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Adam Blythe announces retirement

Adam Blythe during his final season as a pro rider
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Former British national road race champion Adam Blythe has announced his retirement from professional cycling at the age of, 30. Blythe spent his final season in 2019 with Lotto Soudal.

"Its time for me to hang up my wheels as a professional bike racer," Blythe wrote on his Instagram page.

"The bike has been everything to me from a young age. From racing around the country with my mates who I could still race with now, to riding Grand Tours and winning my home Classic race, Ride London. I have grown up in the sport and it has been some journey to get me to where I am today. I have a lot of stories, and an awful lot of good memories."

Blythe came through the ranks at the British Cycling Academy but struggled with the regimental nature of the organisation and, with the help of the Dave Rayner Fund, moved to Belgium to chase his dream of becoming an elite cyclist.

Marc Sergeant's Omega Pharma-Lotto squad picked Blythe up, first as stagiaire and then on a two-year contract, with the British rider making an immediate impact both on and off the bike. He brought a strong lead-out to the road and a strong personality to the dinner table, quickly establishing himself as one of Philippe Gilbert's most trusted riders in the spring Classics.

In 2012, Blythe followed Gilbert to BMC Racing but the British rider struggled on the team and left before his contract expired. He regrouped and returned to the UK to ride domestically for NFTO, with whom he won the Ride London Classic in 2014. That sparked a return to the WorldTour with Orica-GreenEdge, where he linked up with Caleb Ewan for the first time.

However, Blythe was on the move again after just one year with the Australian team, heading to Tinkoff for 2016. Despite winning the national road title in 2016, Blythe found himself looking for another team after the squad disbanded at the end of the year and was picked up by Aqua Blue Sport – a then emerging Pro Continental team.

Blythe more than held his own in the elite races he took part in during his time on the Irish team but, when the sponsor pulled the plug during the 2018 season he was facing retirement.

His relationship with Ewan had remained in good health and the Australian helped to secure Blythe a year on Lotto Soudal but, with just 33 days of racing this year, and Blythe's growing commitments in the media – he is a part-time pundit for Eurosport – the rider felt it was the right time to step away.

"I have seen the sport change a lot over the past decade, with the sacrifices getting greater and greater for a pro to keep competing at the top level," he said. "With this in mind, the time is now right for me to step away from racing, spend more time with my beautiful Mrs and three beautiful children, while focusing on what else I can do in the sport.

"I love cycling, and can't imagine not being a part of the sport in some way, so I look forward to exploring whatever new opportunities come my way to keep me working in the sport, and with the people I love. See you all soon."