Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) racing the 2021 Tour de France stage 5 ITT in the jersey of German national champion.

Tony Martin has announced he’ll retire immediately after the World Champs

After 14 years and 67 pro wins, the Jumbo-Visma rider’s last race will be the World Champs mixed relay.

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On the morning of the individual time trial event, German veteran Tony Martin has announced that he is retiring after this week’s World Championships in Leuven, Belgium.

“Today I want to announce that the upcoming time trial and mixed relay World Championships will be the last races in my career,” he wrote in an Instagram post Sunday morning.

After 14 years in the pro ranks, the 10-time German national champion was due to race in Jumbo-Visma colours to the end of 2022, which would be his fourth year with the team, but he’s come to an agreement with the Dutch outfit that he’ll end his career after Wednesday’s mixed relay. This means that his last race in the yellow and black was the Tour of Britain, a race he withdrew from after four stages citing the risk of overload.

Since his trainee season in 2005, Martin has taken 67 professional victories, 50 of them against the clock. His best years were in the early part of last decade, all his WorldTour wins coming between 2010 and 2015, including five stages at the Tour de France, two at the Vuelta a España and overall victories at the Tour of Beijing, Eneco Tour and Paris-Nice. The ‘Panzerwagen’ won his last of four world ITT titles in 2016 and since then has enjoyed modest personal success while cementing his status as one of the most valued domestiques in the peloton.

In recent years, he’s become a patron of the peloton, using his experience and sharp understanding of the sport to speak on its behalf and advocate for improvements. The questionable safety of the riders has become especially important to the 36-year-old – it’s impossible to forget that spectator-caused crash at this year’s Tour – and he hopes to continue that drive in the future.

“Such a far-reaching decision is of course not easy to make,” he wrote. “Cycling has been a large part of life for a long time – with highs and lows, big successes and losses, crashes and comebacks. What many young riders dream of, I have achieved. In the last few months I have been thinking more of what is to come after cycling. The bad crashes this year have also caused me to question whether I am ready to continue to face the risks that our sport involves. I have decided that I do not want to, especially since race safety has not improved despite the many discussions about courses and barriers. I hope the cycling world will listen to the plans presented by my and other teams.

“Therefore I want to be fair to myself, my family and all my colleagues and end my career as a pro cyclist. I want to say farewell in a fitting manner at the Worlds time trial, which I won four times. I have trained hard for it.”

Martin won his fourth and final World Champs title in Doha, Qatar in 2016.

After three seasons spent working in service of his Jumbo-Visma teammates, the reigning German national time trial champion could not have chosen a more appropriate stage for his curtain call.

“I thank my team Jumbo-Visma for their support the last three years and the opportunity to end my career in this way, as I have wished,” he finished. “I also want to express my deepest thanks to my family, my friends, my fans and all colleagues. Without you I could not have lived my dream and I will never forget that!”

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