Frank Schleck announces retirement

The 2016 season will be Fränk Schleck's last as a professional rider with the Luxembourger announcing the decision during a pre-Olympic Games road race press conference. The Trek-Segafredo rider turned professional in 2003 with CSC with career highlights including the 2006 Amstel Gold Race title, overall wins at the Tour de Suisse, Tour de Luxembourg, and Critérium International, and third place overall at the 2011 Tour de France.

"There is never an easy way to stop doing something you love to do, but I've always wanted to retire at a level where I was still competitive and fit," Schleck said ahead of his third Olympic Games appearance. "I'm really proud of having spent a large part of my life riding my bike for a living and, above all, I'm extremely thankful for the friends I have made along the way."

Schleck added that that retiring will allow him to enjoy more family time.

"The memories of the victories and the great times I have experienced in some amazing teams will stay with me forever," he said. "I will always be a bike rider, but leaving the professional side of things will allow me to spend more time with my family and to see my two kids grow up. I have mellowed over the years, and my family and kids became more and more important to me."

Schleck broke his collarbone at Fleche Wallonne in April but recovered in time to make Trek-Segafredo's Tour de France team. The 36-year-old finished in 34th place in what will be his ninth and final appearance at the French grand tour.

Reflecting on his career, Schleck explained his third place overall at the 2011 Tour, with brother Andy in second place, will remain a highlight of his career.

"I could mention a lot of moments that have stood out for me, but finishing on the podium of the Tour de France has to be my proudest moment as a bike rider - that memory will never be far away," said Schleck, whose last win came on stage 16 of the 2015 Vuelta a Espana. "But, to be fair, right now I don't want to become too nostalgic because the season is still long and I really want to give 100% to the team until the very end of it. I would love to get a victory in the coming months; that would be a dream, the perfect scenario, really."

Trek-Segafredo general manager Luca Guercilena paid tribute to Schleck for his contributions to the team and wished him well for future endeavours.

"I wish Fränk all the best in his new life; he has been a central part of our organization over the years, and he will be greatly missed. He's an intelligent rider able to finalize in the race the hard work done in training and has been a great leader," Guercilena said. "Fränk has many incredible results in his career, and I'm sure he will obtain some more in the new life that awaits him."

Schleck is yet to announce his final racing programme as a professional with Trek-Segafredo.

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