“I feel fortunate. I have had a great career with many defining memories. I have made many close friends in cycling, and that is something valuable for me. But I can honestly say that I’m ready to retire from racing. I’m tired after 18 seasons and I look forward to spending time with my family and kids.
I want to thank Bjarne Riis for believing in me during the years and giving me the opportunity to spend the best seasons of my career on this team. My two seasons on BMC in ’10 and ’11 were plagued by two potentially career-ending crashes, but the team gave me another chance to come back and to finish my career the way I had wished for.
My stage win in the Tour is what I’m most proud of. It is something every rider dreams about. It was my first Tour de France and I remember how surreal it seemed, when I rode across the line.
It might sound a bit strange, but the 2009 World Championship in Mendrisio is perhaps the greatest experience of my career. I was dropped in the final part of the race and finished 20th, but I have never had better legs than I had that day in Switzerland. It was almost mythical for me. I remember that I felt as if I could keep going on my limit for hours and hours.
I think I’ll relax with my family and wait a while before I decide, what the next chapter in my life will be”.