The Australian leaves cycling at the age of 38 to pursue other ambitions

Simon Gerrans has announced he will quit professional cycling at the end of the 2018 season, bringing an end to a highly successful 13-year professional career.

The Australian, currently riding at BMC Racing, wrote in an open letter that while he feels physically capable of still riding at the highest level, his enthusiasm for the sport has waned.

Now 38, Gerrans began his career in 2005 at French team Ag2r Prévoyance, where he took his first major professional victory with an overall win at the 2006 Tour Down Under.

He went on to take his first Grand Tour stage victory of four with a win on stage 15 of the 2008 Tour de France while riding with Crédit Agricole, adding victories in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España the following year with Cervélo Test Team.

Simon Gerrans in the yellow jersey at the 2014 Tour de France (Watson)

After a stint with Sky Pro Cycling in 2010 and 2011, Gerrans’s most successful period came while riding with home team Orica-Greenedge from 2012 to 2017 when the team was named Orica-Scott.

As Australian national road champion in 2012, Gerrans won his first Monument at Milan-San Remo after beating fellow late breakaway riders Fabian Cancellara and Vincenzo Nibali to the line. He took his second career Tour stage win in 2013 to Calvi in Corsica, before again as Australian national champion, winning a Monument in 2014 at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Gerrans’s last major victories came at the Tour Down Under in 2016, where he won two stages and sealed a fourth overall win of his career.

“Cycling has been a huge part of my life for a long period of time and through which, I have met a lot of fantastic people, many of whom will remain life-long friends,” Gerrans wrote.

“I am very proud of what I have achieved during my career and I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in my journey.

“Although I feel that I am still performing at a good level physically, my passion for the sport is not what it used to be. Professional cycling is too hard unless you are able to commit wholeheartedly. I am really happy to be able to walk away on my own terms and feel that the end of this season is the right time to transition to a new phase in my life.

“With regards to my future, I want to emphasise that I am not retiring, I’m changing careers.

“In the short term, I plan on spending some time with my family. Family has always been the most important thing to me, but for the past 20 years, they have made great sacrifices and have been incredibly supportive of my career. I am now looking forward to giving my wife, Rahna, and our children, Oscar and Isla, my attention.

“Finally, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart all the supporters of cycling, sponsors, teams, teammates, friends and family that have made my time as a professional cyclist such an unforgettable chapter of my life.”