German ends 17-year career
After months of speculation Andreas Klier has retired as a professional cyclist and become a team director with Garmin Sharp. The move brings to an end Klier's 17-year-long racing career.
"I had the honor of spending many years in the saddle and I have decided that now it is time for me to stop racing and to start a new role," said Klier. "In my mind and my heart I know this is the right decision for me, and I have been given the opportunity to move into a director role at Garmin Sharp. So now, I will stop racing with a big smile in my face and a lot of wonderful moments in my mind and look forward to the future."
Klier forged a career as one of the most respected Classics riders of his generation and in the latter phase of his career became an integral part of Garmin's Classics line up. Earlier in his career he was able capable of competing for some of the biggest one day races in the calendar, wining Gent-Wevelgem in 2003 and finishing second behind Tom Boonen at the 2005 Tour of Flanders. He also won a stage at the Vuelta in 2007.
He turned professional with Nurnberger in 1996 before moving to TVM - Farm Frites in 1999. Team Telekom then signed him in 2001, and he spent the next part of his career with the team as they evolved into Highroad. A move to the Cervelo TestTeam followed before his arrival at Garmin in 2011.
"I had wonderful years as a professional. Together with my teammates, we won races, we lost races but above all we were always a team and we share memories that will last a life time. These are the moments I will never forget," continued Klier.
"For me it is a new way of looking at the world of pro cycling. I have to start at Zero. I have to learn all the basics first; the A-B-C's of the director world. For the last 17 years, my race number has always been laid on my bed in my hotel room and I have never really known where it came from. The questions I had to answer at night were simply: 'Andreas, can you please do the lead out to the Taaienberg?' I'd answer 'yes, no problem,' and go to bed. But if you ask me today to go and get the numbers for the riders, I probably couldn't sleep all night. I have a lot to learn and therefore I am happy that I am allowed to do so in such a healthy environment. I am very thankful for that."
Klier first moves as a director come on Monday, at the Giro d'Italia. He will travel to the race and join up with the team to start learning the ropes.
"Andreas has had an outstanding career and we are honored that he spent his last two years as a rider with us," said Garmins' Jonathan Vaughters. "He is a natural leader with a wealth of experience and knowledge that has been a huge benefit to the team since he joined. He will take that as he moves into his director role. We congratulate him on a fantastic racing career and together with the riders, look forward to working with him in his new capacity - off the bike."