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Dan Martin announces retirement from professional cycling

Robyn Davidson
4 Sep 2021

35-year-old Irishman states racing has lost its fun element, is excited for new challenges in life

Dan Martin has announced he will retire at the end of the season after 14 seasons as a professional cyclist.

The Israel Start-Up Nation rider, whose next race is the upcoming Tour of Britain, said he feels the time is right to move on and achieve other things in life.

‘In some ways, deciding to stop has been challenging and complex. It’s perhaps one of the biggest and most important decisions I have ever made, and in other ways, it’s been easy. Though I am still competitive, I’ve realised that racing has lost the fun element: the whole reason I race in the first place.

‘Giving 100% to what I do has always been how I operate. Though I could continue racing for a few years to come, and for many, this would seem like the obvious thing to do, I am at a point where I’m ready to take on some exciting new challenges in life.’

Martin has had a lengthy racing career after turning professional in 2008 with Slipstream-Chipotle. His first Grand Tour stage win came at the 2011 Vuelta a España, and his Stage 17 victory at the 2021 Giro d’Italia – where he placed 10th overall on general classification – completed his full set of stage wins at all three Grand Tours.

Martin also won Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2013, beating Joaquim Rodríguez and Alejandro Valverde after having to deal with a fan dressed as a panda.

He added,  ‘I feel fortunate to be deciding when I retire. I am genuinely grateful for the support of family, friends, fans and so many cycling teammates and colleagues who have supported me throughout my career.

‘What next? I will always be a cyclist; I won’t hang up my wheels, just my race number. During the last few off-seasons and when I’ve had time outside of training and racing, I have found a new sense of purpose and fun in developing companies and working within businesses.

‘This interest led to Rubix Ventures, a company I co-founded with trusted contacts to help athletes invest in exciting growth companies.’

One of Martin's most successful seasons came in 2017 with Quick-Step Floors. He placed second at both Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne behind Alejandro Valverde while finishing third at Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné. Despite fracturing his back at the Tour de France during a crash with Richie Porte, he carried on to finish an impressive sixth overall.  

‘I’m also looking forward to being more present as a father and husband at home and doing some simple things that are not compatible with the requirements of a cycling career, like going for a run with my wife,’ he said.

‘With the finish line in view, I’ve dug into training over the last few weeks and am looking forward to having an impact in my final few races and hopefully ending this period of my life in style.’

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