the following year.

She switched for EF Education-TIBCO-SVB in 2021 and was racing in the team’s pink when a horror crash in Britain left the former doctor undergoing spinal surgery for a spate of severe injuries.

The 32-year-old was sidelined for five months and struggled to return to racing wholeheartedly.

“I chose the picture from Roubaix not only because it’s one of my favorites, but because this is where I made my decision,” she wrote on her retirement post.

“For the whole comeback and recovery process Roubaix has been my main goal and motivator. And I made it there, I made it to the velodrome and I even had a great race in the breakaway. But the main reason why I started racing in the first place was missing: joy.”

“Don’t get me wrong: I am still in love with cycling and I still love riding my bike more than anything. It’s my constant in life and has been since I am a kid. But I want to rediscover my joy for racing. I don’t have to, but I want to. But the thriving and fast growing Women’s WorldTour peloton is not the right place to do this.”

Erath’s full statement can be read below.