After five seasons with FDJ-Suez, 33-year-old Stine Borgli has made the pivotal decision to step back from top-tier cycling. Borgli conveyed her choice to the team earlier this summer, acknowledging that her motivation had been on a steady decline.
Joining FDJ-Suez midway through the 2019 season, Borgli initially felt invigorated, relishing her free role and numerous opportunities. However, as the team grew in stature and international scope, she admitted to Landevei that she felt her position within the internal hierarchy diminish. Borgli stated that her role gradually shifted away from what she initially enjoyed, impacting her enthusiasm and joy for the sport. Borgli cited her experience in the 2020 Giro Donne as a career highlight, a year where COVID-19 restrictions had otherwise wreaked havoc on the cycling calendar. She plans to remain active, taking part in local competitions and considering joining smaller cycling initiatives.
Although Borgli had renewed her contract with FDJ-Suez last year, she admitted it was more to buy time for self-reflection than an affirmation of her commitment. She expressed that the reality of continuously serving as a domestique without getting her own chances contributed to her dwindling spark. Borgli argued that in such a setting, everyone should have a chance to shine in smaller races, even if major WorldTour races are team-focused.
While she felt familial responsibilities weigh in her decision, Borgli is set to return to her previous job as a drilling and maintenance operator on the Valhall oil drilling platform in the North Sea. She also plans to pursue studies next year. Regarding training facilities on the drilling platform, Borgli shared that during her last stint, they had at least treadmills and spinning bikes. She hopes that the amenities have since been upgraded but confirmed she won’t be taking her own bike out there this time around.
Stine Borgli also emphasised that her move doesn’t necessarily signify retirement. Rather, she sees it as an opportunity to reassess and possibly make a comeback. Her initial career also started alongside her job, suggesting that a return to elite cycling may not be entirely off the cards.