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by Mark Zalewski
December 14, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Richie Porte’s road to the 2017 Tour de France: ‘It’s probably the most important year of my career’; Colnago helps find sponsors to keep TJ Sport team alive; Jan Bakelants critical of WorldTour reforms; Tom Meeusen changes training after tests; Gert Dockx retires at 28; Amateur cyclist, doctor receives four-year anti-doping sanction; Quick-Step Floors shows off new kit; BORA–hansgrohe unveils a new team kit for its WorldTour ascension; Astana presents team, names Aru leader; Team Crelan Willems Verandas shows new kit design; Study recommends cities use ‘Idaho Stop’ to better manage traffic; Man cycling Antarctic with custom quad fatbike; Strategy board game inspired by ‘Breaking Away’ race; ‘Jesus Bikes’ causing fuss around Melbourne; Massive flyover built for Belgian cyclocross championship course; Film calls out Berlin on cycling infrastructure.
Belgian Gert Dockx (Lotto-Soudal) announced his retirement from professional cycling on his personal web site. The 28-year-old turned pro in 2009 with the Colombia-High Road team.
His only wins came in 2013 with two stages of the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo. He also had a top-ten GC at the Tour of Turkey this season. While he did not go into why he is retiring at a relatively young age, he was struck by a car while training with teammate Thomas De Gendt early in the season. Fortunately, he escaped serious injury and only missed one race because of it.
“After eight years at the professional level, the end has come. Eight years that I will cherish, and despite some setbacks, some beautiful memories prevail,” he wrote. “I would like to give a word of thanks to the teams for which I rode — Team Columbia-HTC, Team HTC-Columbia, Omega Pharma Lotto, Lotto-Belisol Team and Lotto-Soudal. I owe them for all, and I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given.”
“Cycling is not only about the teams, but especially the people who day in and day out make sure things are ready for you; team leaders, caretakers, mechanics, medical staff and so on. I would also like to emphasize here that I have always had a lot of respect for the people in the youth categories who have sacrificed so much of their free time. Without them, the youth could not grow up to a professional level.”
“About my future, I can still state nothing concrete. I’m still working on what path I want to take. My final thanks go to my fans, supporters clubs, family and my girlfriend. It is a nice feeling when you know that there are people behind you. A big thank you.”