Former Team Sky rider Sergio Henao has called time on his cycling career, after failing to secure a WorldTour contract for 2022 following Qhubeka-NextHash folding in December.
The 34-year-old moved to Qhubeka-NextHash in 2021, but with the South African-based team unable to secure sponsorship for the new season and announcing the end of their WorldTour operation, Henao was left without a contract for 2022.
Consequently, the Colombian has announced his retirement from cycling, and doesn't expect to make a return to the peloton in the future.
“I have finished my professional career and in Europe,” Henao told Antena 2. “There were offers, but not really any that appealed to me. I didn't have any clear offer from a WorldTour team, just a few approaches, but nothing materialised.
“It's difficult when you stop racing for a year to return to the elite of world cycling. A year away weighs heavily. The races, the rhythm... you can lose a lot.
“It's difficult when you disappear for a season. Even so, one always keeps hope at the beginning of the year, many things can happen in teams, but nothing appeared so I have the idea that it will not be possible.”
Henao also seemed disappointed at the conclusion of his career, suggesting he didn't expect to retire at this stage.
"When I watch the races I get a bit nostalgic," he said, "but that's life. It's a moment that had to come. It was just sooner than we had planned.”
Sergio Henao made his professional cycling debut for Team Sky in 2012, riding for the British team for seven seasons until 2018. He secured his first professional win on the third stage of the 2013 Volta ao Algarve, but his crowing career moment came at the 2017 Paris-Nice, where he beat Alberto Contador by just two seconds overall.
Also during his period with Team Sky, Henao placed ninth overall in his Grand Tour debut at the 2012 Giro d'Italia, before supporting Chris Froome to his 2018 Giro victory. Henao also helped Froome win the Tour de France in both 2016 and 2017, acting as a key mountain domestique.
After becoming national road race champion for two consecutive years in 2017 and 2018, Henao left Team Sky to join UAE Team Emirates for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. The 34-year-old then moved to Qhubeka-NextHash in 2021, but with the team folding later that year, he was left without a contract for the current season.
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