By Jonny Long
André Greipel has announced he will retire at the end of the 2021 season, calling time on a 16-year stint at the top level of cycling.
The German announced before the start of stage 20 of the Tour de France that he would be climbing off for good at the end of the year and that this would be his final French Grand Tour, where he's won 11 stages in 11 participations.
The 39-year-old had originally planned to retire at the end of 2022, when his three-year contract with Israel Start-Up Nation expired, but has called it a day a year early.
"So tomorrow’s stage will definitely be my last in the Tour de France and after 2021 I will also retire," Greipel said.
"I’m super happy with what I've achieved together with my team-mates and the staff around me. I was always happy with the support that I had around. Without my teammates, the staff, and of course my family I wouldn’t have achieved what I have."
Greipel says he's looking forward to spending more time with his family but also hopes to stay in the sport, although his exact plans are not yet defined.
"I’m not looking back in anger. I’m looking to the future with a lot of happiness because I can do what I want. I can suffer when I want and of course, spend a lot of time with my family. I wish everyone a good time in the pro peloton. I hope to somehow stay in cycling. I’m really thankful for everyone around me in my career. My family, my trainers, and everybody who was part of my career. I’ll see you around," he finished.
Greipel has taken 158 victories in his career, the most of any current active rider, and returned to winning ways in 2021 after a two-year drought, winning stage four of the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol and Trofeo Alcudia-Port d'Alcudia.
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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