Rik Verbrugghe announces his retirement

Belgian cyclist will end his career after the Tour of Lombardy

Veteran Belgian cyclist Rik Verbrugghe, who rides for Cofidis, announced today he will retire after next month's Tour of Lombardy, due to finish on October 18th.

Verbrugghe said he has found it difficult to bounce back from his dramatic crash in the 2006 Tour de France, where he broke his leg after careering down a ravine.

"I went through a dark period back then, a difficult reassessment,” the 34-year-old said, “And even though I returned to the top level, after that incident I started to think of ending my career."  

Verbrugghe also fell in last month's San Sebastian Classic, breaking his collarbone.

In his 13 years with the peloton, he has won three stages in the Giro d'Italia (2001, 2002, 2006), one in the Tour de France (2001), the Tour of Romandie (2002) and the Fleche Wallonne (2001). He’s also a former Belgian time-trial champion (2000).

The Belgian's former teams include Lotto and QuickStep.

©  AFP, BikeRadar 2008

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