Vasil Kiryienka has announced his retirement from cycling due to a cardiac issue.
The Ineos rider has made the decision following medical advice, calling time on a 15-year career in the peloton.
Kiryienka previously missed the start of the 2019 season due to a cardiac anomaly, then returning to racing at the Tour de Romandie.
The 38-year-old Belarussian had one year remaining on his contract with Ineos, but calls the announcement that he will be ending his time with the team 11 months early a “sad day”.
Kiryienka’s career highlights include taking the rainbow bands at the 2015 Road World Championships in the individual time trial. He also rode an impressive 20 Grand Tours, taking three stage wins at the Giro d’Italia and one at the Vuelta a España.
“It’s a really sad day for me, but it’s the right decision based on the advice I’ve been given by the medical team,” Kiryienka said. “I’ve had a wonderful career and enjoyed every minute racing with this team. It’s been an incredible journey and I am so grateful for all the support I’ve received throughout my whole career.”
Ineos boss Dave Brailsford has said the decision was tough to take but “obviously the right one”, wishing his rider, who he signed in 2013, all the best for the future.
“It is disappointing for Kiry and for us as a team. He is a true one-off and one of the greatest team riders of his generation. When a rider in a breakaway looked back and saw the open shirted Kiry on the front of the peloton driving the chase they knew their days were numbered,” Brailsford said.
“We have been lucky to have him ride with us over the last seven years and are proud to have supported him to some incredible victories: the time trial rainbow bands, his breakaway win at the Vuelta and all of his TT victories in our colours.
“While this is a tough decision to take it is obviously the right one and we support him fully in it. We wish him every success and the team will continue to support him in the future.”