Queenland downhiller Tracey Hannah decided last month to call an end to her racing career on the UCI World Cup circuit
Its an impressive list of achievments for a rider who has competed at the international level over the past 14 years.
Tracey stood on the podium 43 times, grabbed six World Championships medals, one junior rainbow jersey, an overall elite downhill World Cup champion title .
We flicked through a few questions to the mulitple Australian champion while in isolation in Brisbane after returning from the final race of the season in Lousa, Portugal.
Tracey the big question is why now? What made you decide that you would end your World Cup racing career?
"It's always been on my mind that I wouldn’t race forever. After I finished first in the World Cup overall in 2019 I was so excited and motivated to try again. I went through an intense off season in preparation for a season that happened almost a year later. It was pretty hard on me mentally and physically, I never wanted to end my career with an injury or mid season and I just felt it this year that I didn’t want to train and race at World Cup level anymore. I guess a combination of the pressure I put on myself and the high intensity of racing just made me come to that decision."
Was there any part of you that wanted to finish a whole season, not the one that we all just went through?
"I didn’t really think about it. In downhill you know when you know, it's not a sport to take lightly and if your not feeling like riding at that level anymore then you know its time to pull back. It's a dangerous sport when your not fully on the ball."
You won’t be lost to the sport at all, what have you got planned moving forward?
"I still want to compete in more fun events and go to MTB festivals, I'll also be looking to do some coaching in the coming years."
What part of coaching appeals to you?
"I guess just sharing what I have learnt and see results in other people. The sport has come a lot further then when I first started and I feel like I have a good opportunity to give back."
When do you give yourself the opportunity to look back on your career and go damn I was good?
"One day maybe, still in quarantine trying to stay motivated to get through this first haha."
What is it you will miss about not being at that pointy end?
"I’ll miss the excitement, anxiety, thrill and punishment of racing at that level. I will definitely miss the intensity, i love racing i was passionate about it and i loved racing to win, ill always be competitive so that part will be hard."