At 42, Langley’s Svein Tuft, seen here in an undated file photo, was considered one of the oldest competitive cyclists in the world. Last month, he retired after taking part in his last race. (Black Press Media file)

VIDEO: Svein Tuft’s last race

Langley cycling champion, winner of 13 Canadian titles, finally retires

Langley cyclist Svein Tuft rode in his final race Sept. 15th at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec et Montréal.

For the 13-time Canadian champion, the Montreal race was a surprisingly emotional experience, “a powerful thing,” Tuft told the Langley Advance Times.

“It was really starting to hit me,” Tuft recalled. “I was truly done.”

He described his state of mind at the end of the race as “truly content, along with a million other emotions.”

Tuft had actually intended to retire a year earlier, after riding with an Australian team, but a startup American team, Rally UHC, convinced him to delay his departure and lend his depth of experience and laid-back attitude as mentor and “road captain” to the young Americans.

“I thought it would be a good way to retire,” he said.

Reason to Ride: Svein Tuft from Rally UHC Cycling on Vimeo.

He has called racing his “addiction,” but that became less the case with age and fatherhood, Tuft discovered.

“When you’re young, you just go full-out,” Tuft related.

“I had that focus. You think it’ll never change, but it will.”

As a new dad with a two-year-old son, the potential hazards of high-speed racing were more worrisome than they used to be.

“It becomes less interesting,” Tuft observed.

Physical wear and tear is another reason.

“You start getting clues from your mind and your body,” he said.

At 42, Tuft was one of the oldest competitive cyclists in the world, with a lengthy string of credits that, in addition to his Canadian titles, included winner of the 2006–07 UCI America Tour, eight years riding on the WorldTour, wearing the pink jersey reserved for race leaders at the Giro d’Italia race based in Italy, and a silver medal at the 2008 world championships.

“I’ve just been going full-gas for 20 years,” said Tuft, who began racing at the relatively old age of 23.

In a video from Cycling Canada, riders across the country wished him well in his retirement.

Tuft was known as Canada’s “time trial king,” as an 11-time Canadian national time trial champion, where cyclists race alone against the clock, and two-time road champion.

A few weeks into his retirement, Tuft was adjusting the fact that, for the first time, he won’t be planning his training schedule based on his upcoming races, and he won’t be training nearly as hard.

“It’s been a strange time” he commented.

“I’ve got to start figuring out normal life”

He plans to take some time to figure out what he wants to do, but expects it will include writing a book about his career, and helping to coach the next generation of competitive cyclists in Canada.

READ MORE: Tuft set for Tour de France debut

READ MORE: Langley cyclists deliver one-two punch at nationals

His wife is from Quebec, and he has family in Langley and Kamloops, so he anticipates they will split their time between the two provinces.

The couple is planning to have one more child.

Asked his opinion if either of his children elected to pursue the sport of cycling, he said that will be their decision

“Cycling is a crazy sport,” Tuft noted.

He credits his longevity to maintaining an upbeat attitude about the ups and down of the sport.

“It was all about changing my perspective and focusing on the positive.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: GranFondo riders take to the streets of Fort Langley



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Otter Co-op expands to North Vancouver brewery and Abbotsford pub

Aldergrove-borne enterprise delves into hospitality realm with three new Angry Otter liquor stores

LETTER: Pandemic doubles food containers littering on Fort Langley street

A local walker has noticed a substantial increase in litter in her neighbourhood

LETTER: More traffic enforcement needed in Fort Langley, one resident pleads

Irresponsible drivers using the village and surrounding area as circuit – says Fort advocate

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Fraser Valley Bandits fall to Edmonton in CEBL final

Bandits lose 90-73 to Stingers in Sunday’s Summer Series final

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Most Read