Charlie Harrison Announces Retirement from Professional Racing

Dec 1, 2022
by Ed Spratt  
Charlie Harrison and Trek seem like a good fit together. He looks to be carrying some serious form and is a danger to the podium places.

Charlie Harrison has announced on social media that he will be stepping away from professional racing.

After six years racing World Cups and a tough couple of seasons Charlie Harrison has made the decision to step back from professional racing. Charlie says his priorities were moving away from World Cup racing to focusing on family and home life while struggling to keep his motivation for the sport. Since stepping away from racing Charlie says he is starting to rediscover his love for riding and is looking towards his next career.

bigquotesHey guys. I’m announcing my retirement from professional racing. Over the last few seasons, my priorities have slowly shifted from being a World Cup racer to wanting to focus on family, life at home, and my next career. The last few seasons have been the toughest thing I’ve gone through mentally, and to be totally transparent, completely jaded my view of bikes. I became resentful, bitter, and fell out of love with the sport that means so much to me. Due to my retirement however, I’ve been able to fully reconnect to bikes, and completely rediscover the reasons why as a thirteen-year-old kid, I was completely gripped by this sport.

I’m super excited to be able to share this complete story with you guys in the future. It was an absolute blessing to be able to race World Cups full time for six years, and the last four years onboard @trekfactoryracingdh was a once in a lifetime opportunity. They gave me everything that I could ever need to push my upper limit of possibilities. As a result of this amazing team, I was able to accomplish things on a bicycle that I never thought possible. It was a true honor to work alongside such professional and motivated individuals, and I was able to make some truly beautiful relationships from that. I’m forever grateful to have my name associated with such a world class team, and I’m beyond appreciative for their endless support over the last four years.

I’m able to look back on my short career and just have such an appreciation for everything it included. Racing has taught me so many lessons to bring forward in life. It taught me to chase the heck out of your dreams, because you never know what they’ll turn into. It taught me how to deal with bad times, and how to get through them. It also taught me the importance of relying on other people to help get you through those times. This sport gave the world to me, and I’m so thankful for the friends, experiences, and moments that came from that. It’s hard to summarize seven seasons of elite World Cup racing into one caption, but to be able to live through that opportunity is something that I will forever cherish. Thank you to everyone that’s been a part of this beautiful journey.
Charlie Harrison

Charlie Harrison s M29 bike check - Intense Factory Racing
PC Brice Shirbach

It was great to see Charlie Harrison finally putting together a strong qualifier to take 3rd in the Junior division just 2 seconds back.
What a day for Charlie Harrison and the new Trek Factory DH program.

Charlie Harrison dropping into the Steve Smith drop. He laid down a smooth run into 8th.
Charlie Harrison was another rider to hit the ground today. Heal up quick Chuck.

We wish Charlie all the best for the future and it has been great watching him race over the years.

Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,063 articles

  • 147 3
 Don’t be sad for him. Charlie had a great career and achieved success. To stay at that level you need to work so hard and focus so intensely you tend to lose site of the peripheral…. Where the wonder is. The magical part of just existing as a person. A son , a dad…a friend. Competition can stall those facets of life. I’m happy for him. It’s hard to walk away but when you do, you realize what you’ve accomplished, who helped you get there and the sacrifices you’ve all made. Time. That’s the measure when you hang them up. How was it spent and how do you get it back. Re kindling the love of just riding is an amazing thing. I’m so happy for that. Good luck CH.
  • 9 0
 Well said! Enjoy retirement!
  • 2 1
 Yeah guys, its not like he died or anything.
  • 2 0
 Welcome to the noob side Charlie.
  • 42 1
 Man it seems like no time since he was signed by the Athertons.
  • 11 0
 It's tenuous but I still like it.
  • 28 4
 It´s so sad, maybe Charly would be happier If Pink Bike goes on with an Advent Calendar 2022
  • 23 0
 they have. you're just banned from it.
  • 34 2
 We see the emergence of "through the headset" routing and shortly after Chuck is retiring... Coincidence ? I think not !!

