Jesse Sergent has retired from cycling aged 28 after struggling to recover from injuries suffered in a collision with a neutral service car at the Tour of Flanders

Just over 12 months after being mown down by a neutral service car at the Tour of Flanders, Jesse Sergent (Ag2r La Mondiale) has been forced to retire from professional cycling from the complex injuries he suffered.

Sergent, then riding for Trek Factory Racing, was in the breakaway group when he was clipped by the car as it tried to pass while the group were rounding a corner.

The Kiwi, aged just 28, required three operations to fix his broken collarbone and has struggled to regain form and fitness ever since.

“It’s been a tough 12 months for Jesse, with that crash he had last year, with the car hitting him,” Sergent’s coach Mike McRedmond told stuff.co.nz.

“That was a big setback. They thought it would take six to eight weeks, but it took him three months because they ballsed up the operation.

“That put a dampener on his year and then he changed teams and going into a French-speaking team is a very hard transition.”

Sergent won stages of the Tour of Austria and the Eneco Tour, winning the general classification of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen and the Tour du Poitou Charentes in 2011.

He also formed part of the New Zealand team pursuit squads that won bronze at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.