Gawie Combrinck has announced his retirement from professional cycling with immediate effect after being diagnosed with a condition that restricts the blood flow to his right leg.
In a statement released on his social platforms yesterday, the Team NAD rider said that over the past nine months he had experienced numbness in his leg when doing maximum efforts or when riding at threshold for an extended time, which prevented him from performing at his optimal level.
After extensive tests, MRI scans, adjustments to his position on the bike and various off the bike exercises, a diagnosis of iliac artery endofibrosis was made.
He said it was a common condition among cyclists and the only real fix was “high-risk surgery with an extended recovery time”.
“Unfortunately, this late in the year I can’t afford to take the time off racing as it would not be fair to our sponsors with loss of exposure that they pay us to get and it would not be fair to my teammates to race with a known condition that would cost them results and could affect their future in the sport.
“Personally, just being an average racer and at best getting a podium isn’t good enough for me when you know you are limited by a condition and not by the work you are willing to put in. I’m not a person that just gives up and it’s not how I wanted to end my cycling career.
“Taking all factors into consideration and after discussions with Team NAD, we have decided to end my contract and I’ve decided not to go for the operation and rather retire from professional cycling.”
Combrinck acknowledged everyone who had been with him throughout his career over the past decade.
“Lastly, thanks to Nico Bell. We started this journey together more than ten years ago and without your help none of this would have been possible.
“It was fun while it lasted, but I’m excited to move on and tackle the next challenge that lies ahead.”