SYDNEY (AFP) — Australian three-time world track champion Jack Bobridge retired from professional cycling Wednesday at age 27 with rheumatoid arthritis taking a heavy toll.
The reigning Australian national road champion, who also has two Olympic silver medals, was diagnosed with the chronic condition in 2010.
He left Europe and a professional road contract with Trek – Segafredo in September, citing family reasons and fatigue following the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
“Since the [Rio] Games and backing off the training and racing load I’ve found my arthritis has been 100 percent better and I’ve been able to get off all meds as well,” Bobridge told the Adelaide Advertiser.
“Obviously I love the bike, the racing and the lifestyle, but I’ve got a two-year-old [daughter] now and I could drag on for three or four years.
“But come 40 or 50 the damage it’s going to do and the arthritis in my body … I don’t see sport is worth it.”
He added, “to me the decision is pretty easy, and since I made it I haven’t thought twice about it.”
Bobridge won two track world titles in the team pursuit and one in the individual pursuit.
His greatest success on the road was winning stages in the 2010 Eneco Tour and the 2015 Santos Tour Down Under.