Alex Peters will be making his comeback next season after he left Team Sky at the end of the 2016.
London-born rider Peters left Sky because of personal issues that he said made it difficult to focus on his cycling career.
But the 25-year-old will be joining British Continental team Canyon-DhB p/b Soreen for 2020 after he left the sport in 2017.
Team owner and sports director Tim Elverson confirmed the full roster for Canyon-DhB, with former under-23 British champion Rob Scott also joining from the now-folded Wiggins-Le Col.
In an interview posted on the Wiggle blog (opens in new tab), Peters revealed that depression and anxiety were the driving factors behind his decision to leave Sky.
He said: “I don’t know what sent me spiralling into depression, I guess it was all to do with anxiety. I was riding for SEG Racing and was really enjoying it when I had some interest from WorldTour teams. Team Sky wanted me, wanted to take me on as a stagiaire. It was pretty amazing. I think I was very urgent to make progress. I wasn’t viewing it as a journey and that creates a lot of unsettling feelings, when you want to be here but you’re actually over here.
“I struggled with that. It was more about doubting myself. I viewed everything as 'I have to win, I need to win', instead of saying 'I would like to win'. I saw a few psychiatrists and doctors to figure out what was happening to me and why I was behaving in ways that were a bit irregular.
“That winter I trained with SEG and the racing season was about to get going when I just had a breakdown. I couldn’t get out on the bike, I couldn’t train and that’s when I stopped completely. I didn’t leave the house at all. I didn’t know what everything was about, I didn’t know what cycling was about to me and I didn’t know what the point in things were.”
Peters spent months in hospital but with support form his family he has been able to make his comeback to the sport.
After a few races as a private member, Peters met with Canyon-DhB team boss Elverson and the pair agreed a new contract.
Peters said: “This year I am looking to get my mental health to a very manageable place and enjoy things again.
“It has taken a long time to get my endurance back. That really goes when you don’t ride your bike for a couple of years. You can still be fast but the endurance takes a little while. After a good winter, I should be in good condition though.”
Peters started his career with Madison-Genesis back in 2013, winning the Tour of the Reservoir and finishing second in An Post Rás during his time there.
He then joined Team Sky as a stagiare in 2015 before he moved to Dutch development squad SEG Racing Academy for the rest of the year.
The following season Peters made the jump up to Team Sky as a full-time rider, aged just 21, where he rode Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, the Tour of California and the British National Championships.
But in early 2017, Team Sky announced that Peters would not be staying on with the British WorldTour team that year, instead stepping back to re-join SEG Racing Academy.
Speaking at the time, Peters said: “I’ve had a tough time recently and struggled with some personal issues that have made it difficult for me to give the team, and my cycling career, my full commitment. Having spoken to the team and those around me, we’ve agreed together that I will return to the SEG Racing Academy.
“I do feel like I will be making a step back to make strides forward. I’ve learned an enormous amount and I’m keen to succeed as a cyclist over the long term at the top level. I’m looking forward to continuing my development.”
Peters rode with SEG for 2017 but is believed to have stepped back from the sport after that.
Signing with Canyon-DhB looks to be the first step towards his comeback.
He said: “I want to see if cycling is for me as a career. It will be very interesting to see how it pans out.”
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
Dinosaurs instead of ducks: Rapha and Palace roll out cartoon critters with celebratory EF Education kit
The kit will be worn by both EF Education-Tibco-SVB and EF Education-EasyPost to celebrate the return of the Tour de France Femmes
By Ryan Dabbs • Published
Enve launches G series dropper post with a neat new lever
Enve opts for an inverted design for its first foray into the world of droppers
By Stefan Abram • Published