National Day of Listening 2012: Giro champ Mara Abbott forging a comeback

  • By Brian Holcombe
  • Published Nov. 23, 2012
  • Updated Oct. 30, 2014 at 1:33 PM EDT
Mara Abbott went from the ecstasy of winning the maglia rosa to leaving the sport in 12 months. Now she's back and in a better place than ever. Photo courtesy Giro Donne

Mara Abbott was on top of the sport. It was July 2010 and she’d just succeeded in conquering the biggest stage race in women’s cycling, the Giro Donne, and wore the stars and stripes of national road race champion. In the afterglow of achieving all she could imagine on two wheels, Abbott found herself descending into a dark place that saw her struggle with self doubt and weight loss, and ultimately walk away from the sport little more than 12 months later.

She’s back and with the support of Exergy Twenty12’s Nicola Cranmer and Kristin Armstrong, Abbott plans a comeback in 2013 — and she says she’s in a safer, healthier and, above all, happier place than when the cycling world last saw her. In this special audio broadcast for the National Day of Listening, Abbott discusses her fall from grace, her struggle to overcome the feeling that she’d lost her purpose, and the pursuit of being the “best in the world.”

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Brian Holcombe

Brian Holcombe

Brian Holcombe is the editor of Holcombe joined VeloNews in 2009 following years spent introducing students to whitewater kayaking and working in avalanche control, among other more risky ventures. A Master of PR and Marketing Communications, his graduate work at the University of Denver focused on innovation, digital media management and custom publishing. Holcombe is a CSU Ram fan and proud parent, and has been accused of attacking too much on the VN lunch ride. Follow him on Twitter @FCBrian.

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