Manon Carpenter Retires from DH Racing

Aug 17, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  
News has just been released that Manon Carpenter is retiring from downhill racing.

Manon Carpenter was in the scrap for the top step today but had to settle for fourth in a close match only 2.4 seconds from going fastest.

bigquotesThe decision for me to withdraw from racing has come about quickly, but the reasons have been there for a while. Over the races this year I’ve been finding it harder to face up to difficult situations – high consequence sections or changing conditions - and during National Champs weekend I came to the conclusion that I just didn't want to take the risks involved with racing at 100% anymore. Racing downhill is gnarly and you have to have the confidence to commit to whatever is put in front of you, whereas I’ve become more aware of the consequences of crashing and, as much as I've tried to put this out of my head, it’s stopped me from enjoying racing as I would like to. I've had everything I needed to prepare myself as best I could for racing this year with a great bike, sponsors and support from Radon Factory DH Racing. Everyone has put their best efforts into helping me and I wanted to finish the season with Radon Bikes, as I know I made commitments to them, but quickly realised that World Cup racing isn’t something I should force myself into if my head isn’t in it. Racing on the World Cup circuit has been an amazing and unexpected opportunity for me. After racing as a Junior years ago I set out to race in Elite for a year to see what I could do before starting Uni, but my first season showed promise and everything else went on hold. I wanted to race until I got as far as I could, or until I injured myself, so I’m happy to have made it this far relatively in one piece! There have been some huge highlights and I feel like I’ve given as much as I had, now I’m looking forward to having time to enjoy riding at home and to see what else there is for me to do. I’m very grateful to everyone who has followed, supported and believed in me over the years of racing and to those who have been supportive of this decision so far.Manon Carpetner

Radon Factory Racing just released a statement regarding Manon's decision to retire:

With mixed feelings we have to tell you that Manon Carpenter has decided to withdraw from Downhill MTB racing.

For some time Manon has been struggling with her mindset. After the UCI DH World Cup in Lenzerheide and the British National DH Championships things were clear for Manon. It’s time for her to move on, and step away from World Cup DH Racing.

bigquotesFrom the first conversation I had with Manon, Crankworx 2016, I was convinced that this girl had it in her to challenge every single female rider on the World Cup circuit for the top spot on the box. I am still convinced about this, this girl can ride a bike like no other.

The whole Radon crew was stoked to get the confirmation that she would start the 2017 season on our Radon Swoop200. After a good winter of training and testing we started the season with a podium spot, the first ever World Cup podium for Radon. A great starting point to build from, followed by podiums in Fort Bill and Leogang. I do not know many athletes who work as professionally as Manon. Going through suspension settings with her Mechanic, Gavin, getting feedback from her lines-scout Andi and going over GoPro footage together to find the best lines on track. Leaving nothing to the unexpected.

As the season continued we noticed she got more and more insecure and more tight up on the bike. We talked a lot about this, searched for solutions and tried to eliminate all uncertainties, but as Manon said above, after National Champs she came to the conclusion that she’s not up for the risks anymore.

As team manager you’re shocked, but you also see it coming. You try to find solutions to change her mindset, but in the end, you can’t send a rider up the hill who is not confident to race, you have to respect this. Of course, I am sad, as the whole team is, but we are also proud and blessed that we had the opportunity to work with Manon and that we achieved several world cup podiums together. I would like to thank Manon and wish her all the best of luck in her career after racing.
Joost Wichman | Radon Factory DH Team Manager

The whole Radon Bikes Crew wishes Manon all the best in the future.



MENTIONS: @RadonFactoryRacing / @ManonCarpenter



Must Read This Week

245 Comments

  • + 448
 A shock for me and many others but good luck to you in whatever you take on next . You've been a credit to the sport and a champion for women's racing. You will be missed.
  • + 132
 She would make an amazing Enduro racer.
  • + 94
 @enrico650: you know that they too commit 100% while racing , race for longer and some times have gnarlier sections than on a DH course ?
she will only make an amazing enduro racing if the new challenge is going to make her go 100% again , otherwise there is no point to race at the highest level of racing if you aren't going to give all you got
  • + 40
 it seems to be the cleanest divorce ever....
  • + 13
 @enrico650: probably not if she has difficulties with full commitment, high risk racing in changing conditions - that is the core of enduro racing.
  • + 19
 @enrico650: Enduro is 5 DH races a day mixed with suffering transfers - off to Uni!
  • + 10
 @endlessblockades: let's not overstate reality...
  • + 74
 there's that saying that we all have two lives and the second one begins as soon as we realize we only have one. much respect for carpenter.
  • - 47
flag scott-townes (Aug 17, 2017 at 6:49) (Below Threshold)
 FAKE NEWS! SHE'S PREGNANT!!! CONGRATS MANON!
  • + 21
 Wise choice. Winners get some money, losers usually get wheelchairs.
  • + 0
 @scott-townes: no joke, that's one of the first things that ran through my mind.
  • + 18
 @endlessblockades: True, but I would say the level of risk is overall lower than with a full WC level DH run in which you just cannot avoid taking huge risks if you want to be competitive - Huge jumps and drops, gapping certain lines etc.

