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Lea Davison announces retirement

Two-time U.S.A. Olympian steps back from international racing after 20 years

Lea Davison Photo by: Michal Cervany

U.S. cross country racer Lea Davison is calling time on her impressive international racing career. After 20 years, Davison will switch to focus on domestic events in North America.

During her two decades of international racing, Davison represented the U.S.A. at two Olympics and was twice on the podium at mountain bike world championships. A prominent figure in the U.S. cross country community, Davison also founded the Little Bellas mountain bike program. It focuses on getting more young girls out on mountain bikes.

Jolanda Neff, Catharine Pendrel and Lea Davison at Snowshoe, W.Va in 2021, at the conclusion of Pendrel’s last World Cup Davison finished 8th. Photo: Bartek Wolinski  Red Bull Content Pool

Davison raced her last World Cup in September, 2021 at home in the U.S.A. at Snowshoe, W.Va. She finished eighth. The event was also her Clif Pro Team teammate Catharine Pendrel’s last international event. Before Clif, Davison raced for the Specialized factory team.

Davison will switch her focus to the LifeTime Grand Prix series for 2022.

Lea Davison’s full retirement statement:

I am retiring from World Cup Mountain Bike Racing. In 2001, at 17 yo, I won a NORBA national junior race at Mount Snow, VT. USA Cycling came up and told me that my win had qualified for the World Championships. At that point, I had no idea there was a MTB World Championships, an Olympic Mountain Bike race, and that it was a profession. I had found my calling. From that moment on, I poured my heart and soul into my dream of going to the Olympics and becoming a professional athlete. I dedicated my life to professional bike racing, and I wanted to take bike racing as far as I could. I did just that! I am a 2X Olympian, I won two World Championship medals, I won 3rd place in the World Cup Overall, and I am a multiple time National Champion. I persevered through major setbacks of two hip surgeries to come back and qualify for my first Olympic Games and win my first World Championship medal.

It’s also been way more than the results. Bike racing gave me friendships, victories, and experiences that have far surpassed my wildest dreams. It gives me joy to give back to the sport that has given me so much and mentor up and coming racers. Creating a team ethos (Team USlay) in an individual sport will remain one of my most proud achievements. I walk away from my World Cup career with an immense amount of gratitude for everything that it’s given me. I’ve gotten to live life turned up to 10 at full volume. It’s the village of people supporting me that truly unlocked my full potential as a bike racer and human. My wife, Frazier, my family (my mom, Lucia, my dad, Jeff, and my sister, Sabe), my coaches Andy Bishop and Bill Knowles, and my agent, Erica Vessey have made my dream a reality. Over a 20 year career, there are A LOT of people that have made my career what it is. There’s my teammates, my team managers, my sponsors, my mechanics, massage therapists and soigneurs, my nutritionist, my sports psycologists, sports physiologist, and my fans and supporters. There’s USACC and Team USA. To everyone that has played a part, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. What a fun ride!