Jumbo-Visma's Daan Olivier forced into retirement due to knee injury

26-year-old Dutch rider has struggled since US training crash a year ago

Jumbo-Visma's Daan Olivier has been forced to retire from racing at the age of just 26 due to a knee injury sustained in a training crash in Colorado, USA, in May 2018.

The Dutch rider returned to racing last season, and has ridden both the Ruta del Sol and the Tour of the Basque Country this year, but after struggling at his first race and then being forced to dismount and walk on a climb during the opening time-trial stage of the Basque stage race – and then getting dropped a few days later and having to abandon the race – Olivier has now had to admit that his pro career is over.

"The team took care of me and my injury very well, and gave me the opportunity each day to pull out of the race, but I wanted to fight till the bitter end," Olivier wrote in a blog.

"Now I have come to a point of realisation that the past couple of months I have been fighting a losing battle. The injury got worse and I'm not feeling rewarded for all the effort I've put in.

"Cycling has brought me a lot: I've done some of the coolest races, have been privileged to work with some of the most professional and determined people, have been a part of an ever-growing Team Jumbo-Visma, and I've been to places all around the world. Those experiences are something I'll never forget, and I'm more than grateful that I have been privileged to live this life for almost 11 years," he wrote.

Olivier turned professional with WorldTour team Giant-Shimano (now Team Sunweb) in 2014, having spent three years with the Rabobank Continental Team. However, he quit cycling in 2015 to start studying for a degree, before deciding to return to racing in 2016, joining what was then LottoNL-Jumbo for the 2017 season, where he has remained since.

"I would like to thank the staff and riders from Team Jumbo-Visma for all their support. This situation is not good for either of us, but they have always helped me and supported me. They have given me help and the time to recover," said Olivier.

"Realising myself that I am currently missing the right tools to be a professional cyclist is hard, but life doesn't end. There is so much more than just cycling. I am going to set new goals for myself, like getting a degree in my new study, Management of Social Challenges. But first, I'm going to take some time off to travel, in order to make myself ready for a fresh start."

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