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The women’s peloton is losing one of its longest-standing members this winter.
After close to two decades in the bunch and half her life, Trek-Segafredo’s Trixi Worrack hung up her racing wheels earlier this month, after the Women’s Tour in Britain.
At 40, Worrack is 10 years older than Anna van der Breggen — also retiring — and one of the oldest riders in the pro peloton. Worrack hadn’t pondered retirement until recently, but age and circumstance mean that now is the right time for the German.
“I’m 40 now and also we have a family since this year and that is also a big part because I don’t want to travel so much now,” Worrack told VeloNews. “I never really set a date. Last year was the first time that I was thinking that next year would be my last year.
“I was just going along, and I also enjoyed my teams where I have been in. It makes it much easier. If you have a shit team then it makes it so that you have one or two years that make you happy then maybe you stop. I always had good teams, so it makes it much easier. I was never thinking when I should stop. It was only last year that I was thinking that I should stop.”
So, what next for Worrack?
Well, some time spent without the bike that has been her constant companion for so long before she gets stuck back into it with some future stars.
“I think I will put the bike away for a few months. I like sports, and riding my bike, but it’s not my passion. I like to stay fit but it doesn’t have to be cycling,” she said.
“I will become a trainer in my region for women’s cycling. It won’t be as international as it is here [at Trek-Segafredo] for the moment but for next year it will be the first in my region and then maybe it’s getting bigger.
A legacy left behind
During her career, Worrack has become one of the most knowledgeable and one of the most liked figures within the bunch. Her Trek-Segafredo teammates writing messages on the back of their race numbers for the final stage of the Women’s Tour was a small gesture that shows the affection with which she is held.
A comment from her former teammate, Lisa Brennauer, on Worrack’s Instagram page, which is full of beautifully artistic images, sums up a little of her personality.
“Your posts are a bit like you are. You don’t speak that often, but if you do it’s always very valuable,” Brennauer wrote.
Worrack’s quiet nature and soft demeanor hide a tough-as-nails interior that has stood her in good stead during her career. That inner determination helped push her through one of the most challenging injuries she’s suffered as a rider when she had her kidney taken out following a horrific crash at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in 2016.
The crash had almost ended her life, not just her career.
There were also some very good moments for Worrack, such as her five team time trial world titles and a whole host of other wins.
After half her life in the sport, Worrack is looking forward to trying something new but she will miss what she is leaving behind.
“There are two sides, I’m kind of happy but also sad that it’s over after 20 years. Also, I really like the team so I’m sad to leave my teammates and also the staff because I really enjoy it. We’ve really had fun this week [at the Women’s Tour], so it’s a nice finish,” she told VeloNews.
“I had some ups and downs during my career. Some years were really good, and then I was injured and I had really bad years. It was up and down, but it was not always bad. I have really nice memories from my career, I have traveled a lot, I have seen a lot. It makes a big part of it.”
Over the last two decades, Worrack has seen a lot of change during her career. There was a time when she, as a rider with a liveable salary, was a rarity in the bunch. While there’s still a lot of work to be done in that department, far more female cyclists are paid a proper living wage than there were when Worrack made her first steps into the sport.
Almost all aspects of women’s cycling are being developed and pushed forwards, and Worrack has enjoyed the ride and she doesn’t want it to stop.
“For sure, the teams are much bigger since I started. There were only one or two big teams when I started,” Worrack said. “The rest was just smaller teams but now you can see that every team has a big bus. The support is much better for sure, so that also makes the women much more professional. The bunch has got much stronger.
“I would like to see it keep improving like this and also that you can see more on TV, which we have more of now. I think that is really nice to see and I think it’s improving every year.”