Dean Lucas has been an icon of Australian Downhill over the last 17 years. His unmistakeable drive, style and determination has taken him to world cup podiums around the globe and inspired both older and younger riders alike.
Not content with simply pushing his own riding to world cup level, he’s always pushed those around him. Hark back to his Intense days with Jack Moir and the energy was electric! His podcast The OffTrack Experience has gained a cult like following thanks to his ability to voice motivation and insights into the racing world are simply brilliant.
While we’ll miss Dean sat in the starting gate after the final round of the 2023 World Cup series at Mont Sainte Anne, we know full well he’ll be making his presence felt in MTB for years to come. Give his podcast and youtube channel a follow and have a read of his thoughts on taking a step back from the premiere class of bike racing below and watch his highlights reel above. Dean Lucas, we salute you!
So it’s finally happening, the end of an era, after 17 years of racing bikes in Australia and 11 years of racing around the world it’s finally time to call it a day.
The idea of retiring from the sport has been floating around my head since covid happened, the forced retirement that happened in 2020 changed my perspective on where I found fulfilment and what truly made me happy, since then my love for the sport has a slowly drifted further and further away, this left me constantly second guessing my decisions to stay in the sport. I knew coming Into this season I had to make a decision for my future so I stopped living in this limbo state of mind.
Loic Bruni, Dean Lucas, Aaron Gwin, Danny Hart and Michael Jones stand on the podium at UCI DH World Cup in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada on August 5th, 2017
When you have been in something for so long it becomes apart of you, the sport becomes a pillar of your identity, something pretty much all athletes lean into, the idea that “this is who I am, and this is what I do” becomes so imprinted in a persons mind that they think without it they won’t be themselves. I battled with this idea for a while back in 2020 when it was all taken away from something out of my control, but after some time I came to terms with it, accepting that I was so much more than what I did as a job, around the same time I found so much more fulfilment in helping others in either big or small ways. Whether it was helping up and coming racers in the sport or sharing some words of wisdom on a podcast, these things seemed to feed my soul the same if not more than the racing used to. At this point my focus started to shift and the drive and want to be the best racer in the world wasn’t like it used to be.
Sam Blenkinsop, Luca Shaw, Aaron Gwin, Dean Lucas, Dakotah Norton stand on the podium at UCI DH World Cup in Losinj, Croatia on April 22nd, 2018
I know what it takes to be the best in the world, it takes every part of your being, and if you’re not willing to give that, you’re just passing the time. I don’t want to take the opportunity away from someone that is willing to give their all in the pursuit of greatness. I don’t want to pass the time, I want to be obsessed with whatever is in front of me! It’s time to step away and set my sights on the next chapter of my life, to learn and grow in another area that has the same pull riding and racing used to have on me, I’m excited for that!
Lastly, I’d urge anymore reading this to go after what they really want in this life! What truly makes them happy and fulfilled! What makes you feel like you are meant to be here! What inspires and captivates you into being your true authentic self! What brings the best and brightest people into your life and lets you shine as bright as you know you can! And what makes you want to get up every morning!
That’s what riding and racing used to be for me. It took me around the world to extraordinary places filled with incredible people along the way! I can’t thank everyone enough that has been apart of this journey and has helped make this dream turn into a reality!
Big Love! I hope you can find your thing, I hope you chase after it with everything you have, and I hope you do it for no one else but you.