SYDNEY : Australian three-time world track champion Jack Bobridge quit the sport Wednesday aged just 27 with rheumatoid arthritis taking a heavy toll.
The reigning Australian national road champion, who also has two silver medals from three Olympics, was diagnosed with the chronic condition in 2010.
He left Europe and a professional contract with Trek-Segafredo in September citing family reasons and fatigue following the Rio Olympics in August.
“Since the (Rio) Games and backing off the training and racing load Iâ€™ve found my arthritis has been 100 percent better and Iâ€™ve been able to get off all meds (medication) as well,” he told the Adelaide Advertiser.
“Obviously I love the bike, the racing and the lifestyle, but Iâ€™ve got a two-year-old (daughter) now and I could drag on for three or four years.
“But come 40 or 50 the damage itâ€™s going to do and the arthritis in my body … I donâ€™t see sport is worth it.”
He added that “to me the decision is pretty easy, and since I made it I havenâ€™t thought twice about it”.
Bobridge won two track world titles in the team pursuit and one in the individual pursuit.
His greatest success on the road was winning a stage of the Eneco Tour in 2010 and the Tour Down Under in 2015.