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Brunel ends his career with UAE Team Emirates at 23

Alexys Brunel
Alexys Brunel (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

UAE Team Emirates announced on Wednesday that their 23-year-old French rider Alexys Brunel has decided to terminate his contract early and quit professional road cycling.

Brunel also made an announcement on his Instagram page, writing, "After a long reflection and multiple questions, it is time for me to announce that I am retiring from the world of professional [cycling]." He ended the post stating, "We meet again for new adventures with this weekend my participation in the Ironman 70.3 in Nice."

"I'd like to thank everyone at UAE Team Emirates for the opportunities and support they have given me. It's been a pleasure to be part of this great team but it's now time for me to turn a new page and to focus on new challenges and experiences in my life."

In the press release, team manager Mauro Gianetti said, "We still believe that Alexys has huge potential and we saw glimpses of that already in the first part of this season. But we are talking about human being and not just a bike racer and we fully accept his decision to stop his career as a professional cyclist. We wish Alexys all the best in his future endeavours."

Brunel joins the ranks of riders to quit the high-pressure environment of the WorldTour for a simpler life, most notably Tom Dumoulin, who retired, returned, but now plans to go back into retirement at the end of this season after having an unsatisfactory comeback.

Brunel started his career with Groupama-FDJ's development programme and raced with the French WorldTeam in 2020 and 2021 before transferring to UAE Team Emirates this season.

His only professional win was stage 1 of the 2020 Etoile de Bessèges.

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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.