In enduro, there are multiple stages so you dont have to take these kind of risks to be competitive (Maybe you do in the mens field where everybody is hitting the same lines) - You can make time up on other sections etc, you cant to do that in WC DH - dont hit the big sections and you are off the pace.

Another point is the way DH courses are getting, technical courses are often slower, come off and you get hurt but not completely destroyed - Modern DH courses are super fast in comparison with some really big jumps, come off and you are getting hurt.

All the best to Manon, she was an awesome DH racer and achieved a lot in a short time - I am sure mtb still has a place for you if you want it.
  • + 1
 @nvranka OK but that's a tall order here.....
  • + 13
 NOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooo! She's one of my favs!
  • + 14
 @tiagomano: i do agree that enduro racers have to commit 100% for an entire day and the courses are just as gnarly, but my take away from this is that the road gaps and the bigger jumps that they are starting to throw into DH races are what she is referring to. i agree that she would make a great enduro racer and i believe she is physically and mentally fit enough for that. you don't have to worry about a 30-40ft gap being in the middle of your race run in enduro.
  • - 30
flag mattsavage (Aug 17, 2017 at 7:47) (Below Threshold)
 @scott-townes: Please don't tell me Danny Hart is the daddy...
  • - 21
flag gibbon-on-an-orange (Aug 17, 2017 at 7:59) (Below Threshold)
 @mattsavage: imagine how fast that kid would be!
  • + 7
 Wishing her the best for whatever she has in store for next! She would definitely be a great advocate for the sport wherever she goes!
  • + 3
 Is this effective immediately, or after World Champs?
  • - 25
flag scott-townes (Aug 17, 2017 at 8:27) (Below Threshold)
 @mattsavage: Nah, its Cedric Gracia from what I heard.
  • + 0
 @tiagomano: Enduro is so gnarly brooo....
  • - 1
 it is to a point but it is spread out that much more than DH so you wont race it at the same intensity, If you have ever raced DH properly your done at the bottom of a 3minute track, if you do that in an enduro you wont even make the next climb!
  • + 2
 @therage43: and even then the money for winning is horrendous! You see some of the checks these winners hold up... Unless of course u are the top 1 percentile.. Ie guys like Semenuk..
  • + 1
 @tiagomano: I disagree. with up to 7 stages a race and up to 30 miles on bike per day an enduro racer needs to be, more than anything, consistent. charging at 100% and taking all the risks simply won't help you in an enduro race. I reckon 95% with smarter designs will make you a more consistent competitor for the title
  • + 10
 all you keyboard samurais shut up! there is a life besides mtb an the risks a proffesionel dh racer is taken is not comprehensible by any of us. right decision. great personality. thanks for all your support, action, fun times an pleassure you brought over the years. have a good one! cheers!
  • + 6
 @THomer: true. once confidence is gone...it's plain dangerous
  • + 0
 @scott-townes: I thought it was ratboy??
  • + 4
 Just plainly riding your bike is waaay more fun than racing anyways...
  • + 4
 @therage43: Thisss 100%! Racing just doesn't even seem fun! Half the reason I ride is to get away from the populous!
  • + 5
 @scott-townes: people with dry sense of humour downvoted your comments. I found your comments funny Big Grin
  • + 0
 @Eden4: Gapers tend to not have a good sense of humor. @piersgritten I thought so as well but then I realized he was saying, "I need a drink" not, "I got Manon pregnant". Its really hard to understand what he's saying.
  • + 3
 @endlessblockades: Really? I'm not so sure about that, most of the Enduro trails I've ridden are not full on DH trails and none came close to any WC DH tracks at all. Yes some were challenging/technical, but more like what true "All Mountain" trails are like. Try riding the WC track in Mont Saint Anne on a Enduro bike and tell me that's what Enduro trail are like! lol I've also never seen huge drops, 30/40 ft doubles or gap/step downs on any Enduro race, but see them quite a bit on DH races. Now couple all that to the speeds of a DH race and no sir, enduro is not 5 DH races a day. lol lol I really think that's what she is referring too when she says consequences, enduro races do not have the level of consequences that WC DH races have.
  • + 1
 @dirtyrig: OK - I'm talking about DH races, not the top-level WC courses. Just in terms of amount of grueling-ness. I do Enduros that use 'DH' courses, but certainly aren't WC level enduro or DH. It's just a lot of damn gruel.
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: Oh yes I agree, I'm not taking anything away from the difficulty, gruel nor the consequences in any level of enduro racing, but we were talking about a Pro female WC level DH racer theoretically moving to enduro racing and to insinuate that she would run into the same problems, regarding the fear of consequences, in enduro races compared to WC level DH races, I just don't agree. She will be able to handle any enduro race without the same fears that she had to deal with in WC DH races because of the inherent nature of each discipline. Regardless if WC level or not, DH racing is 2 to 4 minutes of balls out racing and enduro is a bunch of races spread over 1 or 2 days, one requires you to put all out in one shot and the other requires you to pace yourself over the course of a day, so even if some of the trails are "DH trails" enduro is still not "5 DH races a day".
  • + 1
 @dirtyrig: Ok - agreed. For me, it's like multiple DH races a day! I do some event like mammoth that use Cat 2 (me) DH courses for enduro and I treat every segment like a DH race. For her, maybe she could kill the EWS, but it ain't easy, and therefore might not be attractive to every former WC DH racer out there who might prefer to get a degree.
  • + 0
 @therage43: and snitches get stiches
  • + 129
 Fair play, that takes real courage. Riding a bike fast is one thing, but being true to yourself and knowing it'll like you're letting others down, big respect. Best of luck Manon.
  • + 4
 Agreed.
  • + 2
 she's probably the smartest rider on the WC DH circuit
  • + 70
 Best of luck to you at uni or whatever you decide to do next Manon. You will rock whatever it is! Glad you had the foresight to realize the problem and make changes according. After all we only have one life to live and you should enjoy as best you can.

