Peter Stetina has announced he is leaving the WorldTour to focus on gravel racing.
The 32-year-old revealed he will leave Trek-Segafredo at the end of 2019 to instead race in the emerging off-road scene, where he hopes he will be more fulfilled and more successful.
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Stetina is one of the many US riders discovered by team boss Jonathan Vaughters who went on to ride at the highest level, alongside the likes of Taylor Phinney and Alex Howes.
The 32-year-old said: “Ultimately, this is a move of freshness, joy, progression and longevity.
“This is not a retirement as some traditionalists would think, rather I am throwing my entire self into the burgeoning world of gravel racing and being a bike racer across all tyre widths.”
Stetina started his career with Vaughters’ Continental outfit TIAA-CRED in 2006, winning multiple junior and under-23 national titles and making the step up to WorldTour with the Garmin-Transitions squad in 2010.
Since then Stetina’s career took him to eight Grand Tours and 12 Monuments, riding for BMC Racing before joining Trek in 2016, but the Boulder, Colorado-born rider never took a pro win.
News of his career change was broken by American cycling site VeloNews.
Stetina added: “While the initial steps to leave the WorldTour behind were scary, I am certain this is the right choice, it will be more fulfilling and I hope more successful.
“I love the vibe of these races: the solo battles within and with others, but the communal celebration afterwards, knowing we all conquered an odyssey individually and together.”
Stetina’s off-road results have included victory in the 200km Belgian Waffle Ride, second in Dirty Kanza and fourth in the Leadville Traill 100, joining EF Education First riders Lachlan Morton and Alex Howes who have been racing their own ‘alternative calendar.’
Last month, Stetina’s compatriot and former team-mate Taylor Phinney announced his retirement from professional racing at the age of 29.
Stetina added that he will be announcing his 2020 sponsors in the coming months.