Veronica Ewers steps back from cycling for rest of 2024 season to focus on health

Veronica Ewers

Veronica Ewers, the 29-year-old American cyclist, has announced that she will take the rest of the 2024 season off to prioritise her mental and physical health. This decision was made in consultation with her team, EF Education-Cannondale after she was diagnosed with Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S).

Ewers revealed that her struggles began last year, culminating in a stress fracture in her heel. “At the end of last year, it was very clear that I was suffering from RED-S,” she explained. Following the injury, her team conducted a DEXA scan and blood tests, which indicated poor bone density and nearly non-existent oestrogen levels. Ewers experienced all the symptoms of RED-S, leading to the decision to focus on recovery.

The team decided to take it easy during the initial months of 2024 to allow Ewers’ body to heal. However, this impacted her performance and subsequently her mental health. “This had consequences for my performance, which caused my mental health to suffer even more than in the past,” Ewers noted.

Despite the physical obstacles, Ewers acknowledged that the mental aspect was a significant part of her recovery. “Physically, my oestrogen levels and hormones are still not where they need to be. This break is a suggestion from the team to fully reset, physically and mentally,” she said.

Ewers praised the support system around her, particularly Dr. Jon Greenwell. “He has gone beyond for me as a human, not just as a rider on the team. He’s really helped me find the support system I need,” she said, highlighting the collaboration of her doctor, a dietician, and a therapist. Her coach has also been checking in daily and supporting her decision to take this break.

Acknowledging the challenge ahead, Ewers expressed her mixed feelings about the change. “It’s going to be hard. I’ve been training or practising sports pretty competitively since I was 10 or 11. So this is a very new experience for me, and it’s very scary,” she admitted.

Looking to make the most of her time off, Ewers plans to travel with her parents in Europe and visit her family’s lake house in northern Idaho. “It’s honestly one of my favourite places on this planet. I’m really excited to get there, and I think it will give me a lot of peace just being in that place,” she shared.

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