I always tell my son: If the hike isn't any fun, then let's go home!
  • + 76
 "Best of luck to you at uni or whatever you decide to do next Manon. You will rock whatever it is!"

I understand she's studying Geology, so props to the accidental pun
  • + 26
 @ROOTminus1: I too study Geology--everytime I crash
  • + 5
 @uphill-blues: Crash course?
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: haha good one. And I have no comeback for that one (and I'm usually good with comebacks). Maybe I have a concussion.
  • + 45
 I actually was expecting it after she didn't start in MSA. You could tell that she was struggling mentally a bit. Big props to both her and Joost Wichman for the most honest and respectful press releases ever. Good luck with whatever you'll be doing Manon!
  • + 31
 Who is she kidding?? She's leaving DH to run off with Ratboy! Just kidding. I'm actually really sad to read this. It's good that she has the strength of her own consciousness to make the decision that's right for her. You will be sorely missed Manon. This sport needs women so badly and you are definitely one of the top five women riders in the world. No one can ever take that from you. Best of luck to you. We all know you'll be successful at anything you do because you've got the strength of will and intellect to do so. Peace.
  • + 25
 Emmeline Ragot once said riding bike is fun, racing isn't. If you are not on the edge of crashing, you are not winning. Only person who's riding on the edge and still have fun is Troy Brosnan.
  • + 5
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBEbgAfDCxw You clearly haven't watched this then lol
  • + 0
 @ArchieDH: Wonderful clip!
  • + 10
 Kinda ignorant to think most riders don't have fun....
  • + 0
 @VPS13: Exactly. People are in the sport for different reasons. Some love racing and competing. They're probably never happier on a bike than when they're at a race.
  • + 24
 Got to do what feels right, best of luck for the future. Remember being at Fort Bill when she had that massive crash of the Scotland jump, hard to watch.
  • + 13
 That was the turning point in what was an incredible career in the making. She never got back to that World Champ pace. One big gust of wind and the confidence never fully recovers. Good luck to Manon she is a beauty!
  • + 23
 totally understand the feeling. I have rock climbed for over 20 years and one day 300' off the ground it hit me like a ton of bricks and have stopped for over a year no plans on going back
  • + 5
 after 20 years the realization that you had climbed high above the ground hit you? had to be more than that, what exactly was the experience if you don't mind me asking.
  • + 3
 @imho4ep: was it the realisation of the amount of risk? Rush/risk isn't worth it any more?
  • + 2
 Risk vs reward is a real thing for those engaging in "dangerous" activities. Just a matter of time for when the risk isn't worth the reward whatever that may be.
  • + 5
 Yeah dude, I'm interested in your story too. Did you fall, almost fell, or just realized you're doing something outrageously dangerous?
  • + 10
 Between all the years of climbing I have witnessed a lot of thing. People falling 100' feet to the ground because of there own fault and having to help get them out. I Have been Caught on peaks when storms hit because you can't see them rolling in. Have seen a massive rock slide on the right side of el cap when I was climbing the nose. But this day in particular I was up there watching my friend climb through 20+mph guests of wind to the tip of "ancient art" (look it up) which is an really easy climb, but I started thinking of my daughter and son and if this tip of rock (sandstone) decided to give way while am up there they will never see me again. In climbing it's only a matter of time before you have that moment where either it's a miracle your alive or your dead. Every good climber has that story. I have had a couple of those moments in the 20 years. I finished that last climb but was freaking out the whole time. I have never been scared of climbing anything it was always fun but at that moment it all changed. I am perfectly content riding my bike and surfing. I do miss it but my heart is with my family
  • + 4
 @Krzymndyd: Wow dude, thanks for sharing. Every sport has their risks--You can crash in a mountain bike, get hit by a car in a road bike, get shanked at a basketball game (I live in a bad neighborhood). The will to live is strong in smart people. Unfortunately, it's not there for others. Some risks just aren't worth it.

