Lucy Kennedy has announced that she will retire from professional cycling at the end of the 2021 season. The Australian will join Team BikeExchange for two final races at the Challenge by La Vuelta on September 2-5 in Spain and the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche held from September 8-14 in France.
“It’s almost the end of a wild ride! I’ve decided that 2021 will be my last year as a professional cyclist as I shift my focus to different priorities,” Kennedy wrote in a post on Instagram Thursday.
Kennedy, 33, has had a relatively short but successful career in professional cycling having spent four seasons with Team BikeExchange, formerly known as Mitchelton-Scott, after turning professional with the team in 2018.
“It feels both like yesterday and a lifetime ago that I changed my life and shipped over to Europe to join @greenedgecycling,” Kennedy wrote. “I could write a book on the experiences I’ve packed into four years. To say everything I want to say and thank everyone I want to thank will bring up a lot of emotion so I’ll save it all for a bit later, because right now I am still a cyclist with a job to do.”
During her four seasons of racing at the top of the sport, Kennedy has been a superb support rider for Team BikeExchange, and she has become well-known as one of the strongest climbers in the world.
Kennedy has amassed two overall victories at the Women’s Herald Sun Tour and an overall victory at the Tour de l’Ardeche. She has also won Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa and Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria, along with finishing second overall at the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, second in a stage at the Giro d’Italia Donne, and second at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
She’s also finished in the top 10s at top-tier one-day races Strade Bianche and Trofeo Alfredo Binda.
It’s been a challenging two seasons for Kennedy, who, like many, felt the frustrations of the hard-hit 2020 year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down many of the races early in the season and postponed the Tokyo Olympic Games.
She went into this year with a target on the Ardennes Classics where she was in the top 20 at Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne, but she crashed during Liège-Bastogne-Liège and suffered fractures to her hand, collarbone and eye socket. The extensive recovery meant that she was effectively counted out of the Australian team selection for the women’s road race for the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.
She made a return to competition at the Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa and most recently competed at the Ladies Tour of Norway before announcing her retirement.
Kennedy has stated that she will join BikeExchange for two final races at the upcoming Challenge by La Vuelta on September 2-5 in Spain and Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche held from September 8-14 in France.