Lucy Kennedy (Team BikeExchange) had retired from cycling after the Tour de l’Ardèche in September, finishing 15th overall in the French stage race where she had celebrated her first European victory four years earlier. However, the fall of Georgia Williams in the first Paris-Roubaix Femmes ruled out the New Zealand champion from the Women’s Tour, and Kennedy was called in to ensure that a team of six riders could start the stage race. British.
Given the short notice and the fact that she had already been retired for 19 days, the 33-year-old rode in support of her team without any personal ambition. She finished 39th in Stage 1 where her teammate Sarah Roy placed 11th, but Stage 2 was another matter.
It had started to rain in the morning, and the weather got worse throughout the day. Under these conditions and thinking of the fall of the day before, Kennedy – who has already had to face a long recovery this year after multiple fractures after a fall in Liège-Bastogne-Liège – made the decision not to risk his health and quit the race.
Team BikeExchange press officer Lucy Martin explained: “Lucy had prepared for the Ardèche as her last race. The call was just a necessity to be able to start with six runners. As expected, it was not 110% prepared, and it’s a very high level race. In today’s difficult conditions, she suffered and was afraid of crashing and breaking her bones.
Originally from triathlon and cross country, Kennedy was a side rookie in road cycling at the age of 26. In 2017, she raced for the first time in Europe with the Australian national team, winning the Tour de l’Ardèche, and turned pro with Mitchelton-Scott (now Team BikeExchange) the following year.
Her biggest success was a solo victory in Donostia San Sebastián Klasikoa’s first women’s race in 2019, a race that has since been part of the Women’s WorldTour. It was a year where results continued to come for Kennedy, winning the Women’s Herald Sun Tour – a title she also defended in 2020 – plus she took victory at Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria and secured a second place finish. thoroughly tight at the Giro d’Italia Donne that year, when it looked like she had won and Marianne Vos came in from behind and charged down the line. She also secured second place in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the overall standings of the Santos Women’s Tour.
“Now that I have definitely done my last pro race, I can start thinking about my career,” Kennedy said. “While I’m proud of my handful of wins and successes, I don’t think I will come back to it with much affection. The relationships I have built with my teammates are among the strongest in my life because that we have shared such a unique path and I will always be grateful to them.
“I am proud to have been part of the GreenEdge team my entire career; I couldn’t imagine feeling at home anywhere else, yet being so far from my Australian home. I have packed some of the most amazing and hardest times of my life over the past four years. It certainly shaped who I am. I thank everyone who has been a part of this incredible journey. Now I can’t wait to rest and relax before shaping my post-professional cycling life. “