Jesse Sergent retires from cycling

AG2R La Mondiale rider hangs up his wheels at 28

Jesse Sergent has retired from the sport at the age of 28, with his coach confirming the news. Sergent signed a two-year deal with AG2R La Mondiale at the start of the season but has opted to bring down the curtain on his professional career.

Sergent was hit by a neutral service car during the 2015 Tour of Flanders and needed several months and three operations in order to return to the sport. He signed for AG2R-La Mondiale at the start of the year, ending his long association with Trek. He targeted a place in the Tour de France at the start of the season but closed out his career at the Tour de Suisse, finishing in 108th position overall.

"It's been a tough 12 months for Jesse, with that crash he had last year, with the car hitting him," his coach, Mike McRedmond, told Stuff.co.nz.

"That was a big setback. They thought it would take six to eight weeks, but it took him three months because they ballsed up the operation."

"That put a dampener on his year and then he changed teams and going into a French-speaking team is a very hard transition."

Sergent signed for the Trek Livestrong U23 team in 2009 and rose through the ranks before turning professional with Team RadioShack in 2010.

He won a stage in the Eneco Tour in 2011, and a bronze in the 2012 London Olympic Games in the Team Pursuit. He also completed the Giro d'Italia (2012) and the Vuelta a Espana (2014). His final victory came last year in the team time trial at the Tour of Alberta.

At the start of the season Sergent expressed his excitement at joining his new French team and his hopes for the season.

"The two-year contract is a big draw compared to a one-year deal, especially with the changes possibly coming in next year for the number of riders on a team," Sergent told Cyclingnews at the Tour of Qatar in the Spring.

"I don't know if they're true or just rumours, but you do hear all these stories of teams having to get smaller, and this and that. Each year it seems tougher and tougher for getting contracts. If an accident like last year happened again it could easily be career over, so a two-year contract is a big draw."

Sergent is expected to leave his base in Europe and return home to New Zealand.

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