After 16 years, I’m proud to announce that 2019 will be my final year as a professional road cyclist. Looking back on my career it’s very gratifying to note the individual successes, as well as being a major component in victories for my team mates. Being a key part of these victories has certainly been a career highlight and motivated me to perfect the role of a lead out rider.
Looking back, I have had a very fulfilling career as a professional cyclist both on the track and road. During this time I have been particularly lucky to have had many family members and friends that have had to make great sacrifices for me to succeed. To them, I can’t thank you enough. Your support and encouragement has meant that I have always strived to perform at my highest level be it for my trade teams or representing my country.
I would like to thank all of the sponsors, staff and riders that have been a part of the professional teams I have ridden for: Fdjeux.com, Credit Agricole, HTC-Highroad, Rabobank, Omega Pharma-Quickstep and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. I have been extremely fortunate enough to work alongside some great people in each of these teams who have shaped me into the rider I am very proud to be today. The friendships that have been formed during this time will last a lifetime.
Some of my best memories were my first victory in the French Cup race, Tro-Bro Leon. It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders at that moment in my career, while winning a stage and the general classification in the Tour of Qatar are memories that make me smile thinking back over my career. Other great memories were the moments I was riding for team mates and their success, finishing second on the Champs Elysees to my team mate Mark Cavendish in the 2009 Tour de France was unforgettable.
I’m not riding this year’s Tour de France but this was planned from early on in the year. It’s a race that has played a massive part in my career and in my eyes is the greatest sporting event in the world. I have been fortunate enough to be selected 10 times and have loved every moment of the Tour. I can’t wait to watch what promises to be an exciting race and am fully supporting Team Dimension Data as they continue to bring the Qhubeka story to the world stage.
I’m trusting 2020 and beyond will allow me to stay within the sport in some way but also provide an opportunity to chase some other passions that have had to be pushed aside, while also being able to relax with family and friends. I am most looking forward to being able to spend more time being a dad to Will, Olly and Maggie and giving my wife Kristina some extra support.
I am looking forward to enjoying the remaining races of 2019 with the goal of performing to my absolute maximum as we continue to chase good results for the Team Dimension Data. I know that we will share many laughs and enjoy the final few months of the season with my current team mates and staff.
I know it’s the right time to step away from racing, my body and mind won’t allow me to perform and compete to the level that’s required for a race like the Tour de France . I am very fortunate to be able to make the decision to finish this chapter of my life on my terms, and I’m hugely excited about my future ventures.