Back in the game

Manon reveals details of what she’s going to be doing now she’s retired from racing. She also tells of being terrified of announcing her retirement.

In a story on BBC Sport, Manon is quoted as saying: “I’m going to be working with British Cycling, getting women into mountain biking and organising rides. I’ve also talked about coaching but haven’t sorted that yet. I really enjoy seeing people having a good time on bikes and trying something they’ve not done before. So if I can get involved with that, I’ll be happy.”

She isn’t starting this work just yet however. She still has a couple of months off a bike to recover from surgery to correct a collarbone she broke back in 2016.

PIc: Irmo Keizer

When Manon announced her retirement in August the reaction of the MTB world was one of mild shock but also a strong empathy and understanding of why she made the decision. Manon explains: “everyone was really understanding. The fact that the reaction was so positive has really helped me stay in the sport.”

The decision clearly wasn’t an easy one to reveal to the world: “When the announcement was about to come out, I was terrified. I just wanted to retire in secret and no one know about it!”

Intriguingly, she hasn’t entirely ruled out racing again in some form or other in the future. “I’d never say never to anything because I don’t know how I’d feel in a couple of years. Part of me walking away from racing was about me deciding what I wanted from life and what meant the most to me. So I don’t know if the Olympics or Commonwealths would be a carrot that would draw me out of retirement or not.”