In a heartrending announcement, Senne Knaven, the 20-year-old daughter of former cyclists Servais Knaven and Natascha den Ouden, has decided to hang up her cleats, stating that cycling “no longer brings her joy.” Knaven took to social media to divulge her decision, which comes months after a severe training accident that has significantly altered her perception of the sport.
Knaven, who was part of AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step’s development team for the past few years, the team run by her family, elaborated on the impact of the accident she suffered earlier this year. She revealed that she had to be airlifted by a trauma helicopter and suffered a serious concussion and a broken rib. The gravity of the incident has been a catalyst for Knaven to re-evaluate her life goals and relationship with professional cycling.
In her statement, Knaven reflected on how the accident had given her a newfound perspective on life. She said that she began to ponder what she truly wanted and came to the sobering conclusion that competing in cycling at this level was not it. “I’ve lost my love for the sport, and that’s very sad,” she noted.
Expanding on her emotional conflict, Knaven remarked that she didn’t feel she could reach her fullest potential while staying in professional cycling. “It no longer makes me happy, and that’s one of the most important things in life,” she further explained.
Expressing a mix of apprehension and anticipation for her next chapter, Knaven acknowledged the wonderful people she’s met and friendships she’s formed within the professional cycling world. “I am very grateful for that, but it’s now time to say goodbye,” she added.
The last race of Senne Knaven’s season so far was the Konvert Kortrijk Koerse, where she finished 13th.