Brent Bookwalter Will Retire After Storied Career
The 2021 Bookwalter Binge will celebrate 16 seasons, not just this one!
The news from Knoxville today (Thursday, June 17 2021) is that American professional cyclist Brent Bookwalter announced he is retiring from the sport, effective at the end of the 2021 season. This ends an incredible 16-year career that saw the 37-year-old achieve accolades including helping Cadel Evans win the Tour de France (2011), representing the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and finishing on the podium at every major North American stage race. Hurrah Brent!
Read the full press release here.
“I’ve been honored to work alongside some of the most talented and dedicated athletes, staff, and management. It is difficult to leave a sport that I still truly love, and I am so grateful for the amazing opportunities that have been presented to me throughout the years,” Brent said. “I feel so fortunate to have had the career I’ve had—from racing most of it at the same team who actually took a pretty big risk on me in the beginning… all the way to helping Cadel win the Tour de France. Additionally, it was a tremendous privilege to represent the United States as an Olympian and that will be something I cherish forever.”
Growing up in Michigan, Brent was always athletically gifted, but his interest in the sciences led him to prioritize college over initially pursuing an athletic career. While at Lees McRae College, Brent won nine collegiate national titles in three disciplines – road, MTB, and cyclocross.
In 2005 and while still juggling collegiate demands, Brent signed his first road contract with the Advantage Benefits Endeavour Cycling Team. In 2006, Brent graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in science (Biology) and won the U.S. National Under 23-Time Trial Championship.
“I wanted to be a professional because it would allow me to have the joy of riding a bike as an integral part of my life and my job,” he explained. “The path and process that it required intrigued and motivated me. It also allowed me to learn more about myself and accomplish things as part of a team in a way that I never realized I was capable of doing.”
Despite suffering a career-threatening injury in 2007, the American squad BMC Racing Team offered Brent a contract and his professional career began. By 2009, he was making his mark on the pro peloton when he won the prologue at the Tour of Utah and by 2011 completed the Tour de France as part of Cadel Evans’ winning squad.
Additional accolades throughout Brent’s illustrious career include finishing second on the opening time trial at the 2010 Giro d’Italia, winning the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar (2013), finishing second overall at the Tour of Alberta (2013), second overall at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (2015), third overall at the Tour of Utah (2015), and third overall at the Amgen Tour of California (2016). He has a myriad of additional successes including top 5s overall at the Tour of Austria (2015) and Tour of Yorkshire (2017), seventh at Strade Bianche (2020), top 10s overall at Vuelta a Andalucía (2016), Tour du Haut Var (2017), Colorado Classic (2017), and CRO Race (2019), and five podium appearances at the U.S National Road and Time Trial Championships.
Brent moved over from BMC to Mitchelton-Scott in 2019 and has remained with the Australian squad ever since. While at Team BikeExchange, he transitioned into the role of road captain. Brent raced primarily as a veteran rider for the past three seasons focused on guiding the team’s younger talents, drawing on his experience that includes assisting teammates to stage victories at all three Grand Tours.
Internationally, Brent has represented the United States of America at seven UCI Elite Men Road World Championships, one UCI U-23 Men Road World Championship, one UCI Junior Men Mountain Bike World Championship, and one UCI Junior Men Cyclocross World Championship.
In 2016, he proudly represented the United States of America at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil where he competed in both the time trial and the road race.
As a rider, Brent has actively been involved in the professional riders’ association, the CPA, and serves as a director of its North American branch, the ANAPRC. Throughout his entire career, Brent has been a passionate and vocal advocate concerning riders’ safety.
“It has always been my unwavering goal to sustain excellence in everything I do. I aimed to always support my team without an ego while still achieving individual results when the opportunity arose. I look forward to taking these lessons into my next chapter in life,” Brent concluded.
Brent currently splits time between Girona, Spain and Asheville, North Carolina, USA with his wife, Jamie, and their one-year-old son Waylon.
In 2014, brent and Jamie launched the Bookwalter Binge Gran Fondo to help raise funds to support the land conservation work done by Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and introduce visitors to a few of Brent’s favorite local gravel and pavement routes.
Feel free to give Brent a hearty congratulations for a job well done!
For more about Brent, see BrentBookwalter.com.
Brent, Jamie & Waylon Bookwalter