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Andrew Neethling retires from World Cup racing

Needles bows out after 14 years

Andrew Neethling has this morning announced his retirement from World Cup racing via social media.

Needles has been racing downhill for 14 years and picked up a flurry of World Cup podiums, including a third place finishes in Windham and Hafjell. Unfortunately bad luck and injuries stood in the way of Neethling moving up to the top step for most of his racing career. The South African also won the Crankworx Air DH in 2011 and is a former South African National Champion.

It had already been made public that Neethling had parted ways with¬†his sponsor Polygon earlier in the off season but he has now made it official he’s hanging up his helmet for good.

It seems Needles will be staying in the industry but moving on from Polygon to a new company that is yet to be named.


Neethling said: “It’s been an amazing 14 years racing around the globe. All good things they say must come to an end. This was no easy decision let me tell you that! I have decided to hang up my racing boots, well sort of.

“I will take a step back from racing and transition into a new role in the industry and with a brand I have been a fan of for a while now. I will very much still be riding and at events and shoots.

“Very excited to release the news and upcoming projects soon. On the side I am very much trying to grow the sport and get more people into riding via bike parks and building projects which has become a passion.

“There were ups and downs, podiums and victories which were not even in my dreams as a kid, broken bones , life lessons, sacrifices, laughs and friendships which I will cherish forever.”

Full statement

Didn't know at the time that this would be the last time dropping into the finish area of a World Cup season … It's been an amazing 14 years racing around the globe. All good things they say must come to an end. This was no easy decision let me tell you that! I have decided to hang up my racing boots.. well sort of…… I will take a step back from racing and transition into a new role in the industry and with a brand I have been a fan of for a while now. I will very much still be riding and at events , shoots and maybe a race. Very excited to release the news and upcoming projects soon. On the side I am very much trying to grow the sport and get more people into riding via bike parks and building projects which has become a passion. There were ups and downs, podiums and victories which were not even in my dreams as a kid, broken bones , life lessons ,sacrifices , laughs and friendships which I will cherish forever. There is a list of thanks so long it won't fit here but let's try . First off my Mom and Dad who supported me when I made the choice to go racing! Without them this would never have been possible. My brother @jontyneethling for a kick in the ass when I needed it, riding partner and then wrenching. My close friends!!! All my previous teams and sponsors: Global Racing – Martin Whiteley giving me my first ride and support. Honda/ Turner Mongoose Trek Giant Polygon Ur All my former team mates Everyone that supported me, gave me a lift , let me sleep on their couch or housed me. You all know who you are !! @svenmartinphoto @ridehousemartin for housing me and giving me the chance to live out my dream.. in the early years Let's not forget the fans and industry people that supported me along the way. Here is to chasing a dream!!!! #noregrets #change #transition ????????????????????????????

A photo posted by Andrew Neethling (@andrewneethling) on

Neethling is a good friend of Dirt and graced two of our covers with his effortless style. He was also the first rider to feature in our Beyond the Bike series. We can’t wait to see what’s in store next for the stylish South African. Congrats on 14 amazing years Needles!

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