Ljungqvist to retire, rejects contract offers from Armstrong, Riis

Paris-Tours classic will be Swede's last race

Swede Marcus Ljungqvist, 34, will retire after tomorrow's Paris-Tours race. He refused contract offers with Lance Armstrong's and Bjarne Riis' teams, according to Dalarnas Tidningar.

Retirement "had been in the air for a long time," he said. "I feel it is time for something else. It has not been an easy decision because I still feel I have more to give."

Ljungqvist finished 87th in last year's Paris-Tours and will work to help support Saxo Bank teammate and sprinter Juan José Haedo tomorrow. The 230-kilometre Paris-Tours will end 12 years of professional cycling for Ljungqvist.

He has planned his future, but declined to reveal the details. "I can not explain now, but I can say that I will remain in the sport of cycling."

Ljungqvist's most successful year was 2002, he won a stage and overall of the Tour de Luxembourg, Paris-Camembert and Route Adélie. He is a three-time national road champion (1996, 2001 and 2009).

He raced the last four years with Riis' Danish team, CSC and Saxo Bank. Teams: Cantina Tollo (1998-1999), Fakta (2000-2002), Alessio-Bianchi (2003-2004), Liquigas-Bianchi (2005), Team CSC (2006-2008) and Saxo Bank (2009)

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