Adam Blythe has announced his retirement from the professional peloton, aged 30.
The former British champion has already raced for the last time as he officially brings his 12-year pro career to an end on December 31.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
Blythe has seen out has last season with Belgian WorldTour outfit Lotto-Soudal, but has also been a familiar face on TV as a pundit during the Grand Tours throughout 2019.
He now plans to remain involved in the sport while taking more time for his family.
In an Instagram post announcing his retirement, Blythe said: “It’s time for me to hang up my wheels as a professional bike racer.
“I have seen the sport change a lot over the past decade, with the sacrifices getting greater and greater for a pro to keep competing at the top level. With this in mind, the time is now right for me to step away from racing, spend more time with my beautiful Mrs and three beautiful children, while focusing on what else I can do in the sport.”
Blythe launched his career in 2008 when he joined the South African Continental squad Konica Minolta-Bizhib, but quickly made the jump to WorldTour level when he switched to Lotto the following year.
It was with Lotto he scored his first pro wins in 2010, winning two stages and the overall of the Circuit Franco-Belge stage race in Belgium.
After three seasons with the Belgian team, Blythe went on to race for BMC Racing before heading back to the British domestic racing scene with NFTO in 2014.
That marked the beginning of the upheaval in Blythe’s career as he regularly switched teams, first to Orica-GreenEdge in 2015, then to Tinkoff in 2016 before he moved to Irish team Aqua Blue Sport in 2017.
Aqua Blue folded in dramatic fashion late in 2018, leaving an entire roster of talent, including Blythe without contracts.
He landed on his feet however, making the step up to WorldTour level once again for 2019 when he re-joined Lotto-Soudal for his final season.
Blythe scored nine victories during his career, most memorably the RideLondon Classic in 2014 and the British National Championships in 2016 when he beat Mark Cavendish in the sprint.
Another of his most commendable performances was the 2016 World Championships in Qatar, where he was a pivotal support rider for Mark Cavendish in the crosswinds and helped the Manx sprinter to a silver medal behind Peter Sagan.
Reflecting on his career, Blythe added: “The bike has been everything to me from a young age. From racing around the country with the my mates who I could still race with now, to riding Grand Tours and winning my home Classic race, RideLondon. I have grown up in the sport and it has been some journey to get me to where I am today. I have a lot of stories, and an awful lot of good memories.
“I love cycling and can’t imagine not being a part of the sport in some way, so I look forward to exploring whatever new opportunities come my way to keep me working in the sport and with the people I love.”