Team CSC's Ivan Basso and Jens Voigt are done racing for this year and can look forward to a break before starting training again ahead of next season.
"It has been the plan all along, that if Ivan wasn't able to sit up front in the last big races - especially Tour of Lombardy - there was no point in continuing," said team manager Bjarne Riis on team-csc.com. "He's had a long tough season and he has really made some great results. He deserves great respect for attempting to do well at the very end of the season. This is solely thanks to his professional attitude towards his work. Not many riders are capable of going fast more or less from the beginning of the season as well as in the Giro and the Tour, and then at the same time having ambitions about winning the last race of the year. He has fought hard to stay in shape after a brilliant summer, but now we've made the decision together for him to call it a day for 2005. He needs a good break so he can start again, feeling refreshed and ready for the year ahead.
"The same goes for Jens. He has been full steam ahead right from the beginning of the year and he's starting to get tired now. The idea was for him to finish the season after Paris-Tours this week, but now we've come to the conclusion that he's done all he can for this year. He's had yet another great season with us, and there's no reason to wear him down completely. Just as Ivan, he's been one of the main profiles on the team, and he definitely deserves a break."
Basso agreed, having finished 2005 with a second overall in the Tour de France, two stage wins in the Giro d'Italia, and total domination in the Tour of Denmark (four out of five stages plus overall victory). "It has been a long and fantastic season for me, and I can feel that Bjarne and I have made the right choice with me finishing now," he said. "2005 has been my best season ever as a professional rider, and I have a lot of great moments to look back on along with the team. After such a brilliant season it's good to withdraw and be able to reflect and analyse everything. For me it's also about finally having time with my family, because I haven't seen much of them through the summer. I'm looking forward to being at home more, and then slowly starting to look towards next year."
Jens Voigt won eight races this year and also wore the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. The powerful German also finished with 25 top-10 spots in 2005, with second place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège as his best placing.
"After my illness during the Tour I haven't felt completely on top, even though I did manage to ride quite fast in August," said Voigt. "I can feel that I'm spent, and luckily I can look back on a great season for the team and for me also. I think it's the best thing for me to start my break now. As a rider I'm probably the 'All or Nothing Type', and when my body is telling me, it's got no more to give, then it's got a point."