Guy Martin has announced that will not be competing at the Isle of Man TT this year as he sets his sights on a new challenge at the Tour Divide mountain bike event.
The 34-year-old revealed his decision on his official Facebook page, with the Lincolnshire racer admitting that he wants to do something different after years of motorcycle racing.
In his Facebook statement, Martin said: “I fancy a change of scenery. I’ve been racing the TT for 11 years. All I’ve really done since I was 18, except the trucks, is race motorbikes and my brain needs something else. Every year’s the same: testing, racing, then start again.”
The Tour Divide takes place at the same time as the TT and includes riders having to ride the length of the Rocky Mountains, from Canada to the Mexican border. The gruelling event is the longest off-pavement cycling route and Martin is relishing the challenge.
His Facebook post continued: “I’ve been on about the Tour Divide, the toughest pushbike race in the world, for three years and I thought I’ll blink and next thing I’ll be 45, so I’m going to do it this year. I like breaking myself mentally and the Tour Divide will be tough, but it’s same time at TT, so that’s forced me to make a choice.”
Despite choosing the Tour Divide over the TT this year, Martin will still compete in some motorbike events this season and has not ruled out a return the TT and other road racing events in the future.
He said: “I’m not done with motorbikes. I’m attempting the Wall of Death record in the spring and having a go at the land speed record in the summer and if I do race on the roads it will be with TAS.
“After the Tour Divide I might never want to see a pushbike again – or never want to go road racing again, I don’t know. But I do know Bruce Anstey and John McGuinness are still racing the TT, and they’ve got a few years on me, so maybe I’ll come back next year. Or maybe I’ll find something else interesting to do. I’ve got more interests than just motorbikes and I just think let’s bloody have ‘em.”
The TV presenter will also miss the North West 200 and the Tyco BMW team have said that they are not actively searching for a replacement for him. The team will be represented solely by the 11-time TT race winner Ian Hutchinson.
It is expected that Martin will reveal any other road racing plan he may have in the next few weeks.