Ineos veteran domestique Christian Knees retires  

The German is closing out a long and successful career as a support rider

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ineos veteran Christian Knees has announced his retirement, after 17 years in the peloton.

The German will be ending his career as a pro at the end of 2020, aged 39, but will be taking up a new role within Ineos Grenadiers.

Knees has built a long and successful career during his time with Ineos, formerly Team Sky, riding in four of the squad’s successful Grand Tour campaigns, including their first with Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012. 

Announcing his retirement, Knees said: “To be a professional at 39 years old is not something many people can say. At some point you need to retire and it’s always hard to end a chapter – but I’m really proud of what I achieved. The Grand Tour wins with the team – being there in 2012 with Bradley, and to be alongside Froomey at the start of the Tour in Germany in 2017. There are so many good memories, not to mention spending 10 years in one of the world’s best sports teams.”

Knees started his career with Team Wiesenhof in 2004 before he joined Milram in 2006, which became WorldTour in 2009. 

He then joined Team Sky in their second year of existence, 2011, remaining with the British squad for the rest of his career. 

Knees will stay with Ineos and will be trying out a number of roles within the team to see which suit him best. 

During his career he won four races, the last of which was the German national title in 2010. 

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He said: “On a personal level, being the national champion of Germany in 2010 and wearing that jersey for a year was a big honour. Winning my home race at Rund um Koln and also winning Bayern Rundfahrt – these are some really nice results that I can look back on with my head held high. Now it’s a good time to have some different adventures but will always ride my bike. I love riding and I love training.”

On the 2012 Tour victory with Wiggins, Knees said: “All that year in 2012 was just phenomenal.

“I had this extra motivation from the year before, where we went to the Tour and Bradley crashed out with a broken collarbone. I didn’t want to see him on the floor again – so I knew my job would be to protect him and be in the wind for him. I just tried to give my best every day and I knew we’d have a good chance to win the Tour for the first time.” 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.