• Campbell Flakemore competes during the first day of the 'Driedaagse van West Vlaanderen (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Rising Australian star Campbell Flakemore has retired from professional cycling after winning last year's world under 23 time trial championship.
By
AAP

Source:
AAP
12 Nov 2015 - 7:29 PM  UPDATED 12 Nov 2015 - 7:31 PM

Tasmanian young gun Campbell Flakemore had several discussions with Australian cycling staff before confirming his stunning decision to leave the sport.

Flakemore won the world under-23 road time trial championship last year and was one of Australia's rising stars in professional cycling alongside Caleb Ewan, Robert Power and Jack Haig.

But after weeks of rumours, the 23-year-old has confirmed he won't stay in the sport and instead will pursue tertiary study.

“No regrets really, it’s just nice to be back and see what’s next,” Flakemore told News Corp earlier this week. “I haven’t got any plans (to keep riding), maybe after 12 months.

“I’ve ridden my bike once in the last 10 weeks so I haven’t really got any drive to do it.

“Living overseas, missing things back home, it was bloody hard to step up to WorldTour and probably doing my collarbone was the beginning of the end, maybe I was already not quite up to it and then to do that set myself even further back.”

Cycling Australia high performance manager Kevin Tabotta said it was completely Flakemore's decision.

"Absolutely, we're disappointed - that's a pretty exceptional talent that comes out of our talent pool for the next 10-15 years for Australian cycling," Tabotta told AAP.

"But in saying that, you have to love what you do and what's important is that Campbell is doing what he wants to do."

Flakemore made his professional debut this season with BMC, the team of Australian Tour de France winner Cadel Evans.

Tabotta spoke on the phone with Flakemore, while the Hobart native also had one-on-one meetings with Tasmanian Institute of Sport cycling coach Matthew Gilmore.

"It is (a big call) but it is his call as well," Tabotta said.

"What I'm comfortable about is that Campbell has had some time to think about this.

"He's assessed what the future entails for him, he's assessed whether this is the career he wants.

"He had to really think long and hard about whether he loved what he was doing and whether he could picture himself going 10-15 years doing the men's pro thing."

Flakemore's debut pro season started badly when he crashed while riding back to the team hotel after a Tour Down Under stage in January, fracturing his collarbone.

Tabotta said there had been murmurs in the sport during the year that Flakemore might not be totally happy but added that was not unusual for young riders finding their way.

He added Flakemore had strong family support.

"I'm pretty comforted by the fact that he's not a sobbing mess by any stretch of the imagination," Tabotta said.

"He's thinking long and hard about his future and he seems like a lad who's in control about what his next step is.

"There's no major issue around anything, he's just decided it's not for him."