Dockx announces retirement at 28

Belgian rider Gert Dockx has confirmed that he will retire from professional racing at the age of 28. Dockx, who raced with Lotto-Soudal this season, made the announcement in a post on his personal website.

Dockx turned professional with Columbia-High Road in 2009, after a spell as a stagiaire, and spent two seasons with the squad. He joined Omega Pharma-Lotto in 2011.

His first and only professional victories came in 2013 when he claimed two stages of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo. After starting his season at the Tour Down Under, his season was almost derailed following a collision with a car while training with teammate Thomas De Gendt. Fortunately, he escaped with some bruising to his leg and missed just one race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

In the post on his website, Dockx didn't go into the exact reasons for his retirement but thanked everybody involved in his career and said that he is still deciding on his next step.

"After eight years at the professional level, the end has now come. Eight years that I cherish and despite some setbacks, some beautiful memories prevail," he wrote.

"I would like to give a word of thanks to the teams for which I rode, with Team Columbia - HTC, Team HTC - Columbia, Omega Pharma Lotto, Lotto-Belisol Team and Lotto-Soudal. I owe them after all, and I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given.

"Cycling is not only about the teams, but, especially, the people who day in and day out make sure things are ready for you; team leaders, caretakers, mechanics, medical staff, and so on. I would also like to emphasize here that I have always had a lot of respect for the people in the youth categories who have sacrificed so much of their free time. Without them, the youth could not grow up to a professional level.

"About my future, I can still say that nothing is concrete. I'm still working on what path I want to go take. My final thanks go to my fans, supporters clubs, family and my girlfriend. It is a nice feeling when you know that there are people behind you. A big thank you."

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