Bénédicte Ollier, a 20-year-old French track cycling prodigy, has announced her retirement from the sport, citing mental strain as a key factor behind the decision. She made the announcement on her social media channels on 16th October 2023. She highlighted the toll that overtraining and mental health has taken on her, stating it was a difficult but necessary step for her well-being.
Ollier had a meteoric rise in cycling, particularly on the track. In 2021, while still a junior, she clinched multiple national titles in France, including the speed, points race, and scratch championships. On the global stage, she earned a silver medal in the individual pursuit at the world championships. She was also the victor of the Chrono des Nations juniors on the road in the same year.
Despite her young age and considerable promise, Ollier had been absent from professional cycling for several months prior to her announcement. The last race she took part in was the 24 Hours of Le Mans cycling event in August 2023. Earlier in 2023, she joined the British professional team, DAS–Handsling, which competes at the continental level.
Her sudden departure from a sport in which she displayed such promise places renewed focus on the issues of mental health and the pressures that come with high-level competition, subjects Ollier pledges to address in the future.