Jempy Drucker has announced his retirement from cycling after more than 16 years in the sport.
In an emotive post on social media, the Luxembourger said that he had been waiting for news on a new contract, but it has not happened and he has been forced to retire.
Drucker, who spent his final season with Cofidis, wrote: "The last few months have been full of waiting and hoping, but unfortunately, the decision was out of my hands and now there is no other option left for me. I have to say goodbye and end my cycling career. This. Is. It."
Across his career, the veteran domestique won a Vuelta a España stage and the RideLondon Surrey Classic, as well as two stages of the Tour de Luxembourg.
Drucker's sole grand tour stage win came on stage 16 of the 2016 Vuelta, when he outsprinted Rudi Selig and Nikias Arndt in Peñíscola.
He only stepped up to the WorldTour aged 29 with BMC, who he spent four years with before moving to Bora-Hansgrohe and ultimately Cofidis.
In a letter addressed to "Cycling", Drucker wrote: "I wish I could have finished in a better way, with a good season and a proper final race. But since the pandemic, you haven't always been kind to me...
"It's not easy for me to write this, but one of the many things I've learned from you over the years is that these difficult moments are often the motivation behind great. things. I would have liked to ride on, but I will always be grateful for the time I had and the happy memories that I take with me."
He thanked all the people that helped his career, and all the people he met on the way, but especially his supporters and his family.
"I wanted to thank you for all the people I met on my way," he said. "For all the ups and downs I had to go through during my career, which definitely built my character. But also, for all the emotions you gave me, emotions only sports can create! Cycling was a good school for life."
Giving an insight into what life as a professional cyclist really is like, he thanked his wife and children. "Thank you for putting up with a professional athlete, day in and day out," he wrote.
"I don't think many people outside of sports understand just how much of your own life you had to put aside in order for me to succeed, but I will always be indebted to you for it. Thank you, I love you, and now it's my turn to start repaying you!"
The 35 year old concluded: "My final message goes to all the young kids out there, dreaming of a professional career: Go for it! Work hard, believe in yourself, and follow your dreams. I did it, and so can you..."
Among riders paying tribute to Drucker was former BMC teammate Greg van Avermaet, who tweeted "all the best, we will miss you in the peloton". Fellow Luxembourger Bob Jungels said: "We’ll miss you Jempy!"
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