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Leah Kirchmann has announced her retirement from professional cycling after a 12-year career.
The Canadian rider will make her last appearance in Team DSM colors at the Simac Ladies Tour this week before competing at the world championships in Australia next month.
Kirchmann has been racing professionally since 2011 after stepping up with the Colavita-Forno d’Asolo team. She spent four years on the American Optum p/b Kenny Benefit Strategies squad before heading to Europe with Liv-Plantur — now known as Team DSM — in 2016.
“After 12 years in the professional peloton, I’ve decided that I’m ready to invest my energy in other things away from WorldTour racing,” Kirchmann said in a statement Monday.
“Thank you to everyone who helped me on this journey. I never imagined when I first stepped on a bike as a young girl back in Winnipeg that I would one day compete in two Olympic Games, race professionally, and represent Canada proudly for so many years on the international stage.”
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The 32-year-old Kirchmann is a multiple national time trial champion, winning the title in 2014, 2018, and 2019. She also won the national road race title in 2014.
Among her biggest victories are a team time trial world title in 2017 and the prologue of the 2016 Giro d’Italia Donne. During her career, she’s also stepped on the podium at the 2019 La Course, finishing second to Marianne Vos, and the Festival Elsy Jacobs in 2021, where she finished second overall.
“I am forever grateful for all the support I’ve received along the way. I’m proud of what I accomplished during my career, and how far I pushed my mental and physical limits as an athlete,” Kirchmann said. “I also feel fortunate that I got to help contribute to the success of many teammates during this time – with my favourite victory with the team definitely being the 2017 World Championships TTT win in Bergen.
“I am so grateful for everything sport has brought to me. I grew up and developed as an athlete surrounded by empowered women who taught me to embrace my strengths, and to not accept the status quo of society. I feel motivated by the momentum behind women’s sport and will continue to help build a better future. If sport has taught me anything, it is that I love to learn and love to embrace big challenges, so I look forward to exploring other opportunities and adventures in this life.”