German sprinter Gerald Ciolek has retired from professional cycling.
The 30-year-old is best known for his victory in the 2013 edition of Milan-San Remo, which handed the South African MTN-Qhubeka team its biggest win up to that point.
Ciolek topped the podium in the Italian Monument after getting the better of Peter Sagan and Fabian Cancellara in the sprint.
However, after 2013 the victories were hard to come by, and 2014 only yielded a stage win in the Ruta del Sol before coming away from 2015 empty-handed. He left MTN-Qhubeka at the end of 2015 and joined the Stölting Service Group squad.
His manager, Ken Sommer, confirmed to German magazine Tour that Ciolek has now called it a day.
“Gerald will not be in the professional peloton this year, and we do not currently plan to return to professional cycling,” Sommer said.
Prior to joining MTN-Qhubeka in 2013, Ciolek rode for T-Mobile/Columbia-HighRoad, Milram and QuickStep.
Ciolek claimed the under-23 road race world title in 2006, and then progressed to winning stages in the Deutschland Tour, Tour of Austria, Tour of Britain and Bayern-Rundfahrt, and winning stage two of the 2009 Vuelta a España.
The German-registered Professional Continental-level Stölting Service Group disbanded at the end of the 2016 season, leaving several of its riders without contracts.
Ciolek’s former Stölting Service Group team-mate and fellow German Linus Gerdemann has also retired from professional cycling. Gerdemann has set up a restaurant with his partner in Mallorca.
Gerdemann came to most people’s attention when he won stage seven of the 2007 Tour de France while riding for T-Mobile and put himself into the yellow jersey.
The 34-year-old went on to win the Deutschland Tour, Tour de Luxembourg, Bayern Rundfahrt and Tour de l’Ain overall but never quite realised his early promise as a German Grand Tour contender.