Andreas Klöden retires from cycling

German calls time on controversial career

Andreas Klöden has retired from professional cycling, bringing down the curtain on a career dating back to the 1990s. The 38-year-old German told Weser Kurier that he had failed to secure a contract for 2014 after serving out the last year with RadioShack Leopard. Klöden finished second in the Tour de France on two occasions.

Klöden started his career in 1998 with Team Deutsche Telekom where he was reunited with his close friend Jan Ullrich. The two Germans met at the Berlin cycling club years earlier.

He stayed with the German team, later T-Mobile, for nine seasons before moving to Astana in 2007.

It was with T-Mobile that Klöden enjoyed his biggest successes in the Tour de France.

He finished second in 2004 behind Lance Armstrong. In 2006 Klöden was on the podium in Paris again with Floyd Landis and Óscar Pereiro. After Landis was stripped of his title Klöden was promoted to second place.

His most successful year was 2000 when he won both Paris-Nice and the Tour of the Basque Country. Klöden also finished third in the Sydney Olympic Games road race, behind Jan Ulrich and Alexandre Vinokourov. In 2007 he won Tirreno Adriatico for T-Mobile.

Despite being second in the overall of the Tour de France twice, and finishing 5th in the 2009 Tour de France, Klöden never managed to win an individual stage in the race. His only stage victory came on the 4th stage in the 2009 Tour de France as part of Astana in the team time trial in Montpellier.

After three seasons with Astana, Klöden moved to Radioshack where he spent the last four years of his career. His last victory came in 2011 when he won the first stage of the Giro del Trentino. His last overall victory was the Tour of the Basque Country that same year.

Despite several allegations with regards to doping, Klöden never tested positive. However he was heavily linked and named in the Freibourg investigation. An independent commission concluded that Klöden had travelled to Freibourg University after stage one of the 2006 Tour de France to undergo a transfusion of his own blood. Patrick Sinkewitz also testified that Klöden had been there with him but Klöden denied all allegations.

He later agreed to pay a fine of 25,000 Euro in order to call an end to the investigation into his involvement.

The new Trek Factory Team didn’t include the German veteran in its roster for 2014. Reportedly, there were negotiations with Swiss Procontintal team IAM cycling but there never was a deal.

 

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