Alexander Kolobnev retires from professional cycling
Jan 04 2017 03:27 pm CET

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Alexander KOLOBNEV

Russian cyclist Alexander Kolobnev has announced his retirement from the sport after having formed part of the peloton since 2002.

The 35-year-old, at times a controversial figure in cycling, started his career at Acqua e Sapone in 2002 and later rode for Domina Vacanze, Rabobank, Team CSC and Team Katusha before joining Gazprom-RusVelo in 2016.

The rider took part in 12 grand tours and won Bronze at the Men's Olympic Road Race of Beijing in 2008 as well as Silver medals at the road races of the 2007 and 2009 World Championships. In 2010, Kolobnev finished second at Liege-Bastogne-Liege and was later accused of having accepted a bribe to allow Alexander Vinokourov to win the Belgian classic.

On his official website, the rider explains that the decision to retire was "very hard" and said that he took the advice of compatriot Oleg Tinkoff.

"He said to me recently that it was time to prepare myself for real life, and that the sooner I would realize that, the easier the transition would be," Kolobnev wrote.

"All sportsmen go through a difficult career ending. All of them. The decision is inevitable. It is a torture somehow. Anyone that says that it is a normal and painless process is insincere.

"I'm glad I finish my career with lots of energy. Summing up all the emotions and sensations, I can say that leaving the professional sport I feel a great desire for self-realization in my casual life, where I will use my experience and practical knowledge."
Photo (cropped) of Alexander Kolobnev (from the rider's official Facebook page)




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