Geert Verheyen is putting an end to his 18-year professional career, another rider who was unable to get a new contract for the coming year. Verheyen had ridden for many Belgian teams during his long career.
His wins over the years include the Luk Cup (2001), stages in the Route du Sud (1999) and the Circuit Franco-Belge (2002), and the Belgian national road title in 2004.
Verheyen, 38, turned pro in 1994 with Vlaanderen 2002-Eddy Merckx. He also rode for Lotto, Rabobank, Marlux-Wincor-Nixdorf, Chocolade Jacques, Landbouwkrediet, Quick Step, and Mitsubishi-Jatarzi before returning to Landbouwkrediet, where he has ridden since 2009.
According to his website, he was only informed in October that his contract with Landbouwkrediet would not be renewed, although team management had earlier told him otherwise. He contacted other teams but was unable to find anything.
“These are difficult moments for Geert. Mentally he was not ready to quit. He closed this chapter rather differently. Who knows, perhaps we will see him sometimes reappear in a different job in the cycling peloton,” wrote his webmaster.
Verheyen was cleared of doping charges in 2005 after testing positive at the Ster Elektrotour for an allergy product. The team doctor had failed to tell the UCI of its use. A two-year ban had been sought, but the Belgian federation instead dismissed the charges.