Belgian classics specialist Peter Van Petegem, 37, has announced his retirement from professional racing after a September 11 kermesse, and American Tom Danielson has signed with Team Slipstream, following the disbanding of the Discovery Channel team.
The 2003 Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders winner began his career in 1992, racing for PDM. He has raced for Lotto, Trident, TVM, Mercury-Viatel, Palmans-Collstrop, Lotto-Adecco, Davitamon-Lotto, and will end his career with Patrick Lefever’s Quick Step-Innergetic team.
“My career is due to end this year,” Van Petegem said in a quickly organised press conference after stage two of the Eneco-Tour. The Belgian’s last race will be the GP Briek Schotte in Desselgem on September 11.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, particularly because I’m already retiring after only one year at the Quick.Step – Innergetic team,” Van Petegem explained. “I had a super year with Patrick [Lefevere] and I prepared to perfection for the spring classics, but I had bad luck in the Tour of Flanders and in Paris-Roubaix there was maybe more possible.
“I’m not retiring because I’m riding bad or because I’m riding with a bad grace,” he added. “There are many small factors that brought me to my decision, but I’m afraid one more year would be too much.”
According to cyclingnews.com, Van Petegem will retire after the GP Briek Schotte after a promise he made to Flandrien Briek Schotte.
“A few years before [Schotte] died I promised him that I would keep his race in honour,” Lefevere said. “Richard Virenque already retired there and now Van Petegem and Serge Baguet will do the same.”
Van Petegem also took silver in the 1998 world road championships in Valkenburg, with a bronze in 2003 in Hamilton, Ontario.
American Tom Danielson, 29, has signed with Team Slipstream/ Chipotle, team director Jonathan Vaughters told the Denver Post on Thursday. Danielson is one of several Discovery Channel riders recently put on the market following the team’s announcement it was disbanding after the 2007 season.
The Durango, Colorado resident turned professional with Fassa Bortolo in 2004, before signing with Discovery in 2005.
“He’s a big natural talent,” Vaughters told the Denver Post. “He went to Discovery and got caught up in the whole ‘next Lance Armstrong’ thing, which he is not.
“I don’t know whether he’ll be able to recover from day to day like Lance did,” Vaughters said. “In a one-day race, it’s not important. He can win a stage of the Tour de France without a doubt.”
Danielson’s team mates include fellow Americans David Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde, British road champ David Millar, Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt, Dutch riders Huub Duyn and Martin Maaskant, Irishman Daniel Martin, New Zealander Julian Dean, and Frenchman Chrisophe Laurent.
© BikeRadar 2007