Posted by Editoress on 11/25/19
Canadian track sprinter Stefan Ritter has announced that he will retire from competitive cycling, due to health reasons. Ritter suffered a traumatic head injury resulting from a crash at the 2018 Pan American Track Championships in Mexico, which came on top of previous concussions. The 21-year-old from Edmonton, Alberta, took the difficult decision to end his cycling career in the interest of his long term health.
"The road to recovery from a severe brain injury is long and challenging," Ritter explained in a statement. "Although my recovery is going incredibly well, I still have the final portions of it ahead of me. The reason for my decision to leave racing is a matter of my long term health. Although my career was relatively short, it was indeed a very rewarding journey."
Ritter's career began with the Juventus Cycling Club in Edmonton in 2010 at the age of 12. Racing on the road, track, mountain bike and cyclo-cross, Ritter's first project with the National Team was the 2015 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic, followed by the UCI Junior Track World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan that same year, where he began to identify sprinting as his main strength.
In 2016, Ritter became the Junior Kilo world champion at the UCI Junior Track World Championships in Aigle, Switzerland, where he also won a bronze medal in the Sprint. At the 2016 Pan Am Track Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Ritter set Junior world records in the Kilo and the flying 200m Sprint. As an Elite rider, Ritter earned a silver medal at the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Minsk, Belarus, in the Keirin.
2014 CX Nationals
2016 World Champion
2018 Silver medal World Cup in Minsk
2017 Cali World Cup
"I would like to sincerely thank everyone from the bottom of my heart, for all the support during my career, as well as all the encouragement, thoughts, and prayers for me after my crash," he said. "I will always look back at this part of my life very fondly, I've thoroughly enjoyed every second of it."
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