André Greipel of Israel Start-Up Nation has announced he will retire at the end of 2021.
“Tomorrow’s stage will be definitely my last stage in the Tour de France, and also after 2021 I’m going to retire,” Greipel said in a video posted on his team’s twitter feed. “I’m super happy with everything I achieved together with my teammates, together with the staff. I always was happy to get all this support and of course without my teammates, the staff, and of course my family, I wouldn’t achieve everything I did.”
The announcement came on the morning of stage 20 of the Tour de France, the day after Greipel celebrated his 39th birthday, and at the end of a career spanning almost two decades.
Greipel, fondly nicknamed ‘the Gorilla’, was part of a stellar generation of sprinters, racking up a huge 158 victories including 22 Grand Tour stages and 18 at the Tour Down Under.
“I’m not looking back in anger, I’m really looking to the future with a lot of happiness because I can do what I want, I can suffer when I want, and of course spend a lot of time with my family now.”
The German sprinter has enjoyed success with a handful of different outfits since entering the peloton in 2005, most notably Lotto Soudal from 2011 to 2018. He then spent a year with Team Arkéa Samsic before joining Israel Start-Up Nation for the 2020 season on a multi-year contract.
Though Greipel is calling time on his career as a professional cyclist, he hopes to stay in the sport.
“I wish everybody a good time in the pro peloton and of course I won’t be away from cycling. I hope somehow to stay in cycling and to everybody who supported me as well throughout my career – my family of course, my trainers, and everybody who was part of my career – I’m really thankful.”