Veronica Ewers to take a break from cycling for remainder of season

American rider will focus on her health

June 19, 2024

Veronica Ewers will take the remainder of the 2024 season off from racing and training.

She and the team have made this decision together in the interest of her mental and physical health. Veronica will continue to have access to team resources while she takes time to reset.

Veronica shared her thoughts and plans for her time away from the bike.

How did you decide to take a break from racing?
I'm recovering from RED-S [relative energy deficiency in sport], and it was pretty clear at the end of last year, coming into this year, that I was suffering from it. I had gotten a stress fracture in my heel, which prompted the team to have me get a DEXA scan and get some blood testing done, which showed that my bone density was quite poor, and my estrogen levels were pretty much non-existent. I was experiencing all of the symptoms of RED-S.

So going into this year, when I joined the new team, we really focused on me getting healthier. At the beginning of this year, the team said, ‘We're going to try and get you to a healthy place. That might mean that performance takes a hit, but we'll make some adaptations at the beginning of this year, and then hopefully it'll come around mid season.’ And so my training changed because my body needed to heal and recover in certain ways. This then impacted my performance, which then had a domino effect on my mental health even more than I've already struggled with in the past. So at this point, I think there are still some physical blocks happening when it comes to performance, but I also think the mental side is a big part.

Physically, my estrogen levels and hormones are still not where they need to be. So this break was a suggestion from the team as a way to just have a full reset, physically and mentally, to try and recover properly with time off of training and racing. I'll be taking time completely off the bike for quite some time, and then going from there.

What kinds of support do you have going into this next chapter?
I am honestly so appreciative of the support team I have around me, particularly Dr. Jon Greenwell, who has, I think, gone beyond for me as a human, not just as a rider on the team. He's really helped me find the support system I need, which is himself as a doctor, a dietician, and a therapist that will work together with me to help get through the physical recovery, but also get through this break in a healthy way. And my coach, as well, has been just amazing. He checks in on me daily and he's very supportive of me taking this break. Everyone is very hopeful and positive about it. I'm trying to take in some of that positivity and hopefulness.

This will be a big change for you. How are you feeling about it?
It's going to be hard. I've been training or practicing sports pretty competitively since I was 10 or 11. So this is a very new experience for me, and it's very scary. It sounds kind of ridiculous for this to be scary, but it's jumping into the unknown. I don't know what it's going to be like to be out of fitness and to have to come out of that. Will I be stronger than I was before? Once I am able to get in shape again, what kind of rider will I be afterwards? It's a lot of not knowing, which is something I'm not always great at dealing with.

I'm going to take advantage of this time by traveling a bit with my parents, who are coming over to Europe. They're going to be with me to explore, and I get to be a proper tourist for the first time in a very long time. I'm looking forward to it, and then, after doing a bit of traveling here, I'll go back to the States and go to my family's lake house in northern Idaho, which I haven't been to in the summertime in maybe eight years. It's honestly one of my favorite places on this planet. So I'm really excited to get there, and I think it will give me a lot of peace just being in that place. But I just can spend some time with my family and friends while I'm there in one of my favorite places and just get that reset.

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