Will Rout­ley An­nounces His Re­tire­ment

Af­ter a Suc­cess­ful Professional Ca­reer

Pedal Magazine - - Out In Front -

Will Rout­ley, one of the most ded­i­cated and well-re­spected rid­ers in the pelo­ton, has called an end to his 12-year cycling ca­reer. In his time as a Professional, Rout­ley took sev­eral high-pro­file vic­to­ries, in­clud­ing the Cana­dian Na­tional Road ti­tle in 2010, a Stage and King of the Moun­tains at the 2014 Tour of Cal­i­for­nia and a stun­ning sprint vic­tory this year in Stage Two of the GP Lib­erty Se­guros in Por­tu­gal on his way to sec­ond over­all.

“I have thought about re­tir­ing a lit­tle bit ev­ery year I raced bikes, and was pretty much cer­tain I would stop on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions,” said Rout­ley. “I love the life­style, mak­ing sure you are healthy and feel­ing strong, well-rested and just go­ing out and ham­mer­ing the hell out of your body. I love that, but I am also wise af­ter so many years of racing. I have no in­ter­est in get­ting hurt, and was start­ing to race cau­tiously the past cou­ple of sea­sons. It is time to move on from racing and ac­com­plish other goals.”

Rout­ley started rid­ing bikes at age 10 when his fam­ily moved to Whistler, B.C. It was there that he and his fa­ther dis­cov­ered a pas­sion for moun­tain bik­ing. Rout­ley stayed fo­cused on moun­tain bik­ing un­til mak­ing the switch to road racing at the age of 21. He made his Professional de­but a cou­ple of years later with the Cana­dian Sym­met­rics team along­side Rally Cycling staff Eric Wohlberg, Zach Bell and Ja­cob Erker, be­fore spend­ing two sea­sons each with Jelly Belly and Spi­derTech C10. In 2013, Rout­ley made the jump to Europe with the Bel­gian Ac­cent Jobs-Wanty team. It wasn't un­til 2014 that he joined the Op­tum p/b Kelly Ben­e­fit Strate­gies team, the pre­cur­sor to Rally Cycling.

“I got to travel the world with guys who be­came my best friends,” said Rout­ley. “There were so many ex­pe­ri­ences one couldn't get as a tourist. I drank tea with yak's milk on the Ti­betan plateau af­ter not fin­ish­ing in a race in China. I lived in an ice-cold stone apart­ment in the Pyre­nees in south­ern France. I rode up a vol­cano to a tiny vil­lage in El Sal­vador in the dark and in a cloud of diesel fumes and woodsmoke from peo­ple cook­ing on open fires. As a cy­clist, one pretty much lives out of a suit­case, and I was very for­tu­nate to have so much fam­ily time. Shoshauna was also racing and we didn't spend nearly as much time apart as other cou­ples. To­gether, we have trav­eled and spent win­ters in Cal­i­for­nia, Bel­gium, Spain and France. Off the bike, I am proud of how I be­came a voice for clean sport. I never had a prob­lem with telling it like it is, and peo­ple re­spect that.”

Mov­ing for­ward, Will and his wife, Shoshauna, are fo­cused on the next chap­ter of their lives. In ad­di­tion to their farm out­side Van­cou­ver, B.C., they just launched Healthy Hooch Kom­bucha, a nu­tri­tional drink made from fer­mented tea.

(above) Rout­ley's 12-year stel­lar ca­reer in­cluded the Na­tional road-race ti­tle in 2010. (left) Rout­ley takes the big­gest win of his ca­reer – Stage 4 and the KOM at the Am­gen Tour of Cal­i­for­nia in 2014.

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