After 17 years of racing, Australian rider Annette Edmondson has decided to retire from active sport. For the past 15 years, she represented her country on the world stage, enjoying much success. The Adelaide-born rider spent her childhood in Malaysia, Oman and the Netherlands before returning with her family to South Australia. At the age of 13 she was selected by the South Australian Institute of Sport as a future talent in cycling and after success in the junior ranks moved up to the elite level. On the road she was riding for Orica-AIS women’s team for two years and four years for Wiggle High 5.
Her cycling career was not only filled with success, however, also throwing up some challenges. In 2010 she walked away from the sport and it was not until Coach Tim Decker guided her back and changed disciplines that she regained the enthusiasm and love for cycling. As a result she landed on the Olympic podium only a couple of years after that and developed into the sportswoman she is today and a role model for the younger up and coming riders. Outside of the sport, Edmondson has been involved in charity work such as her role as a goodwill ambassador for World Vision and working as a volunteer in deprived areas in Indonesia.
Despite her many successes, which included winning an Olympic bronze medal, twice Commonwealth gold, three times world titles, a World record and 16 national titles, she did not achieve her ultimate goal, that is, Olympic gold on the track. Nevertheless, she is happy with her decision to hang up her bike after what has no doubt been a highly successful career. Crash and injury risks also played a part in wanting to step away from the sport. She suffered a serious concussion three years ago and still feels the after-effects to this day.
Edmondson is positive about the future of cycling for women and holds hopes for the development of further international racing opportunities for female athletes and the progression of the Australian track cycling program to provide a healthier and supportive environment for its members. We wish her all the best in her retirement from cycling and look forward to hearing what is next for her.