Bart De Clercq announces retirement from professional cycling
Sep 12 2019 04:52 am CET

Bart De Clercq announces retirement from professional cycling
Bart De Clercq announces retirement from professional cycling
Wanty-Groupe Gobert

Wanty-Gobert's Bart De Clercq has announced the end of his professional cycling career for the end of 2019.

The 33-year-old started his career in the team that is currently known as Lotto-Soudal in 2011 and in 2018 joined the Belgian formation in which he has decided to end his career due to health problems. The palmares of the Belgian rider include stage wins in the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de Pologne, as well as top-five results in the overall classifications of the Polish race and the Tour de l'Ain.

"I had the chance to live my passion for almost nine years," said De Clercq. "I started racing late, at the age of 22, without higher ambitions. Later, I received the chance to become professional with Lotto, before joining Wanty-Gobert in 2018. Unfortunately, this period started badly. I crashed on my second day in my new colours, January 2nd, with a broken hip as a result (movement of the femoral neck). Thereafter, I lived a difficult year, with several operations and ultimately a hip replacement."

"My return to racing, in the Tour of Oman, was rather positive. Unfortunately, I suffered from pain in my other leg, without a prosthesis, shortly after that. Despite numerous medical examinations, we didn't find an explication. But I continued working, hoping to be selected for the Tour de France. During the Dauphiné, it was frustrating to realize I was only able to perform at 80% of my capacities.

"Since then, I had to accept that a miracle to solve the problem won't come and that I'll have to turn back to 'normal life' as from next year. I hope to use my master degree in physical education and my experience as a professional athlete for my reconversion. It is a pity to end my career in this way, but I keep excellent memories after all these years. It was a nice chapter of my life, but time has come to start the next one."



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