Stef Clement has decided to retire from the pro peloton, and will take up a new role with Team Jumbo-Visma next season, the team has announced.
The 36-year-old turned pro with the Van Hemert Groep – a Dutch Continental-level team – in 2003, and has since ridden for Bouygues Telecom, Rabobank, Belkin and IAM Cycling, and, since 2017, for LottoNL-Jumbo, as the team was called this season.
While the Dutch squad changes name to Team Jumbo-Visma for 2019, Clement has decided that he won't be continuing with the team – as a rider, at least. Instead, he has been offered a new role as a member of the team's staff, in which Clement will "among other things, focus on nutrition and promotion", according to a press release.
"It's not the way I wanted to finish my career," Clement said, with the reason for his retirement being put down to "physical problems".
"For 15 years it has been my passion, hobby and work. I look back with pride, and I achieved more than I ever thought possible."
The Dutch time trial specialist's last race was the Tour de Romandie in April, where he finished 63rd overall, while his LottoNL-Jumbo teammate, Primoz Roglic, took two stage wins and the overall victory.
Clement's results include stage wins at the 2009 Critérium du Dauphiné and the 2014 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, and four national time trial championship titles. He also took bronze in the time trial at the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, behind winner Fabian Cancellara and Laszlo Bodrogi.
"If you're not sure whether a comeback is a sensible option, you start looking at alternatives," he continued. "After the team offered me this position, this seemed the sensible thing to do. I am grateful to the team for this opportunity and I look forward to taking a new direction."
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