Controversial rider calls it a day

Olympic road race champion Alexandre Vinokourov has announced his retirement from cycling with immediate effect.

The Kazakh initially said he would quit the sport at the end of the season, but he confirmed after the Clasica San Sebastián that it was his last competitive race.

“I am very happy because I rode my last race in San Sebastián and Spain. I tried to do it well and be competitive,” he told Spanish website Biciciclismo. “I wanted to [perform], and my team as well. However, my legs were not like those of the Olympic Games.”

He added: “I am aware that I am going to leave cycling. It hasn’t sunk in yet. It is difficult for me. But being 39 years old in September, I knew that I had to stop. At least I’ve been able to go leave by the front door and am satisfied with it.

“After tomorrow I return to my country and the president greets all the [Olympic] medallists. Also, I will be meeting with the [cycling] federation to speak about my future and talk about ideas. I’ll have a special place in the team, so we will see.”

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