Niki Terpstra announces retirement from road racing

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Former Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders champion Niki Terpstra will leave professional road racing at the end of the 2022 season.

The 38-year-old Dutchman made the announcement in a video on his Instagram channel as he looked back on a journey that began when he was eight years old.

Terpstra turned professional with Team Milram in 2007 and spent four years with the team before moving to Quick-Step, a team where he achieved much of his success. He has spent the last four seasons with TotalEnergies, but his contract was due for renewal at the end of this season.

“At the end of this season, I will retire from professional road cycling. Ever since I was eight, I have been obsessed with cycling. I imagined cycling in the big races. I succeeded in all the ride my bike and win the races of my dreams,” he said. “My career has been filled with extreme ups and downs and with everyone who has supported me, family, friends, fans, we can be proud of what we have accomplished. I still love cycling and will continue to do so but in a different way.

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Terpstra’s early career saw him split his time between track and road and he won a silver medal at the 2005 Track World Championships in the team pursuit. On the road he showed great promise in the cobbled classics and that’s where he had most of his success.

He made it onto the Paris-Roubaix 2014 podium after a late break following the last major cobblestone section. Four years later he won E3 Harelbeke and the Tour of Flanders back to back. He has been on the podium of most of the major cobbled classics throughout his career.

Despite its extremely successful 2018 season, Terpstra will leave Quick-Step at the end of this year and move to Total Direct Energie, now known as TotalEnergies. He performed well in 2019, but a bit of bad luck and a lack of form have since seen him unable to return to his former glories.

This year Terpstra stepped away from road cycling and took up the LeadBoat Challenge last month. He had been linked with a potential transfer to Dutch team Beat Cycling.

In a caption alongside the video he posted, Terpstra said he had options to continue his career on the road but wanted something new. However, he seemed to indicate that his racing days were not over, possibly indicating a move to a different discipline.

“Despite the options to continue, I think it’s time to close this incredible chapter of my career and focus on new challenges on and off the bike,” he said. “I could not have imagined that at the age of eight, starting to ride a bike, I would have the chance to one day be part of the professional peloton and race all these iconic races. Then also winning monuments such as Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders is always breathtaking for me and my family.

“I can’t wait to finish this season in style, because there are still some great events on my agenda. Later more on that. It has been an incredible journey and I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my career. But listen, I’m not done cycling yet. Of course I will keep running…stay tuned.

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