Mauricio Soler has announced his retirement from cycling. The news comes just over 12 months after he was airlifted from the Tour de Suisse, just days after the Colombian took the stage victory on Crans-Montana, which he dedicated to his fallen Movistar teammate Xavier Tondo, who died in a freak accident at his home in Spain.
Soler fractured his skull after colliding with a spectator in the sixth stage of the 2011 Tour de Suisse. He was placed in an induced coma, and in July was moved to a hospital in Pamplona, before returning home to Colombia in December of last year. He has endured months of physical therapy in a bid to return to normality.
"On the recommendation of my neurologist and medical advisers it is believed that I will not be able to return to peak physical condition needed in my sport, cycling, and for that reason I will no longer compete," he told Colombian television network Señal Colombia.
Soler's victory in Switzerland in June of last year was his first since the Vuelta a Burgos in 2007, just a few weeks after he won a stage at the Tour de France and secured overall victory in the mountains classification under the banner of the Barloworld team. He had since struggled through injury and visa problems also often disrupted his race program.
His aim now, is to make the most of what he has.
"Thanks to God, and to my family, starting with my wife and the Colombians, and also Señal Colombia, my life is good and I will keep working with physicians to have a good quality of life."