Team Columbia-Highroad rider Chantal Beltman has announced her decision to retire from cycling after next month’s Holland Ladies Tour. The Dutchwoman will draw her 15 year long career to a close at the September 1-6 event.
"It was not an easy decision," Beltman told wielerland.nl. "But in this post-Olympic year, it is hard for me to even be 100 per cent for sport and life every day: it’s hard to train. I can no longer participate for victory, which doesn’t give me enough satisfaction."
Despite a highly decorated career, the 32-year-old hasn’t claimed a win this season. Beltman has come close to victory in 2009, taking second at Parel van de Veluwe, third on Ster Zeeuwsche Eilanden’s Stage 3 and second in the overall classification.
The downturn in Beltman’s results follows two years with as many UCI Women’s World Cup wins. She claimed victory at Ronde van Drenthe in 2008 after taking a win at the previous year’s Open de Suede Vargarda in Sweden.
Beltman’s first professional victory was at the Ronde rond het Ronostrand in 1996 while riding for Libertas – Technogym, the team she debuted with one year earlier. Beltman spent much of her career with Rabobank and Vrienden van het Platteland before moving to T-Mobile, her current squad’s former name, in 2007.
Beltman’s younger sister Ghita was also a professional cyclist, claiming a Tour de l’Aude stage victory during her career. Ghita retired from professional cycling at the end of 2004.
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