Former US road champion Ruth Winder has announced that she will be hanging up her racing wheels at the end of 2021.
The British-born American, who celebrated her 28th birthday today, revealed her decision in a video posted by her Trek-Segafredo team, stating that she wanted to spend more time with her friends and family in America.
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I’ve made the decision that this will be my last year racing as a professional cyclist, which is an exciting decision for me.
"I feel like I’ve been on the verge of making this decision for a few years and I really feel at peace with it in my heart. I feel really lucky to be on Trek-Segafredo and I feel like I’ve reached so many of my dreams already but my heart misses home while I’m on the road so much.
“I think, as an American, or as somebody who doesn’t live in Europe you have to sacrifice a lot of your life when you’re in Europe racing. It’s not that I don’t love racing anymore or I don’t love the team anymore or couldn’t get a contract, it’s none of those things. I feel like I’m a really strong cyclist in the peloton, but I feel like I miss home a lot.”
Winder, who has previously won stages of the Giro d’Italia and has worn the pink jersey on two occasions, has been a professional on the road for the last seven years and has raced for the likes of the UnitedHealthcare team, Team Sunweb and her current team, Trek-Segafredo.
The American rider was born in Keighley in West Yorkshire, but is a proud American and will compete for the USA at the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this month.
She added: “I came to the decision for this to be my last year over the last two years. Definitely, with the coronavirus pandemic that’s happened, it’s helped me in a way because my loved ones have not been able to travel and visit me but also just really realising what I wanted to get out of the sport and what goals I wanted to achieve and what it was that makes me happy.
“I would love to stay in cycling somehow. There is a really good junior program in Boulder that I would love to work with. I’m a coach currently, and I would love to do some more. I would do some gravel racing in the US and hope to have a really good time. Women’s cycling, I can remember from when I first started coming over to Europe to now, it’s changed so much. It’s true that it’s getting so much bigger and next year we have a women’s Tour de France, which is huge, and it’s really awesome to have been part of this.”
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