Quick Step rider Laurent Dufaux has announced his intention to retire after the Tour of Lazio next wPICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Quick Step's Laurent Dufaux has announced that he will be retiring after next weekend's Tour of Lazio, which was the first race he ever rode as a pro, competing for the Helvetia-La Suisse team back in 1990. Now 35, the Swiss rider has won many of the biggest races on the calendar, including the Dauphin Libr, Tour of Romandie, Midi Libre, Route du Sud and the Championship of Zurich. He has also finished on the podium of the Tour of Spain on two occasions, and twice took fourth place in the Tour de France. However, his career was blighted by his involvement in the Festina scandal during the 1998 Tour. After serving a suspension, Dufaux returned to the Tour the following year with Saeco, when he placed fourth for the second time. This year he joined Quick Step in order to spend his last pro season in the same team as his former Festina team-mate and close friend Richard Virenque. "When I signed with Quick Step I was 80 per cent certain that this was going to be my last season," he said in a press conference, despite admitting other teams were interested in offering him a deal for next season. "I'm convinced that 35 is a good age at which to leave the pro peloton, so the decision has been made. I am retiring without regrets. I am both proud and happy with my career."