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by Mark Zalewski
January 10, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: UK Anti-Doping chairman vows to find out contents of Wiggins’ medical package; Lieuwe Westra announces retirement; Alex Peters to step back from joining Team Sky; Étoile de Bessèges suffering from financial shortfall; Niels Albert: van Aert has plenty of time to left to win; Aqua Blue Sport to donate portion of prize money to Emerald Fund; Nys says no pressure on son following national championship; Possible 2018 UCI Road Worlds course leaked; Isle of Man picked to host 2017 British Road Championships; 2017 US National cyclocross championships highlights.
Dutch professional Lieuwe Westra suddenly announced his retirement from professional racing, ending an 11 year career, despite having signed a three-year deal with the ProContinental Wanty–Groupe Gobert team for the 2017 season.
Lieuwe Westra (Astana) pictured during the 2o16 Driedaagse De Panne Koksijde.
“Sunday we received a message from Lieuwe Westra confirming that he is ending his sports career for personal reasons,” Wanty–Groupe Gobert general manager Jean François Bourlart said. “We take note of [his reasons] and respect his decision.”
Westra posted a cryptic message to Facebook on Sunday in which he announced his retirement. “Today I have decided to stop racing. I cannot afford to continue. Thanks to A Boskamp and K Snijder! Ok I stop but go now and I have time to solve these issues briefly. Thanks to cycling world ciaoooo westra [sic].” The message was later deleted.
The 34-year-old most recently raced with Astana and won the overall at the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde in 2016. He began his career with the Continental team Krolstone in 2006, before moving up to ProContinental with Vacansoleil in 2009. That team upgraded to the WorldTour two years later.
It is understood that he has battled depression, as well as ongoing legal battles with his former manager and brother in law.