Adam Craig explains his retirement from racing

Adam Craig cites increasing risks in top level enduro racing as one of the reasons for his recent retirement.

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Speaking to the Bangor Daily News (no not that Bangor), Craig said: “Enduro has been awesome for me, it revitalized my career after the 2012 Olympics and allowed me to refocus. But enduro’s more dangerous and it’s not an old man’s game, at least not this old man’s game.”

Adam Craig is one of the most talented all-round racers ever to grace the sport of mountain biking. Of that there is little doubt. Once look over his career results tells you all you need to know. USA Cycling national champion nineteen times. He competed in the 2008 Olympics. And he’s always been there or thereabouts in the worlds of cyclocross and enduro racing too.

So it’s really interesting and noteworthy to hear Craig citing a perceived increase risk and danger in enduro racing as a significant reason for his recent retirement.

Pretty much the only discipline of cycling that Craig hasn’t really done much of is Downhill racing. Downhill requires fitness and handling skills – which Craig has in abundance – but it also requires a bit of inherent risk taking.

Craig explains further, “I’m not a risk-taker, ultimately, which might sound silly considering my career, but there’s a lot of different levels of that. The reason I haven’t got hurt in mountain biking is because I’m careful, and I don’t want to push my luck.

“What’s changed with enduro is the racing has gotten more competitive and as people have gotten more familiar with it the risk has gone up. It’s awesome and inspiring to watch, but I didn’t want any part of it.”

Reading between the lines a bit, it also feels a bit like Craig isn’t down with the increasing professionalism and pressures that come with modern top flight enduro racing. Is Craig missing a bit of the oft-fabled ‘Spirit of Enduro’ that was around during the early year of enduro?

There’s also the aspect of being someone who’s raced at the highest level for over two decades. “I told myself that when I turned 35 that I would step back and take a look and make sure I was still doing it for the right reasons and still wanted and needed to be doing it … It has become pretty apparent to me in the last couple of years that my competitive drive has dissipated a little bit”.