Thor Hushovd to retire at end of 2014

Norwegian former World Champion and double Tour de France green jersey winner Thor Hushovd will quit at end of season

Thor Hushovd podium, Tour of Beijing 2013, stage one

Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing) has announced that he will retire at the end of the season and end 15 years racing pro, including the 2010 world road race title and two green jerseys at the Tour de France.

"I will stop after the World Championships," the 36-year-old Norwegian told home broadcaster, TV2. "However, I'm not going to Spain as a tourist."

He raced the Tour de France every year since turning professional up until 2012, but like last year, he will not be apart of BMC's red and black team next month. Hushovd plans to race the Wallonia, Poland and Arctic stage races before the Worlds in Ponferrada, Spain, on September 28.

Hushovd announced his decision at a press conference this afternoon in Norway, where he said that he won't race the national championships this weekend. He explained that he needs to rest before the final part of his career. He abandoned the Critérium du Dauphiné on June 10, after the stage to Le Teil, saying, "There is something wrong with me and I'm suffering on the bike".

He won the national championships, the first Arctic Race of Norway, the Tour of Poland and stages in Poland, Beijing and Austria last year. His biggest wins were the 2010 Worlds in Geelong (Australia), Ghent-Wevelgem, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and two points classifications (2005 and 2009) at the Tour.

Despite some 'flashes' of brilliance, he suffered over the last few years. "On March 12, 2012, I woke up with high fever. I was in bed for two and a half days. That's when my nightmare began," continued Hushovd. "I was knocked out by mononucleosis. I pushed myself with the virus. I had some flashes that gave me the desire to continue, but I've been too far down physically and mentally. I had to ask myself, 'Why bother?'"

Hushovd raced in Crédit Agricole's green colours for the majority of his career. He switched to the Cervélo TestTeam in 2009 and in 2012, joined his current team BMC. The worlds could be the perfect ending for Hushovd, who started as a pure sprinter and developed into one for longer and more demanding races, like the World Champs course in Ponferrada, Spain.

Thor Hushovd

Thor Hushovd

Thor Hushovd wins stage three

Thor Hushovd Garmin Cervelo Bernard Eisel HTC Highroad Carrefour de l'Arbre cobbles 2011 Paris Roubaix.jpg

Thor Hushovd wins, Tour of Beijing 2013, stage one

Thor Hushovd's major victories

2013

Tour of Austria; stage three

Tour of Poland; stage three

Tour of Poland; stage five

Tour du Haut Var; stage one

Norwegian road race champion

Arctic Race of Norway; stage two

Arctic Race of Norway; stage four

Arctic Race of Norway; overall

Arctic Race of Norway; points classification

Tour of Beijing; stage one

2011

Tour de France; stage 13

Tour de France; stage 16

Tour de Suisse; stage four

Tour of Britain; stage four

2010

Norwegian road race champion

Tour de France; stage three

World road race champion

Vuelta a Espana; stage six

2009

Tour de France; stage six

Tour de France; points classification

Tour of California; stage three

Tour du Poitou Charentes et de la Vienne; stage 4

Tour of Missouri; stage three

Tour of Missouri; sprint classification

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

2008

Tour de France; stage two

Paris-Nice; prologue

Paris-Nice; points classification

Tour of the Mediterranean; stage one

Tour of Catalonia; prologue

Tour of Catalonia; stage one

Tour of Catalonia; points classification

Four Days of Dunkirk; stage six

2007

Tour de France; stage four

Giro d'Italia; stage seven

2006

Tour de France; stage 20

Tour de France; prologue

Vuelta a España; stage six

Vuelta a España; points classification

Dauphiné Libéré; stage seven

Tirenno-Adriatico; stage four

Tour of Catalonia; stage three

Tour of Catalonia; points classification

Four Days of Dunkirk; points classification

Ghent-Wevelgem

2005

Tour de France; points classification

Vuelta a España; stage five

Dauphiné Libéré; stage two

Tour of Catalonia; stage seven

Tour of Catalonia; points classification

National time trial champion

2004

Tour de France; stage eight

Dauphiné Libéré; stage one

Coupe de France

Classic Haribo

Grand Prix de Denain

Tour de Vendée

National time trial champion

National road race champion

2003

Dauphiné Libéré; stage two

Vuelta a Castilla y Leon; stage one

2002

Tour de France; stage 18

Tour de l'Ain; stage two

2001

Tour de France; team time trial

Tour de Normandie; overall

Tour de Normandie; points classification

Tour of Sweden; overall

Paris-Corrèze