Btw, can you downgrade to easier climbs? Kinda like going from DH to Enduro or even XC?
  • + 2
 @Krzymndyd: thanks for sharing, I can see how you could relate to Manon now. I have a fear of heights thats prevented me from trying it but I do have a morbid fascination with climbing
  • + 2
 @imho4ep:
He was actually 'hit by a tonne of bricks' ! Some pikey fly tipped off the top , lol
  • + 25
 Wow what a shame. Respect her decision though
  • - 62
flag mookie73 (Aug 17, 2017 at 5:27) (Below Threshold)
 shame? for what? that she is so brave to disclose real problem and quit when she knows she can't race at 100% because of fear?
  • + 27
 @mookie73: He means its a shame she wont ne racing anymore. Which it is.
  • - 15
flag pulDag (Aug 17, 2017 at 5:48) (Below Threshold)
 @mookie73: Shame on you.. c the difference? Smile
  • + 16
 @mookie73: check the dictionary mate. You completely misunderstood what he said
  • + 4
 @leopaul @mookie73 English can be quite annoying (it's true for any new language actually), so many homonyms that can lead to confusion : mean, shame, mole and so on
  • - 1
 @zede: haha homo
  • + 25
 Sad news, the DH Female loses a lot with the exit of Manon!
  • + 17
 This makes me very sad, one of the nicest people on the circuit, always rooted for a fellow welshie, she will be missed, but i have a feeling she'll be back in the sport at some point. Good luck @ManonCarpenter x
  • + 17
 I've always respected her, but it takes a lot of maturity at her age to realize it's time to hang it up before the disaster that ruins her future. I'm sure she's going to excel in whatever she takes on next.
  • + 14
 Such a shame. Maybe red bull encouraging faster tracks every year with bigger jumps has contributed to this?
  • + 9
 The faster tracks for the most part are easier tracks for riders at this level.
  • + 4
 @sino428: May be true, but the forces are higher when you slide out of a berm at 60 km/h than when you fall on rocks at 10... I think atleast. Would be interesting to know for sure though, maybe helmet manufacturers have statistics on this.
  • + 3
 @daweil: @daweil: it depends on the crash it self , if you crash and keep going the impact is more easily dispersed , if you crash and stop right away it is normally more damaging for your body , because instead of the burned skin from the friction, you have broken bones for taking the hit
  • + 7
 @sino428: Thats just not true though in the case of racing - they are ony easier in the sense that me or you could actually get down them alive. Riders wont be holding back when racing so 'easier' tracks just make for higher speeds and potentially larger accidents as riders push for every advantage a possible e.g. over jumping a 40ft double or losing it going 35mph.

Tech tracks may have more crashes, but they are often much slower. e.g. would you rather crash at full tilt at MSA or Fort Willaims open sections or while threading it through a section of roots / trying to keep a high-line in an off-camber? I know which one it would be for me thats for sure.
  • + 3
 @Racer951: I understand the differences but I'm just going by what I hear and read from the racers themselves and even what Manon said in her quote. The riders always refer to the more high speed "bike park" tracks as dumbed down or too easy (remember Atwill riding Leogang on a hardtail in practice). I mean yea there are extremes like the super high speed section in MSA or the massive jumps in Ft William, but for the most part these riders aren't afraid of a dumbed down speed track. She even says in here statement high consequence sections and changing conditions. It doesn't sound like she talking about simply losing control at high speeds.
  • + 2
 @daweil: I think it all depends on the crash. You can slide out going fast but have a minimal impact if you say slide instead of full plant into the ground. Also, depending on the crash, a slow speed crash can be very severe. In an over the bar for instance, even if you aren't going fast, the circular momentum that happens as the bike/riders body rotates around that stopped front wheel can be huge and the riders can slam hard. I mean think about tripping on a sidewalk. Look at slipping on ice for instance. You can barely be moving but if you slip out and slam your head on the ground its bad.
  • + 6
 E=1/2mv^2. Double the speed, 4 times the energy at impact. No discussion needed. Physics, you know.
  • + 2
 @Muckal: This is kinetic energy. This is the amount of energy an object posses due to it's velocity or speed. Also, the amount of potential energy transferred if the object comes to a complete stop (Newton's). Your statement holds true if you slam into a brick wall. Or fall straight to the ground. This does not apply for most bike crashes. You could hit the ground going wicked fast as stated above and slide. Think of a jump landing to flat vs a sloped landing, at the same speed. Which one will the rider feel more? Physics, you know.
  • + 4
 The worst crash I ever had was at about 7mph on a cross country bike, managed to snap my femur in two places. It really depends on how and where you crash as much as the speed.
  • + 4
 @Racer951: To add to your point, Gwin was doing a track walk a few years ago and someone said something about one of the turns being pretty easy to do. Then Gwin says something like "yeah, but try doing it at high speed."
  • + 1
 @metaam: Mine was just last month, at a super easy trail too (Will Rogers State park). Front tire washed out, hit the ground head first and then scraped a bit of my face and cracked my helmet. I'm actually wondering if I passed out for a while.
  • + 2
 @krashDH85: your Argument holds true for slidable surfaces. Like ski slopes or tobbogan runs. Me and some other bikers ride terrain littered with rocks and roots. Not exactly slideable. Well, at least not all time. On january 1st i slid out at like 20kph an SLID down the Hill until i hit a big root. Collarbone gone. You may also read brick wall instead of root if that suits you better. Still, faster speeds make for harder impacts and more severe injury.
  • + 2
 @krashDH85: oh and let's not forget about those wooden things at the sides of DH tracks and even some trails. Some people hug them, some try to change the wooden things looks by crashing into them. Instead the piles of wood, let's call them trees, change the integrity of the riders body. Just like brick Walls i suppose. With four times the energy at double the speed. Newton. Pain, you know.
  • + 10
 Respect for being super honest about why.
I'm sure everyone thinks about the risk/reward ratio at some point so I hope she doesn't feel it's something to be ashamed of.

