Michael Rogers forced to retire due to heart problems

Tinkoff's Michael Rogers has announced his retirement from professional cycling because of heart arrhythmia

Michael Rogers at the 2014 Tour de France (Sunada)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Three-time world time trial champion Michael Rogers has announced his retirement from professional cycling because of the heart problems that have sidelined him for much of the season.

The 36-year-old, who started his career with Mapei-Quickstep in 2001, was diagnosed with a malformation of the aortic valve at the start of his career.

But now, cardiac examinations identified heart arrhythmia, meaning he must bring an end to his 16-year career, ending his time at Tinkoff.

"Whilst I'm disappointed to miss my 13th Tour de France and a chance to compete at my fifth Olympic Games, I'm not prepared to put my health in jeopardy," Rogers said in a statement.

"The opportunity of being a professional cyclist is that after retirement the challenge of a whole new career beckons."

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The Australian, raised in Griffith, NSW - 500km west of Sydney - won a stage of the Tour de France in 2014 and two Giro d'Italia stages in the same year.

He also counts overall wins at the Tour of California, Tour Down Under and the Ruta del Sol to his name.

But Rogers will be best remembered for his three consecutive World Championships time trial titles between 2003-2005 and his bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.

He was also part of the Team Sky squad who helped Sir Bradley Wiggins to Tour de France victory in 2012.

"I worked on and off the bike with exceptionally smart and talented people, created lasting friendships, smiled and laughed lots, made a bunch of mistakes, cried myself to sleep a few times, travelled the world and learned to speak foreign languages," he wrote.

"Did I mention that I had the time of my life? All of this thanks to one dream – to become a professional cyclist.

"All great dreams eventually come to an end, and today it's time to conclude mine by announcing my retirement from racing."

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