Zubeldia announces end to 20-year career

Spaniard will retire after Clasica San Sebastian at the end of July

Haimar Zubeldia (Trek-Segafredo) has announced his retirement after 20 seasons of racing. On the second rest day of the Tour de France, the 40-year-old confirmed that he would hang up his wheels following the Clásica San Sebastián at the end of the month.

Zubeldia has more Tour de France starts than any other Spaniard with 16 and has appeared in a total of 26 Grand Tours. He was a late addition to the Trek-Segafredo Tour squad this year after Andre Cardoso tested positive for EPO. Clasica San Sebastian has been a regular part of Zubeldia's calendar since he turned professional. His best performance was fourth place in 2010.

"After so many kilometres and pedal strokes, the moment has arrived to announce that I'm saying goodbye to cycling at the Clásica San Sebastián," Zubeldia said in a press conference at his team's hotel in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. "At 20 years old, with Euskaltel, I arrived in the peloton of Pantani, Zulle, Olano and Jalabert, full of hopes and dreams.

"There have been 20 years of magical moments with, among others, Ullrich, Basso, Armstrong and Beloki. Twenty years later, I'll pin on my final dossard in the peloton of Froome and Contador. It has been a privilege to share this profession and passion with those great cyclists."

Zubeldia turned professional in 1998 with the Basque Euskaltel squad and has since ridden for Astana and then RadioShack-Nissan (now Trek-Segafredo).

"Euskaltel, Astana and Trek have been my family, and they've given me unforgettable experiences, all with the warmth of the fans at every turn," said Zubeldia. "To all those who've supported me over the years, to my parents and my family, thank you for making this happen. Twenty years of few words but many emotions. I've been very happy but now I'm keen to open the door to other dreams."

Clasica San Sebastian will take place on July 29, one week after the Tour de France.

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