Petr Benčík (Whirlpool-Author) has decided to hang up the bike before riding a single event in 2012, the Czech announced in a Prague press conference that he felt the time was right to move on to other opportunities.
Benčík is the reigning Czech national champion and has been one of the leaders of the Czech cycling community for over 10 years. Last year he took out arguably the biggest win of his career with the overall victory at the 2.2 rated Tour of Northern Austria, but an offer to take up a corporate role with Colnago prompted him to think about life after the bike.
Whirlpool-Author, who Benčík had initially committed to riding with this year are currently considering whether to replace the 36-year-old in their roster for 2012.
"By mutual agreement we decided to end things, and allow me to have a chance at new life outside of riding," said Benčík.
"I would've like to continue, but my body was telling me otherwise, and then there was the financial consideration. The average football player has X times the salary of a top cyclist. I have not a dime of savings in the account - and if I ever had a month break, I would be broke. It was time to do something else."