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by Mark Zalewski
February 1, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kittel takes Dubai Tour opener; Route announcement: Mt. Baldy summit, Big Bear TT to be decisive stages for 2017 Amgen Tour of California; Route details announced for 2017 Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race; No longer backing Contador, Majka stepping up a level in Grand Tours; CyclingTips podcast, Episode 24: Genevieve Jeanson on making peace with a tainted past; Back from the brink: The merger that saved IsoWhey-SwissWellness and the year ahead; Froome ready for Jayco Herald Sun Tour; Twenty teams to race 22nd Tour de Langkawi; Ciolek and Gerdemann retire; Simon Cope vows to clear his name; British Parliamentary group to investigate legal bias against cyclists; Video: Heroics in Bieles; Video: Interview with Christine Majerus; Video: Equipment for cyclocross.
Germans Gerald Ciolek and Linus Gerdemann are retiring from professional cycling, with each unable to secure a place on a top-level team this season. Both rode with the ProContinental Stölting Service Group team in 2016, but the program is moving down to the third tier UCI Continental level in 2017.
Gerald Ciolek winning the sprint at the 2013 Milano-San Remo.
Ciolek, 30, was long heralded as the next great German sprinter after he beat Erik Zabel in the 2005 German national championship. He stepped up to the top division in 2007 with the then T-Mobile team, but never quite lived up to the hype. While he did win Milano-San Remo in 2013 and a stage of the Vuelta a España in 2009, those were his biggest highlights.
“Gerald will not be in the professional peloton this year. It is initially not a return to professional cycling as planned,” Ciolek’s manager Ken Sommer said, leaving the possibility that he might return at some point.
Gerdemann, 34, had already hinted at retiring in November, after a year of lackluster results due to battles with illness.
While he hoped the Stölting Service Group team would remain ProContinental, the decision to drop down to the third level helped make his decision to retire.
Click through to read more at Sport1.