Hopefully see her racing in some smaller British series'.
  • + 10
 Good on you for doing you. That crash at FT Bill when you were staggering to get up and finish....we will never forget the warrior inside we saw come out that day. Looking forward to seeing what you do next.
  • + 11
 I was there in Hafjell 2014 and was a very proud Brit that day. All the best Manon and thanks for the fantastic memories
  • + 10
 Best of luck for your future projects Manon - Its been a total joy watching you race.
  • + 6
 Wow. Much respect for Manon, she had the courage to express her feelings and fears. Never raced at this kind of level, but it has crossed my mind what drives this athletes and the pressure they are in to provide results to them, families and sponsors. All this while dealing with the constant danger of getting hurt on a sport that is so full of randomness. That fine line between making it to the top, top 10, or top 20 and getting a big crash while attempting is so thin that I totally understand her position. All the best for her!
  • + 6
 Its a shame to lose you from the scene manon, you have been one of my favourite racers for a ling time - I think you were in my fantasy dh team in 2012. You have to live your life the way you want it so best of luck for the future.
  • + 5
 Cant blame her, want to race at this level you just have to be 110% committed to what ever is in your path. Also we have to remember that for a female the financial benefit of racing isnt as big of an offset as for an equal level guy. So for her its a high risk low return deal, which for a smart person will always be a huge factor.
  • + 9
 Thank you for everything Manon! Wish you luck in your future endeavors!!
  • + 5
 Absolutely honourable to come and say this. Didn't cam cole do the same as well as Dan Atherton and Matti Lekkifinlanndii come off the same reason. The risks for some are so intense. Its so natural to say this, as well as brave. Whatever path you take next, all the best to you.
  • + 9
 EWS next season ala Sam Hill
  • + 6
 Props to her for being so honest and having the courage to express her real concerns as to why she's retiring. She's got a brilliant record to end with. She'll always have a place in the MTB community. Best of luck to her!!
  • + 4
 She's my favorite female racer that i look forward to every races shes in and its sad to see her go. I didn't expect that at all even though i saw her struggle these recent races. I respect her decision and i still look forward to her riding in the future. I wish she could race the EWS at least. best of luck Manon!
  • + 5
 damn, wish her all the best, it's gonna suck having one less person to give rach a run for her money, and kinda hope she does stick around doing the smaller races, and becomes a ambassador for her sponsors.
  • + 5
 Not too many people who been a World Champion during the course of there career. Sure you'll still be riding, but as most of us do, just for the fun of it. May see you around the local trails
  • + 6
 You're a great rider Manon and you look like you have a laugh in all the videos I see you in. Have fun on your bike and make some content for us all to see. Best of luck.
  • + 5
 Lots of respect for this decision and beeing super honest about why! Would like to see her as a brand ambassador, only racing for fun at some smaller Events or at EWS like Hannah Barnes does.
  • + 6
 Well I'm gutted. My favourite rider.

Enduro or staying on the pump track in future riding terms, aside from the geology work.....?
  • + 4
 One of my daughters sporting heroes, sad to see her retire, but you could see this coming. A lot of risk in MTB with often times little rewards. Much respect to her for bowing out gracefully, not milking it as she could have. I won't forget seeing her in Whistler years ago, as a young teen rider and she was really really good on a bike. All the best Manon-hope you continue to ride for enjoyment.
  • + 3
 Good luck Manon. That's a brave decision but also pragmatic. Life is short and there's loads of things to do. You've reached the pinnacle and no need to prove yourself. Your articulation and mindset will serve you well. If anyone that has raced to a high level knows it's stressful, really stressful.
  • + 3
 It is difficult for an elite athlete who is raised to never quit to stop doing a sport like this even though they don't enjoy it. Respect. Bottom line, if the love of the sport isn't there, there is no reason to do something you dislike.
  • + 3
 Bummed to hear that she isn't racing anymore, but I'm sure she is still riding, and I'd still kill to have her skills. Let's hope that the lack of racing just bring the utmost amount of joy for her when she chooses to ride her bike.
  • + 3
 Had the privilege of meeting her briefly in Mont Sainte-Anne a few years ago and she is pure class.
An outstanding attitude, superb riding abilities and that radiant smile of hers that was undoubtebly contagious.
She embodies the true spirit of mountain biking in the best way possible.

