Mick Hannah to Retire From World Cup Racing
After an incredible 20 years of racing, the legend of our sports Sick Mick Hannah announces that his last World Cup will be this weekend in Snowshoe, West Virginia. Mickâs first elite mountain bike race was in Maribor in 2001 where he finished 6th! He stood on the UCI World Cup podium 17 times with one victory, scored 3 medals at World Championships and 16 Crankworx medals!
Here are Mickâs words:
âThe time has come to announce that Iâm retiring from World Cup racing. This is a moment that Iâve contemplated many times over the course of my life. So many thoughts and ideas have passed through my imagination in the long hours Iâve spent on any number of bikes. Iâve contemplated questions like âWhen is the right time?â, âam I going to be at the top of my game?â, âAm I going to have a career ending injury?â, âDoes anyone aside from myself care?â, âDoes it change my life if anyone cares or not?â. Mostly, these questions and many others are irrelevant. Theyâre fun to talk about and ponder with friends and mentors and theyâre a great way to help us learn about ourselves, but they are not that important really. They go along well with one question I get a lot which is âHow do you stay that motivated for 20 years?â. I donât know the answer to that. I have just had a passion for going fast on a bike and set goals and worked hard to achieve them and now 20 years have passed. It has been more incredible than I couldâve imagined. Itâs also been harder than I couldâve imagined. The highs and lows are huge.
Sometimes Iâve felt motivated by my own selfish desire to win. Sometimes Iâve struggled to drag myself out of bed due to my struggles with anxiety and lack of belief in my own value. Sometimes Iâve been motivated by the need to financially support my family. Sometimes I am in that sweet place of just being joyful in the moment. Mostly though I am motivated by my desire to fulfil my potential as a man created in the image of God.
I have achieved some seemingly (to me) impossible things from the perspective of a 15 year old kid working on a banana farm. Iâll never forget getting the call while I was at work saying I was going to world championships in 2000. Just getting to be at that race was impossible for me to believe. How could I have imagined all Iâve been blessed with since then?
I have also missed out on the one big goal Iâve had since I was 7 years old. The first time I finished 2nd at the World Championships was in 1994. I was 10 years old and the community we lived in raised the money for my dad and I to go to the USA. When I got 2nd I felt like I had failed. 23 years after that I finished 2nd at the World Championships in my hometown. How sweet that wouldâve been to win! It wouldâve been nice for me, but I wanted to win for everyone whoâs ever invested energy into my life. I have been loved so well by so many people.
The process of stepping away is a tough one. Iâm already going through quite the emotional rollercoaster. I miss racing at this level very deeply already and Iâm not even done yet. Itâs a similar feeling to leaving my loved ones for extended periods of time. I will always look back on my professional racing career with love. The people whoâve walked with me and supported me have made it all possible and worthwhile. My dad said quite early on that if I wanted to keep racing I had to start training. I made that decision without hesitation and my dad and mum and family and friends and acquaintances too many to number have all poured into my life since then in ways that I could never repay. Iâve got to see the world many times over and ride my bike in the most amazing places and some not so amazing places and conditions haha. I have met so many incredible people. I fell in love with the mountain bike culture from the first day and Iâve now seen that that culture is the same all over the world across all the countries, cultures and languages that Iâve got to experience.
I love this sport. I love the people I get to share it with. Itâs humbling to have had this experience. I am hopeful that there is an opportunity for me to stay involved in the mountain bike world. You are my extended family.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks to all of my sponsors. You guys have provided for me and my family and given us a wonderful life for the last 20 years. Thank you to the UR Team. You guys have provided a competitive racing environment for half of my career. Fabien, you have put so much work and passion into the team and stayed behind me through all the ups and downs of racing. Magalie, thank you for all the time you spend behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly as well as the passion you also have for the team and racing in general. Thanks to my mechanic of the last 8 years, Jon Stout. You have shown amazing work ethic and passion for your role. You are always calm, especially when I am not. It still puts a smile on my face each time I get to feel how good my bike is after youâve worked your magic. Thank you to my competitors. The skill and dedication that you have all shown to our sport and the sportsmanship you have demonstrated to me adds an incredible amount of value to all Iâve achieved.
Thank you to my friends for seeing my heart. Thank you to Tracey for all she teaches me and for being on the road with me the last 10 years. Thank you to my wife, Kimberly. I never want to do life without you. I love you! Thank you to my family. Our parents have never put limits on our dreams and theyâve worked endlessly to support us. It would be impossible to calculate how many hours Dad has spent driving me up to the top of downhill tracks or road riding with me. Weâve laughed, cried, fought, agreed and disagreed and there is no way I would have achieved so much without him.
Lastly, thank you to all the fans for making this all possible. I hope youâve found some inspiration and joy through supporting me. Iâve certainly been blessed by all the excited faces! Itâs been an incredible ride.â