British cyclocross star Nikki Brammeier has announced her pregnancy and that she will retire from professional racing at 32.
The reigning British CX champion said she had considered taking a year out during her pregnancy, but instead has opted to leave the sport after a 15-year career.
Brammeier is a four-time national cyclocross champion, who has represented Great Britain in the Olympics and previously raced for Boels-Dolmans on the road.
Announcing her retirement, she said: “To begin with I really wanted to take a year out and challenge myself to come back to race again. However, with a lot of thinking time and reflecting on my last 15 years I decided it was time for a new chapter.
“As an elite athlete, so much of your time is spent in quite a selfish way, it’s sad but true to say its part of the job, without some selfishness you can’t make the sacrifices you need to make in the sport.
“For me, our first baby is something I want to fully enjoy and embrace. I don’t want to sacrifice that time and I know to be one of the best cyclists in the world you need to fully commit and do it with your whole heart, it’s too hard not too.”
After a shining palmarès on the road, track and in cyclocross and mountain biking, Brammeier rounds out her career as the British CX champion after defending her 2017 title in a tough battle with Anna Kay (Experza-Footlogix).
Her most proud achievements include representing GB in the Rio Olympic road race, her four CX national titles, a MTB national victory and four European championship podiums.
She added: “Nothing lasts forever and I can be truly happy and proud of all I have achieved in this wonderful sport. Not many people get to end their career as current national champion, fit, healthy and injury free, but that’s how I get to end mine and I feel extremely lucky.
“As for what’s next, it’s scary and I have to be honest I don’t really know. I would love to stay involved in the sport somehow.
“I will be forever grateful of this wonderful cycling life. It will always be a part of me and I will continue to race and ride my bike.”
Earlier this year, 10-time British CX champion Helen Wyman also announced her retirement at 37, passing the baton to a new generation of talent.
Wyman said she felt she would not be able to do herself justice if she continued racing.