Made a similar decision myself years ago leaving DH racing for university & I can assure you it's a hard one to make.

It takes loads of guts and a lot of personal integrity to leave graciously as you did Manon.
Like many I have profound respect for you and what you did as a role model for women in our sport.

Happy Trails to you & all the best for the future.
  • + 4
 Anyone who has spent time recovering from a major injury knows how it changes your perspective. I have & I totally get where she is coming from. I wish Manon all the best & thank her for a spectacular show on a bike!
  • + 1
 Yup. My worst injury was at worst a fractured ankle and at best a level 2 sprain, or maybe 3. I don't remember now. It happened playing volleyball when I landed in someone's foot and rolled my ankle. To this day, I can vividly remember the pain and am still super anxious about it when I play sports.
  • + 3
 Mad respect for making such a huge decision at such a young age. Can't help but feel the crash at Val di Sole world champs last year was the driving force on this decision, hence the news coming out before the next round there in a couple of weeks. Sad day all round as she's an extremely talented rider!
  • + 2
 I have respect for her decision but I am sad at the same time. I always enjoyed seeing her hit the bigger features - which was really impressive. But the risks and consequences of DH are huge and it blows my mind when competitors ride these courses at all - let alone at race pace. I hope she still sticks with the bikes in some shape or form.
  • + 4
 Well that sucks since the womens elite field isn't that big to start. Are her and Rat still a thing? Maybe she'll show up with the 50to01 crew lol
  • + 2
 That's what I was thinking.
  • + 2
 Much respect...DH is an extreme sport.. is not a big money sport... so risk a permanent injury is about very personal decision I think that after a year with so many big injuries Uci have to think about it... these are athlete and DH WC is not Rampage
  • + 2
 I have huge respect for her descion and I dont blame her. I have watched over the years bike tech make the bikes go really fast and the courses get more and more severe. The risk of a massive injury is extremely high. Good luck to her in her new adventures and go back to having fun on a bike. That is ultimately what it is all about.
  • + 3
 This is a bummer, but it seemed kind obvious after St Anne. She was a pleasure to watch and a pleasure of a person which is why I will miss having her racing. Best of luck in the future!
  • + 2
 It's gotta be that crash at Fort William that shook her resolve. Just like Myriam Nicole avoiding that last gap at MSA because of a crash (couldn't find video of that one though--anybody have it?).

Good luck Manon, and thank you for some exciting races. Hope you still stay in the industry somehow.
  • + 6
 She has taken a couple of big slams, got to respect her choice
  • + 2
 Sad news ,cause she had talent to do very well in the sport,but at the same time I'm glad she made that decision cause I watched her races and her head just wasn't there ,many mistakes and then she couldn't catch up to that ,couldn't focus on. Enjoy ,and please come back to racing again (when you feel ready). That jump on fort William,it takes a great woman to keep it going
  • + 4
 Good Luck Manon-There is definitely more to life. I feel the writing was on the wall after her big slam on the final jump at Fort William 2 years ago.
  • + 5
 Best of luck , whatever you decide, fair play to you for calling it as it is in your head.
  • + 2
 Dissapointed yes but not surprised,i actually saw it coming and thought maybe one more season given the investment from radon but she,s been way off the pace and looked very uncomfortable on the bike and locking the back end up when others are off there brakes . She,s been great for the sport but like so many will end her racing carear prematurly but i also think its the right decision. Lets hops radon find someone to keep the team going . All the best to her and the future
  • + 2
 I agree with her, if your head and heart just aren't into it then you shouldn't do it. Sad to see her go as I saw her as a role model and inspiration for me and the other up and coming women on the circuit. She will be missed as with Ragot.
  • + 3
 Sad face. But tbh I don't know how any of them do it. Mountain biking is frickin' dangerous! Well done on a great career Manon. All the best.
  • + 1
 Sad to see her go, she was my favorite of the current crop of riders but she is making the right decision IMO. If you can't give it 100% you are short changing sponsors and fans and exposing yourself to risk.

