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The 33-year-old has enjoyed a stellar career on the road and track where she has earned unparalleled success.
On the track, she won four world championship medals, and was the only New Zealand female to medal in the omnium. She won a silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and has competed in three Olympic Games.
Buchanan spent more than a decade as a professional on the road, mostly in the United States, and when returning home in her off-season, she won four national road championship titles — the most by a female rider — and one time trial.
Her tally of five titles at the national road championships is the second-highest among all female riders.
She has also won the New Zealand criterium championships four times.
The Waikato rider first came to prominence as a 17-year-old when she won the silver medal in the points race at the world junior track championships.
Buchanan was among the first female riders in Cycling New Zealand’s high performance programme, and has been based fulltime at the Avantidrome in Cambridge since it opened in 2014.
Latterly, Buchanan has been the chairwoman of the first Athlete Voice Committee established to give riders’ a direct link with Cycling New Zealand’s governance.
"I have loved every bit of my cycling journey and I am grateful for all the experiences and learnings, even the hard ones,” Buchanan said.
“I am still passionate about the sport and love riding, but it’s now time to give my energy to something else — what that is, I don’t know yet.
"I’m grateful for all the support and help I have received from so many people, and right now I’m enjoying going through all the memories."
Cycling New Zealand chief executive Jacques Landry said Buchanan would be sorely missed, and her contribution to the sport both on and off the bike had been significant.
“Given all that Rushlee has contributed to cycling in New Zealand, there is no doubt she will continue to help grow the sport in different ways."