Emily Newsom leaves Team EF, narrows in on a gravel-centric calendar at home

'Riding through wide open countryside..I feel a great peace and I know that I am happier here than in a chaotic peloton.'

Emily Newson
(Image credit: Getty Images)

American Emily Newsom is stepping away from her EF Education-Tibco-SVB team and international road cycling in 2023, in favor of a gravel-centric career at home. 

The 39-year-old isn't done racing yet, but after five years on the road as a professional road cyclist, she's ready for a new challenge and some time at home with her child and husband. 

A pianist turned cyclist, Newsom didn't turn pro until she was 34, putting her staying power and breakaway prowess at the services of Team Tibco-SVB. 

"She is one of the most selfless teammates we have ever had," says team owner, Linda Jackson. 

"She was always up for that long breakaway that was doomed to be caught and whatever else was asked of her. She never hesitated to turn herself inside out for the team. She was always humble, exhibited grace under pressure, and was supportive to all around her. We'll miss you Emily. This isn't goodbye, it's see you on the road/gravel!"

In 2023, Newsom plans to still ride some road races but her calendar will be purely domestic.

Newsom loved the aggressive racing and challenge the European racing provided, but being away from her daughter and traveling back and forth between continents wasn't easy. 

"Last year showed me I perform my best when I have a stable home base to return to after races. American riders racing in Europe usually move there for the racing season, something that has not been possible for me to do. Traveling back and forth took a toll and though I was happy to carry out what was asked of me, I felt that it was difficult to find my groove as it would be time to leave as soon as I was adjusted to the new environment and time zone," Newsom states

"With gravel booming right in my backyard, combined with my natural propensity towards it, it seemed like a wise step to turn my attention more fully on it. Riding through wide open countryside, dense forests or stark desert mountains, I feel a great peace and I know that I am happier here than in a chaotic peloton."

Newsom says the change 'had been coming' and while she feels a twinge of sadness to be leaving, she's also found a renewed sense of motivation and determination.

During her five years with the team, Newsom says she learned some valuable life lessons that will serve her in other parts of her future life as well. 

"Cycling has been a tool for self learning. I learned I am stronger and more resilient than I realized, but I also found fragile and insecure parts of me that I needed to address and face," she shared.

"I faced fears that I would have rather buried and learned how to accept myself even when I didn't perform to my expectations. I realized the power of a positive outlook and the importance of visualization."

A gifted musician, Newsom was solely focused on becoming a concert pianist until her late twenties.  

"When this dream seemed to crumble in front of me, I felt aimless for many years until I found cycling," she says. 

"Finding cycling after music was the perfect example that there are many things in life to pursue and after one dream ends, there is always another one waiting."

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Anne-Marije Rook
North American Editor

Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.