So is she engaged to Ratboy yet? :p
  • + 5
 she never was the same after that big crash at fort bill , two years ago.
  • + 2
 Totally agree. Huge dead sailor gave her her a lot of time to think..
  • + 1
 She shoulda won that day no?
  • + 1
 @inchhighj:
yes , she was three seconds ahead before she went otb.
  • + 2
 There will be no enduro for manon either that i can say with 100% conviction.
Its just not what she is after right now.
For the forseeable she will take some time away from racing bikes full stop.
  • + 1
 Manon is being smart and getting some More education. An Elite Extreme Sport Athlete only has a short career window, you need a backup plan, free bikes a bit of cash and traveling the world racing is nice, but the real world cost real money, its not like she's a footballer on a multi-million pound contract. Best of luck to her
  • + 4
 Wow, didn't see that coming, although she hasn't looked on her game for a while now.
  • + 2
 There's no doubt you had what it took to be the best, and its been frustrating to watch you not reach your potential this season but braver of you to divulge your reasons. All the best for the future.
  • + 1
 Racing in general is fun, competitive racing with major sponsors I would imagine being stressful, they only care for you to perform if you get yourself in a wheel chair tough luck. I honestly think she's tired of the stress and getting pushed to perform.
  • + 4
 She was always on of my favorites to watch, such a beautiful rider, thanks Manon!
  • + 3
 It has been a pleasure watching you race, good luck with your future adventures, go to Uni, live a normal life, see what life brings you
  • + 3
 I takes even more courage to admit you're scared then it does to just ride. Congrats to her and I hope for her future success in whatever she chooses to do next.
  • + 4
 Sad to see her leaving the sport, I've loved watching her ride. All the best for whatever comes next Smile
  • + 3
 Smart Lady, Dh can only bring you so far, can only bring you so much glory, and honestly so little money..
  • + 2
 That's the right call, glad to see that she stopped racing before she got hurt. I can't imagine hitting a world cup track without the right mindset.
  • + 0
 Full respect for the decision and to step away when the mental confidence is not there, versus risking an injury. I think if I was in that position I would've put down safe cruiser runs for MSA, Val di Sole and Worlds... but maybe that isn't the best way to go out.
  • + 3
 All the best to Manon - fantastic rider who put in heart and soul to the sport. Big Respect to her ????????
  • + 4
 I have total respect. I like that she made the desicion for herself.
  • + 3
 Argh, such a bummer Frown

It's a pretty huge decision to make, best of luck, you'll be missed.
  • + 1
 Is she Manoff now? Sad to see her retire but don't forget Tracey (Hannah) had a few years off after a season or two, and came back to racing, through a shitload of injuries and still slaying at the top level!
  • + 4
 She should be a supermodel.
  • + 2
 Much respect for making a decision like this. If anything, it proves that she loves riding and loves to ride for a long time to come. All the best!
  • + 4
 Respect, and good wishes for your future Manon.
  • + 5
 what a loss Frown
  • + 4
 best of luck for the future !
  • + 3
 Every great athlete knows when it's time to throw in the towel. Best wishes!
  • + 4
 All the best in the future. You are still an inspiration.....
  • + 4
 Well.....is not April, so, WHAAAAAAAAT??? NO WAY!
  • + 5
 Good luck in the new era
  • + 4
 Did not see that one coming. Best of luck in the future!
  • + 4
 Miss you already Manon...
  • + 4
 A sad day for racing but you have to do what is right for you!
  • + 4
 Gutted. Good luck to you Manon, whatever you do next.
  • + 4
 Going to miss her .. She was my Fav!
  • + 4
 Best of luck Manon - it's been great watching you race!
  • + 3
 Best of luck with whatever you do Manon, you will be missed by many!
  • + 3
 Thank you for the good times... God bless & good luck in the future.
  • + 3
 Now I am a widow of Emmeline and Manon. FeelsBadMan
  • + 1
 Huge bummer to see as she was by FAR my favorite female rider. But also mad respect to her for being able to make that decision and do what is right for her.
  • + 2
 Best of luck in the future Manon. Thanks for all of your great dedication and effort over the years.
  • + 3
 At the end of the day, she's enjoying UNI/BF more than being a MTB pro
  • + 1
 Mmmmm yes ...
  • + 3
 i think what she meant to say is the risk isnt worth the reward.
  • + 1
 Wow!! Have to respect the decision Bright side....we can finally work on our relationship, which was hindered by her commitment to DH
  • + 2
 Literally gutted!! Fair play on making such a tough decision though. I hope she gets the chance to make some great edits!
  • + 7
 "literally gutted" - literally the worst use of literally that i've ever seen.
Must have been a tough decision for Manon, especially "mid" season and given that we all envy these riders just a little bit. Similar situation to Ragot. Not going to help the competitiveness of the women's world cup either.
  • + 3
 It's 1st of April, right??? right?? pleeeeaassee...
  • + 3
 Congrats on a sweet career Manon. You are living the dream, enjoy!
  • + 2
 Hats off to her for being so honest and brave enough to say no more ...good gal ????
  • + 1
 Every week we read on social of a crowdfunding for a big injury... is that an official discipline?
  • + 2
 Understandable decision, good luck and have fun on the bike again!
  • + 1
 Damn it, one of my favourite riders to watch. Maybe she'll go in to bmx or moto x.
  • + 2
 Always going to miss referring to her as Carptentry lady.
  • + 1
 all the best! pretty sure she wants to tour the world with the rat Wink But hats down to this decision! she rocks
  • + 2
 All the best to you, whatever you're up to
  • + 2
 Respect! (But still I'm bummed about it)
  • + 0
 Carpetner? Please use spell check.

Sad news that she is retiring, but at least she is making the decision rather than it being forced on her
  • + 1
 Sad to see she's leaving, hopefully she'll still do stuff like Crankworx though?
  • + 1
 Good luck! You will surely be missed, Manon.
  • + 1
 I wonder if a move to enduro could be a possibility
  • + 10
 If the problem is committing to race pace, because of the risk of injuries, I don't think Enduro would be much of an alternative. When you hear about the insane crashes the riders are picking up though, like Miranda Miller breaking both her arms at Fort William a few years ago, it's not hard to understand why that commitment is hard to keep up.
  • + 9
 @Smevan: I think Enduro is an option. I don't think going fast is the necessarily scary part of riding bikes. For me it's always the big features like gaps, jumps, drops, etc. that make you wonder is it worth the risk. Going into a section ridiculously fast just isn't as intimidating for whatever reason even though it's just as dangerous.

