An Australian track cyclist who won gold in the team pursuit at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year and who was in training with his country’s track squad for next year’s Olympic Games in London next year has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of just 19.
Dale Parker revealed his decision to his friends on Facebook and told Adelaide newspaper The Advertiser that he no longer felt passion for the sport.
The paper reported that Parker had also said he did not want to disappoint people by carrying on with the sport when he no longer felt fully committed, and that he was looking forward to moving on with his life.
Parker made the headlines last November just a few weeks after winning that gold medal in Delhi when he was suspended by Cycling South Australia following a drink drive incident that left a friend of his seriously injured. He was subsequently banned from driving for five months.
He returned to racing this year with Lance Armstrong’s Trek-Livestrong Under-23 team, and won the time trial in this year’s Tour of the Gila, a performance that helped him earn a ride for RadioShack in August’s Tour of Utah alongside Levi Leipheimer and Janez Brajkovic.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.