Paris-Roubaix winner Mathew Hayman may be retiring from racing, but he will not be leaving the sport behind.
The Australian has been offered a job handling special projects at his Mitchelton-Scott team with an eye on a more specific career in future.
Hayman, who ends his 20-year career at the Tour Down Under next month, said he will take the opportunity to test his managerial skills.
The 40-year-old said: “There were times that I did think I could walk away from the sport, but in some ways I think ‘who am I to give away this knowledge without helping someone.’
“Not only will that help me go from athlete to the normal world, but I think I can help make a difference to the careers of some young riders too.
“I probably could have spent more time planning, but you are so focused on your career that before you know it, it’s nearing the end.”
Hayman’s new position in the team will span various aspects of the sport, from mentoring, sports director responsibilities, and technical advising, as well as work in sponsorship and marketing.
The team say Hayman is being given the opportunity to test his backroom abilities in order to choose a career path post-racing.
Hayman added: “Not knowing what is going to suit me and having this opportunity from the team to be able to test the waters on a few different fronts, I am pretty thankful for.
“That’s not an opportunity everyone gets, and I’m really going to relish being able to try some mentoring, maybe DS [sports direct] races here and there, and working on the sponsorship side.”
Hayman said he has taken the decision while his racing knowledge is still fresh, allowing him to make the most of his experience.
After joining the pro peloton in 2000 with the Rabobank team, Hayman joined Team Sky at their inception in 2010.
He remained with the British WorldTour outfit until 2014, when he joined home team Mitchelton-Scott where he saw out the rest of his career.
The undoubted crowning achievement in Hayman’s career came in the spring of 2016, when he won Paris-Roubaix at his 15th time riding the cobble Monument, aged 38.
Mitchelton-Scott general manager Shayne Bannan said: “We’ve already seen, particularly through his six seasons with us, the leadership qualities of Mat Hayman.
“Those qualities, along with so many years of experience, don’t disappear when you retire from professional road racing and we see it as a real opportunity to use them to our advantage, particularly with our younger roster.
“Mat has been a selfless contributor and a key figure in out team’s culture and development over the years.
“We feel lucky to have him continue with us but also proud that we can offer him a transitional opportunity that will allow him to identify a future focus that will best satisfy him over the years to come.”