Joss Lowden has said in an interview with VeloNews that she contemplated retiring at the end of this year, but an offer from new WorldTour team Uno-X Pro Cycling Team caused her to re-evaluate.
The British rider indicated that she considered focusing on other priorities in her life, such as starting a family, but a successful 2021 has put paid to that idea. Lowden set the women's Hour Record in September with a distance of 48.405km, two months after winning the Tour de Feminin.
Speaking to VeloNews, Lowden explained: “There was a point when I thought that maybe this would be my last season. I’m 34 and I thought maybe this is time to stop, but this season has gone so well I was just not ready to finish it.
"Uno-X has made a really big thing about wanting to support our careers, even if you’ve got maternity leave or a family, and you carry on working like your cycling is your job.
“It should be viewed exactly as that not like a case of you do your cycling, and then you stop. You should be able to take time out, have a baby and come back. Because of that, I think I’ve got a bit more of an open mind to seeing it as a profession and something I can carry on doing some more.”
With Continental teams largely unable to fund maternity leave for their riders, Lowden's rumination on retirement focussed on affordability. However, the offer from Norwegian side Uno-X has delayed that process, who she'll join at the beginning of next season from Drops–Le Col.
Uno-X has welcomed former world and European champion Elinor Barker onto its roster, Barker announced her pregnancy in October. In recent years, prominent riders such as Lizzie Deignan, Sarah Storey, Laura Kenny and Kristin Armstrong have made extremely successful returns to racing after having children, providing inspiration for future female riders wishing to follow in their footsteps.
While starting a family is something Lowden one day plans on, she also realises that she wants to continue racing for at least another year. After all, the Briton enters just her fifth professional season in 2022, and just her second as a full-time cyclist after working part-time to fund her life.
Lowden's 2021 form showed that she still has plenty to offer the sport too, and there is clearly still plenty of motivation.
She added: “Going full-time is going to make a big difference. I’ve always worked, and I think being able to focus entirely on riding, and particularly resting is going to be a big thing.
“Hopefully, I’ll go into next season super strong."
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