  • 1 1
 @leopaul: OMG come ON!!!!
  • 19 0
 When I worked at Intense Cycles, I remember Rich Houseman telling me about this grom at Fontana, Charlie Harrison. I remember we sold Charlie (well, his parents) an M9 that we custom painted for him and I would later see Charlie racing at fontana, just a nice kid that ripped.
I later would work with Charlie on a few programs while at TLD and was always impressed by his work ethic and kindness. It's a shame the injuries would later grab him at his prime, but, I admire his decision to move on and focus on the next chapter and challenges.
Good kid that was one of the best American downhillers of his generation.
  • 2 0
 Did not know you worked at Intense, must have missed that era. Can you pick on John Hall for me and say this Joe guy from South Dakota made you do it? I love you long time??
  • 1 0
 houseman is such a rad guy!!!!
  • 1 0
 @collintimmermans: very very good human.
  • 1 0
 @whattheheel: I was only at Intense in 1999 (Intense Tires Product Manager) and then 2009-2010 as Marketing Director. I don't ever see John Hall, but, if I do, ill tell him haha.
  • 1 0
 @stiksandstones: Much appreciated my man!! Where that knuckles emoji!!! lol
  • 12 0
 In most pro sports it's retiring because you've made enough money in your 20s to not have to work again, assuming you invested some and didn't blow it on jewelry, lambos and rims. In DH it means another career choice. Joining the family business.....? Either way, I will miss rooting for him.
  • 7 0
 This sucks, amazing talent and (I assume from what I heard) great character held back by injury after injury. I hope he finds the happiness he deserves in whatever he has coming up.
  • 5 0
 Good on you for making the best life decision. Best of luck for the future.
  • 4 0
 He seems relieved so very happy for him. As a fan he was so talented and so injured, you can't help but wonder what could have been.
  • 2 0
 He got to experience many great things on the bike. Now he can love his bike again and his rides will not be as intense. Go be a kid once again and go play on your bike just like the days when we never knew that our Walmart bikes were junk and we road the wheels off of them.
  • 7 0
 Wish I could retire
  • 15 0
 I was tired yesterday. I’m retired today.
  • 4 0
 Congrats on retirement Charlie! Now it’s time to do incredible things off the bike. You will be missed on the circuit.
  • 5 0
 Good on you, Charlie. Burnout sucks and family is rad.
  • 3 0
 This is a brutally tough career - glad he got to represent the US at such a high level. Good luck with whatever you got next Charlie
  • 4 1
  The thought of racing WC DH MTB without being 100.00% committed is _terrifying_.
  • 2 0
 one of my favorites to watch especially seeing those videos of him riding as a kid. Happy for him though, i know he will do great things. God bless.
  • 3 0
 safe decision mate, cheers Beer
  • 4 0
 Free Ride is Life
  • 2 0
 Thank you Chuck! Was always great to watch you race! Best wishes in your future endeavors!
  • 3 0
 The guy is a beast on a bike. Too bad he could never seem to avoid injury.
  • 2 0
 Congrats Charlie, wish nothing for the best for you going forward!
  • 2 0
 Stay true to urself. Always. Props to the homie.
  • 2 0
 well done homie, congrats.
  • 2 0
 Thanks Charlie for all you have given!
  • 1 0
 Enjoy "retirement"! You have been a great character on the circuit. As a fan I enjoyed watching you race.
  • 1 0
 Crazy good talent! We enjoyed the ride cheering for, Charlie. Godspeed and good luck!
  • 3 1
 so sad to see him go...
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 Word is he wanted nothing to do with headset-routed cables
  • 1 0
 World cup dh keeps eating its self, all the best Charlie.
  • 1 0
 well said, good luck with new career, ready to go ride TLNX with you
  • 1 0
 Legends never retire... Wink
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