Australian cyclist Allan Davis has retired, citing the unprecedented difficulty out-of-contract riders face in securing new contracts.
It's just bad luck and bad timing.
The 33 year old competed last month a last-ditch bid to attract a new deal, but has conceded his stellar career is over.
Davis' career highlights included third at the 2010 world road championships in Geelong, second at the 2007 Milan-Sanremo and the gold medal in the road race at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Allan Davis with his Delhi Commonwealth Games medal (Getty Images)
"I would have liked to keep going for a few more years, but it's just not an option the way things are," he told AAP.
"I have to turn the page and get on with the next chapter of my life.
"I have to find some source of income for my family and move on.
"It's just bad luck and bad timing."
Several big teams have folded over the last 12 months because of economic conditions and the fallout from the sport's doping crisis.
Davis turned professional in 2001 with the Mapei-QuickStep team. Over the following years he found himself at a variety of different teams before ending up at Astana. He then became a foundation member of Australian team Orica-GreenEDGE, but they released him late last year.
After competing at last month's Bay Classic criterium series and the Australian road championships, he saw the writing on the wall.
"I've never seen it like this and I've spoken to a lot of blokes who have been around twice as long as I have - they also haven't seen it like this," he said.
"It's just one of those things that's out of the riders' hands."
While his career did not end the way he wanted it, Davis is content.
"I'm very proud of what I've achieved on the bike, so I can walk away with my head held high," he said.
"It gives me a lot of happiness, knowing what I've done.
"Hopefully I've helped Australian cycling for the younger generation coming through as well."
Davis hopes to stay involved in the sport, but said he might work in his home town of Bundaberg this year and work out what he does next.
"I have a few fingers in a few pies and I will let it unfold a bit, make sure I choose the right path now," he said.
"All my experience is on the bike and that's what I'd love to continue doing."
For now, Davis is enjoying the novel experience of being in Australia during February, rather than preparing for the new season in Europe.
"It's been good actually ... I'd rather do something, no matter what it is, just keep things ticking over," he said.
"I'm just having a beer after work and being normal.
"It's a humble feeling, I thought it would be a lot harder than what it's been so far.
"It's been quite enjoyable - last night I went and played AFL."
Davis said he tried to never let his success as a professional cyclist affect him and he hopes that will help him in retirement.
Thank you, Gracias,eskerrik asko,To everyone for the nice messages on my retirement from professional cycling much appreciated. #retired— Allan davis (@allandavis27) February 14, 2014