Julien Absalon announced his retirement today, just a few days before the XC World Cup in Albstadt, Germany. The French two time Olympic gold medalist announced on Instagram that he would turn his focus to the Absolute-Absalon team and his role as ambassador.
Agence France-Presse reports that a pollen allergy was a major factor in his decision, with him saying “I’ve been suffering from allergies to pollen in the south of France for the past three years, mostly at the start of the season.”
Since the early 2000s Absalon has won numerous World Championships and World Cup Overall titles in addition to his 2004 and 2008 Olympic gold medals. His racing rivalry with Switzerland's Nino Schurter has been the stuff of legends.
More on this story as it develops. We wish Julien all the best in whatever comes next.