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

Andrew Neethling
Andrew Neethling

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.

Andrew Neethling
Andrew Neethling

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

New team, new bike. Andrew Neethling is looking good and sent it straight into 10th in qualis.
New team, new bike. Andrew Neethling is looking good and sent it straight into 10th in qualis.

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.

The first couple of jumps were awesome to watch today. Andrew Neethling putting out some candy for the photographers.
Andrew Neethling

"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.

Andrew Neethling has been out of the running with a broken hand since Lenzerheide World Cup in July, but the South African wasn't going to miss this one. He's healed up and fighting fit.
DHWM_training-3691_Rick_Schubert

"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

https://www.instagram.com/p/BPXCrfoj7xx/

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!