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by Mark Zalewski
December 10, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Joaquim Rodriguez makes final decision to retire, committing to a Bahrain-Merida staff role; No positive doping tests at 2016 Tour de France; Mclaren report, part two, shows Russian doping of 1,000 Athletes across 30 Sports; Wiggins will not be cited over mystery medical package; Yorkshire interested in hosting Vuelta start; Sydney’s Olympic velodrome future uncertain; Johan Museeuw Classic changes to one-day format; Lars Boom makes quiet start to cyclocross season; Volta ao Algarve announces 2017 route; Axeon Hagens Berman 2017 roster; Cycling Academy finalises roster; Laura Kenny named Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year; Video reminds cyclists to always wear a helmet; Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race; Can a bicycle power your house?
Having announced his retirement after the 2016 Olympic Games but then indicating that he may continue competing in 2017 with the Bahrain Merida team, Joaquim Rodriguez has finally made the decision that he is done with professional competition. The Spaniard confirmed his definite retirement on Friday, saying that he will work as part of the team’s technical staff until the end of 2019, but won’t race a bike again.
“After taking enough time to think and also trying to come back to a working routine, I realized it was not possible for me,” he said in a team statement. “So, with the support of my family and friends, I decided not to come back to the competition at the highest of levels. I would like to thank everyone that supported me to come back; I am honoured and you really made my decision difficult, but I believe it is better not to come back if I am not sure I can do it at the top level and be competitive to offer my fans what they deserve.”
Rodriguez also thanked the team for giving him the possibility of racing again, but said after speaking to them that he has realised he is not physically or mentally ready to race at the top level.
The past few months appear to have been a swirl of emotions for the former world number one. He indicated he was done with competition after Rio 2016 but then in early September both he and his Katusha team said he would keep racing. It became clear that he was doing so due to the team’s demands that he finish the year and honour the terms of his contract, and Rodriguez somewhat reluctantly pinned a number on again.
Expectations that he would be finished at the end of the year were confounded when he announced in October that he would don Bahrain-Merida colours in 2017 prior to transitioning into a technical role.
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