Romans Vainsteins took just a few days to consider his future, and to decide that professional cycli
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Romans Vainsteins has put an end to speculation about his future by publicly announcing his retirement from professional cycling. The 31-year-old Latvian said that the offers he had received to prolong his career were financially unsatisfactory. “The decision to end my career is due to the lack of an adequate deal, economically speaking, which would give me the guarantee of riding Pro Tour events,” he said. The former Lampre, Vini Caldirola and Domo rider added that he would now assist in his brother’s management of a furniture company. Vainsteins will be remembered as a talented sprinter cum rouleur whose progress was checked by a skittish, often confrontational, temperament. He often fell out with opponents and was accused of selfishness by team-mates. Later in his career, his managers also bemoaned his lack of discipline. He was sacked by Lampre for precisely this reason in October. The son of a Soviet Jew who changed his name from Weskheim to escape persecution during the war, Vainsteins retires with a respectable, if fitful, palmares. He won a stage of the Giro d’Italia and Paris-Bruxelles in 1999 and four stages of the Tirreno Adriatico in 2000. That year he would also become world champion which a trademark sprint in Plouay. Weight problems and injuries reduced his effectiveness after that, with his best subsequent performance a third-place finish in the 2001 Paris-Roubaix. Vainsteins announced on Wednesday that he will organise a race in his home town of Kuldiga in July to mark his retirement.