Cancellara announces he will retire after 2016 season

Swiss rider to skip Olympics in 16th and final year as a professional

The 2016 season will be the final year of Fabian Cancellara's career as a professional cyclist, the Trek rider announced at the annual Swiss cycling awards. The 34-year-old had an injury-interrupted season, including fractured vertebrae from an E3 Harelbeke crash that saw him miss the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. A crash at the Tour de France while wearing the yellow jersey saw Cancellara fracture vertebrae a second time, with illness then ruling him out of the World Championships in Richmond.

"2016 will be my last season. It is the right time," Cancellara was reported as telling SRF at the awards ceremony. "Now I'm ready for something else. Cycling is not my whole life, cycling is just part of my life."

Turning professional with Mapei in 2001, Cancellara went on to ride for Fassa Bortolo, CSC, Saxo Bank and the Leopard Trek team that merged with RadioShack and became Trek Factory Racing.

The 2008 Olympic time trial gold medalist, who has also won four world titles against the clock, announced he won't be taking part in the Rio Olympic Games in August.

Cancellara will have one final opportunity to add to his haul of seven monument victories, which includes Milan-San Remo and three editions each of the Tour of Flanders and Paris–Roubaix. From 2011 to 2014, Cancellara finished on the podium in all 12 monuments that he finished, with the 2012 Tour of Flanders the exception when he crashed out of the race with a broken collarbone.

The Swiss rider has also won eight stages of the Tour de France and worn the yellow jersey on 29 occasions, won three stages of the Vuelta a España, and took overall victories at Tirreno–Adriatico, Tour de Suisse, Danmark Rundt and Tour of Oman.

Let us know your favourite moment from Cancellara's career in the comments section below.  

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