After 17 years of racing, Fumy Beppu is retiring. He is the first cyclist from Japan to race in the the WorldTour, a former multiple road and time trial national champion, Asian road champion and importantly a loyal teammate. He's a rider to have raced the biggest events: the Olympics, the World Championships, all five Monuments, and all three Grand Tours.
"I'm not really tired but now is the time. These last two years have been a difficult time with less racing and having to stay at home. I was thinking, "What am I doing?" I was bored. Training and competition, sure, they're important but it's not the same as before. Before I was busier, always looking forward, looking to the next year and to the future beyond but now I've been looking back and I see that I have done everything, so this is a good time to stop racing. I calculated the distance from my training logs and my training kilometers alone are the distance to the moon.
My overall career is a highlight. I did all three Grand Tours, all five Monuments, the World Championships, and the Olympic Games. Only 11 people in the world have done that.
In Japan before 2005 when I first became professional, there weren't too many people who knew about cycling. My family told me it was just a hobby, so I knew I had to become professional. I had to show them this was a career. Japanese cycling has grown, and all across Asia, too. Now there's the Japan Cup and the Saitama Criterium and those events have 80,000 to 100,000 fans come out to watch.
When I joined EF, I was really excited. They think of many different approaches and try new tactics. For me it's all about new ideas. It was a really good experience I had this year. I raced for seven teams. Seven teams mean seven different mentalities but with EF it was something brand new to me even after so many years.
I have a secret project that I'm very excited about. I can only say that it is not connected to cycling. There is something else I am working on that is connected to cycling. I want to support Japanese cycling and to help promote Japanese cycling. I have a French wife and we have a 7-year-old daughter so I will stay in Europe."
-Fumy Beppu, 38 years old hangs up his bike on an incredible 17-year cycling career.