By Nick Bull
Dan Lloyd admitted today that he may retire after failing to secure a top-level contract for 2012.
Lloyd wasn't offered a new deal by Garmin-Cervélo and only this morning a possible move to FDJ fell through.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly, the hard-working domestique conceded that his time as a cyclist might have come to an end.
"It looks increasingly like I'm going to retire," said Lloyd. "FDJ were my last thread of hope, especially with them moving up to the top level but [Marc] Madiot [the team's directeur sportif] rang me this morning to say they're bringing in three other riders."
Lloyd added that it is unlikely that he will seek a contract with a domestic team, saying: "My career has been on an upward trajectory and so I'd rather retire at the top than going back down the otherside. I've enjoyed a great three years which 10 years ago I didn't dream would happen."
"I want to known for making it up to the top level with Cervélo, for finishing the Tour once and the Giro twice, and I can't face the thought of riding half-heartedly for a couple of years."
Lloyd and Dan Martin during the Dauphiné
Lloyd's rise through the ranks has been impressive, and after a season apiece with the DFL-Litespeed and An Post-Sean Kelly in 2007 and 2008 respectively, he was snapped up by Cervélo for their debut year in the peloton.
He enjoyed an impressive start to the 2009 campaign, finishing fourth in the Tour of Qatar and ninth in the Eroica.
Lloyd also helped Carlos Sastre finish on that year's Giro d'Italia podium, and narrowly missed out on becoming British national road race champion.
Representing Great Britain at the 2009 World Championships
Lloyd stayed with the set up for 2011 as Cervélo merged with Jonathan Vaughters' Garmin squad, and finished 10th in this year's Tour of Britain.
However, with a notoriously difficult transfer market this winter, he admits that he's already looking to pastures new.
"In some ways, it's better to start a new career at 30 and not 38. It should help me be more settled in the long run," Lloyd added.
Fellow Brit Roger Hammond has also left the team, and his future is currently unknown.
Dan Lloyd's busman's holiday
Dan Lloyd rider profile
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