I like that Enduro is more about finesse and skills as opposed to being largely influenced by bravery. Dh obviously requires huge skill (and all the top riders have that skill) and it definitely requires a higher level of commitment. But Enduro is that much more accessible and I would say rewards the more skillful riders more. In DH (at local level) I see pretty shit bike riders beat talented bikers purely based upon fearlessness. I like that there is a place for skilled riders who have other commitments to do their thing at a high level.
  • + 5
 @humoroususername: Speed alone can still lead to tons of damage. And some of the gnarly incidents we've seen in racing didn't include jumps, drops, or gaps.

* Fabien Barel braking his back "IN AN EDURO STAGE" where he went over the bars and down an embankment.

* Cedric Gracia finding he had no brakes and crashing into a tree stump that shattered his hip!

If you don't want to put yourself out there at the edge anymore then Enduro isn't an option either!
  • + 0
 @humoroususername: agree 90% with you, the other 10% is the part where you talk about talented riders beaten by shitty riders. In DH, the stopwatch says who's talented, that's it.
  • + 1
 @ismasan: I know what you mean but what I'm saying is guys with much less skill can sometimes overcome riders who have more ability in DH. I guess that's different to being "shit", I should have rephrased it.

@BDKR pretty sure CG broke his hip at Val di Sole in a DH race.
  • + 1
 @humoroususername: That's right, but his inclusion was to point out that it was a gnarly wreck on something other than a big jump, gap, or drop.
  • + 1
 If her heart was in it, I could see her doing really well. Look at Casey Brown, I don't think she ever had the results that Manon did in WC, and she usually places pretty high up in the enduro races she competes in.
  • + 1
 @humoroususername: a couple things.
A. Hitting a track blindly takes hella bravery.
B. Tara Llanes had her accident going slow as f*ck. Shit happens. Riding bikes down hills at any speed can end badly. We take that risk because we enjoy it though. To push harder without enjoyment just doesn't make sense.
  • + 3
 @therealtylerdurden: I'm not saying it doesn't take bravery and isn't just as dangerous. But it's definitely not as intimidating and you can have a slightly different mindset in Enduro. Not saying one is superior to the other.

I've raced Enduro and I've raced downhill and I know which one makes me that bit more nervous every time I'm about to drop in on a race run. There are rarely features on an Enduro stage where you have to take multiple runs to psych yourself up to hit. You might try multiple times to get it right but it's usually not because it's terrifying (although sometimes there is an element of that) but rather because it's technically very difficult.
  • + 1
 @humoroususername: alright, well I give you that. Cheers!
  • + 3
 @BDKR: No disrespect to the enduro racers, but I do not agree with your statement. Yes enduro racing has consequences, so do XC races for that matter, but you just do not have the same level of consequences in enduro as you do in especially WC level DH races. The speeds in enduro races are not comparable with the speeds of WC level DH races and yes Jumps/Drops/Gaps/Step downs add an increased level of consequences and have caused some of the worst crashes. For the most part, you do not have to deal with these features in enduro races. A DH race is what 2 to 4 minutes on average, and a enduro race is what a few races spread out over 1 or 2 days? Inherently, the efforts are not the same, DH racers go balls out for 2 to 4 minutes and enduro racers pace themselves more to last longer, therefore the "edge" is way more out there for DH racing than enduro just by nature.
  • + 1
 @dirtyrig: I'll agree to disagree with you. ;-)
  • - 1
 Hidden Below threshold threads are funny, and mostly good comments. Stop being so offended, and repeating the same shit 500 times with different words.
  • + 1
 Yo MC, so you'll have time to date me now?
  • + 2
 Oh damn!!! Sad news!!!
  • + 1
 RESPECT! Keep on kickin' ass at whatever you do!
  • + 1
 and one here sitting on a desk 8 to 5
  • + 3
 best of wishes to Manon, I would be very happy if she starts racing EWS, again, the Enduro Tracks that i've riddden are not as hard as the DH tracks that i've ridden.
  • + 1
 Peaty, rat boy and manon, not looking so good for us brits!
  • + 2
 Redbull commentary?
  • + 1
 I wonder what's in their fine print about breaking contracts...?
  • + 4
 That's a fair question. I'd imagine it's like most jobs. They would penalize you if you transferred to a competitor, but if you just quit the sport/job segment, there should be no penalty. At worst, she'd have to pay back some signing bonus or maybe lose out on some later payments, but hopefully she's able to just walk away with no repercussions.
  • + 1
 Miss you Manon... Frown
  • + 1
 Rachel next?
  • + 1
 bloody E-bikes
  • + 1
 Enduro?
  • - 1
 You're cool Manon! I will miss u on redbull TV !
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