Jack Bobridge retires from professional cycling due to rheumatoid arthritis.
Less than 12 months after winning the Australian road race championship and a little over three months since winning a silver medal in the team pursuit on the track at Rio Olympics, 27-year-old Jack Bobridge (Trek-Segafredo) is stepping away from the sport of cycling.
The South Australian native, who now calls Western Australia home, had long been plagued by rheumatoid arthritis, which was officially diagnosed in 2010. Bobridge told the Adelaide Advertiser’s Reece Homfray on Tuesday that the battle was made more difficult by the increased physical demands of the sport.
“Since the (Rio) Games and backing off the training and racing load I’ve found my arthritis has been 100 percent better and I’ve been able to get off all meds (medication) as well,” he said.
Bobridge wraps a brief, but brilliant career with three track world titles, including two in the team pursuit and one in the individual pursuit, and two silver medals from three Olympics. He even broke Chris Boardman’s 4000m individual pursuit world record of 4:11.114 at the 2011 Australian nationals.
His greatest success on the road include two Australian championships, and a stage win at both the Eneco Tour (2010) and the Santos Tour Down Under (2015), along with claiming the mountains classification at the TDU that same year.
In January of last year, Bobridge attempted to break the world hour record in Melbourne. He rode 51.3km, but fell just short of the record of 51.852. However he did break Brad McGee’s Australian national hour record of 50.3km, which had stood since 2000.
According to Bobridge, there have been no second thoughts since making the decision to retire, thus joining his Trek teammates Fabian Cancellara (SUI) and Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), as well as fellow Australians Graeme Brown (Drapac) and Travis Meyer (Drapac) in calling it a career in 2016.
“Obviously I love the bike, the racing and the lifestyle, but I’ve got a two-year-old (daughter) now and I could drag on for three or four years,” he explained further with The Advertiser. “But come 40 or 50 the damage it’s going to do and the arthritis in my body … I don’t see sport is worth it.
“To me the decision is pretty easy, and since I made it I haven’t thought twice about it.”