Weeks after his failed attempt to break the UCI Hour Record Dutch rider Thomas Dekker has hung up his bike for good.
By
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

The 30 year old, who did not have a professional team for 2015, announced his retirement on his website on Friday.

"For weeks I've been thinking about it. I have pondered, I've weighed my thoughts carefully, I oversaw the options and considered them one by one. I've listened to my mind and to my heart. Now I have made up my mind," wrote Dekker.

"I quit cycling."

Dekker turned professional with Rabobank in 2005 after two years in the Continental squad. He had four years with the team before joining Silence-Lotto in 2009, however a two-year doping ban for EPO brought an end to the contract. Dekker returned to the WorldTour in 2012 with the Garmin team whom he rode with through until last year.

"As a young professional, I wanted one thing: winning bicycle races. And preferably as much as possible. I wanted to win at all costs. That was my strength, and at the same time it was the trap I fell into; it has taken me far and let me sink deep.

"In recent years I have come to realise more and more that there is more in life than winning bike races. I raced for the love for the sport, not because I wanted to win every race on earth. And I have been open about my own past to warn young riders not to make the same mistakes I did."

Dekker's final hit-out was against Rohan Dennis's UCI Hour Record which he could not break despite attempting the event at altitude in Mexico.

"My last hour as a cyclist I gave it my all in Mexico, during the attack on the world record. I wanted to prove I can still ride fast, and also I wanted to know whether I still want to be a cyclist. The answer now, a few weeks after the attack on the record, is clear to me.

"My whole life up to now was dominated by cycling – but I do not want to depend on my form, my equipment, my team, anyone or anything any longer. My cycling career was beautiful, ugly, intense and edifying.

"I'm ready for a new step. Without my bike."