Two outstanding New Zealand cyclists, Jo Kiesanowski and Matt Archibald, have announced their retirements from the sport at the highest levels.
Archibald, originally from Wellington, took up rowing while at university in Dunedin before being enticed to try track cycling in 2008.
He has been a key part of the burgeoning men’s sprint programme since moving to Invercargill and then to Cambridge with the high performance team. He was noted for his immense strength and athleticism, making the New Zealand elite team from 2011.
Archibald’s breakthrough came when he won the bronze medal over the 1000m time trial at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, and the following year he produced an outstanding 1:00.470 effort to claim the bronze at the world championships in the same event in Paris. He was in top level company finishing behind six-time world champion Francois Pervis (FRA) and current world champion Joachim Eilers (GER).
“Matt developed quickly in the sport with an excellent athletic background. He is an intelligent, diligent and immensely strong athlete who always got the very best out of his ability. Matt was a key part of our development in track sprinting and has the skillset to continue to play a role off the bike.”
Kiesanowski has been a stellar professional for 12 years, completing her final race for Team TIBCO-SVB in USA this month.
The Christchurch rider has been a staple of New Zealand teams, competing in three Olympic Games and three Commonwealth Games, making her debut with a 17th place in the road race in Athens in 2004.
Kiesanowski swapped the road back to track at London 2012 to be seventh in the omnium, to go with a silver medal in the scratch race at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi along with fourth in the road race.
She enjoyed stage wins for her pro teams in Europe and USA, and was the national road champion in 2003, as well as a multi national champion on the track. She had one top-10 at the road world championships in 2008 in Italy.
Kiesanowski began her professional cycling life in Italy in 2005 and ultimately moved to Team TIBCO based in USA in 2009.
“Jo has been an outstanding allround world class cyclist for many years. During that time she has always been the consummate professional and has always been proud to represent her country,” said Cycling New Zealand high performance director, Mark Elliott.
“While Jo made her name in recent years on the road, she dedicated herself back to the track to compete competitively in the first Olympic women’s omnium at London. She can be very proud of her contribution as a professional rider for more than a decade.”
Another cyclist to emerge through the Southland programme, Ben Stewart, has also retired from the sport. Stewart joined the high performance programme in Cambridge and was among the group of development riders who have helped grow the sport on the international stage.
CAPTION: Matt Archibald in action.
Photo courtesy Guy Swarbrick