Greg Henderson retires from professional cycling

Greg Henderson has retired from professional cycling.  The UnitedHealthcare rider who enjoyed a professional road career that spanned over a decade, raced his last race at the Colorado Classic before announcing his decision to step down from professional cycling and take his place in the coaching world of which he has already been a significant part.

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Greg Henderson has retired from professional cycling, photo Sirotti

Greg Henderson has retired from professional cycling.  The UnitedHealthcare rider who enjoyed a professional road career that spanned over a decade, raced his last race at the Colorado Classic before announcing his decision to step down from professional cycling and take his place in the coaching world of which he has already been a significant part.

Cycling the world over has a lot to thank Greg Henderson for.  The 40 year old has had quite a radical impact on the two wheeled event in that he made a discipline his own that most don’t; that of last lead out man.  From 2006 to 2017 Greg Henderson evolved as a rider to the point where he became arguably the finest lead out rider in the world to one of the sport’s greatest sprinters in Andre Greipel.

Greg Henderson’s career included success at track and road cycling, world championship and commonwealth titles, and a grand tour stage win, photo Sirotti

Greg’s success has been plentiful on both road and track.  He has a handy collection of track medals from world championships and commonwealth games which include his gold medal winning performance in the scratch race at the 2004 Melbourne World Championships, and his gold medal in the points race at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.  

On the road Henderson continued to find success, with his biggest personal result being his win in stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana.  He took stage wins in the Eneco Tour, Paris-Nice, the Tour of Britain and the Tour of California, but for a more accurate assessment of the success of Greg Henderson in cycling, it is perhaps more wise to look at the wins he took a support role in for other riders.  

Between 2012 and 2016 Andre Greipel and Greg Henderson, together with the Lotto Soudal team were near unstoppable.  When they got it right they got it so right, with a remarkable ability to make sprinting look easy.  Henderson time and again would be that rider in the final kilometre from which Greipel would launch himself off the back wheel to victory; while the sight of Henderson punching the air at his teammate’s victory has been an image we’ve frequently come to know and love.

Greg Henderson formed one of cycling’s all-time formidable partnerships with Andre Greipel (behind him), photo Sirotti

Below is a transcript of part of Greg Henderson’s announcement of his retirement:

“My wife Katie was always my biggest supporter and was always amazed how I could pick my way through the peloton.  From relaxing on the back of the peloton one minute to being on the front the very next lap.  She could never quite believe how fast and efficiently I could do that.  It was my gift in cycling…positioning!”

“So, I quickly realised, if I want to be really good and have longevity in the Sport of Cycling I should focus a lot of energy into this area of my riding.  Who better to help than my good friend and beast of a bike rider Andre Greipel.  His one chink in his armour was…positioning!!  Bingo…lets work together.

Thank you Andre, thank you Marc Sergeant and thank you Katie for helping me realise what I was truly one of the best in the World at.

5 Tour de France later and about 100 wins together….pretty good combo I would safely say.”

“Two days ago I competed in my last UCI race and it was a beautiful send off.  I suffered badly for 3 days in the high altitude mountains in Colorado but on the final day I was able to do what I have made a healthy career out of.  Find my way to the front of the sprint with my teammate Travis on the wheel and drop him off at 200m to go.

Greg Henderson’s impact on cycling often came at the expense of personal victory, but his impact on the sport should be measured more in his teammates’ victories, photo Sirotti

Could not have asked for a more fitting race….

Thank you UnitedHealthcare for allowing me to mentor the guns of American cycling this year and pass on some of my knowledge from my 20yrs of experience.

This is the End of Professional Racing for Greg Henderson but its the Start for Coach Hendy.  I’m super excited with the partnerships I’m developing and the future is going to be fun, demanding and a great learning venture.”

To read Greg Henderson’s complete retirement statement which includes thanks to his parents, first coach Terry Gyde, Jeff Corbett, wife Katie, Andre Greipel, Marc Sergeant, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling and of course the fans click here.

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