Bless you Julien
The most successful cross country racer ever has called time on his illustrious career, citing severe problems with pollens as the prime cause.
Caption translation: “A page turns … I decided to put an end to my career in Olympic XC. New goals are coming to me. Including the management of the Absolute-Absalon team and my role as ambassador for my partners.And why new challenges in other forms of competitions😉Next chapter, I decided to stop my XCO career. I’m now focusing on the management of the Absolute-Absalon Team and with my Ambassador role for my partners.And maybe some new challenges on different disciplines😉”
Although the nature and timing of this move does come as a shock, Absalon has actually mentioned retirement ever since his career-lowpoint at the 2012 Olympics in London where a flat tyre on the first lap instantly destroyed his chances of winning his third Olympic gold in a row.
Thankfully for the sport of XC racing, Absalon did keep racing. He did himself justice in the 2016 Rio Olympics and once again after the Olympics he mentioned retiring. It was an injury that actually prevented him retiring. A broken collarbone during the 2017 World Cup season wasn’t the way that Absalon wanted to retire. So he kept on racing into this 2018 season.
Unfortunately a couple of weeks ago he pulled out of a race in Heubach, Germany due to allergies with pollen. Absalon has a history of pollen problems but they’ve been restricted to races in southern European areas. This news instance oif allergic reaction to pollen in northern Europe has proved to be a killer blow.
Speaking to the French newspaper L’Équipe: “In Heubach I realised that I am also allergic to pollen from Northern Europe. I had a great start, but soon I could not breathe properly. I had the taste of blood in the bronchi. With this new allergy, there will be another two months of health problems”.
Absalon will still ride in a few remaining life-goals of his: the Megavalanche, the Transvesubienne and the Cape Epic.
All of us at mbr are sad to see this legend retire from top flight XC racing and wish Absalon all the very best with his future.