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Gallery: Riders who retired in 2013

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Juan Antonio Flecha was a perennial in the cobbled Classics. The Spaniard is pictured in action on Muur during the Tour of Flanders

Juan Antonio Flecha was a perennial in the cobbled Classics. The Spaniard is pictured in action on Muur during the Tour of Flanders (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A beaming Nicole Cooke and her Olympic Games gold medal

A beaming Nicole Cooke and her Olympic Games gold medal (Image credit: AFP)
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David Zabriskie en route to a bronze medal at the 2008 time trial world championship (won by Bert Grabsch)

David Zabriskie en route to a bronze medal at the 2008 time trial world championship (won by Bert Grabsch) (Image credit: AFP)
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Captain America David Zabriskie in action during a time trial at the 2012 Tour de France

Captain America David Zabriskie in action during a time trial at the 2012 Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A mustachioed David Zabriskie rides along side teammate a maglia rosa-clad Christian Vande Velde at the 2008 Giro d'Italia

A mustachioed David Zabriskie rides along side teammate a maglia rosa-clad Christian Vande Velde at the 2008 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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David Zabriskie won the prologue and earned the leader's jersey at the 2012 Tour de Langkawi

David Zabriskie won the prologue and earned the leader's jersey at the 2012 Tour de Langkawi (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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David Zabriskie, in the leader's yellow jersey at the 2005 Tour de France, has a chat with compatriot Floyd Landis

David Zabriskie, in the leader's yellow jersey at the 2005 Tour de France, has a chat with compatriot Floyd Landis (Image credit: AFP)
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The one and only David Zabriskie

The one and only David Zabriskie (Image credit: AFP)
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David Veilleux amidst family and friends following Friday's Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec

David Veilleux amidst family and friends following Friday's Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (Image credit: Peter Hymas)
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Marco Pinotti won the general classification at the 2008 Tour of Ireland

Marco Pinotti won the general classification at the 2008 Tour of Ireland (Image credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE)
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Stuart O'Grady, resplendent in the yellow jersey at the 1998 Tour de France, shares a moment with fellow Aussie Neil Stephens.

Stuart O'Grady, resplendent in the yellow jersey at the 1998 Tour de France, shares a moment with fellow Aussie Neil Stephens. (Image credit: AFP)
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Stuart O'Grady was also a force to be reckoned with on the track. Here O'Grady, left, partnered with Graeme Brown to win the gold medal in the 2004 Olympic Games Madison event.

Stuart O'Grady was also a force to be reckoned with on the track. Here O'Grady, left, partnered with Graeme Brown to win the gold medal in the 2004 Olympic Games Madison event. (Image credit: AFP)
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Stuart O'Grady wins stage 5 of the 2004 Tour de France

Stuart O'Grady wins stage 5 of the 2004 Tour de France (Image credit: AFP)
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Stuart O'Grady in his Australian road champion's kit at the 2003 Tour de France

Stuart O'Grady in his Australian road champion's kit at the 2003 Tour de France (Image credit: AFP)
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Stuart O'Grady en route to a solo victory at the 2007 Paris-Roubaix

Stuart O'Grady en route to a solo victory at the 2007 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: AFP)
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Stuart O'Grady in the leader's yellow jersey at the 2001 Tour de France

Stuart O'Grady in the leader's yellow jersey at the 2001 Tour de France (Image credit: AFP)
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Credit Agricole won the team time trial stage at the 2001 Tour de France with Stuart O'Grady resplendent in the yellow jersey

Credit Agricole won the team time trial stage at the 2001 Tour de France with Stuart O'Grady resplendent in the yellow jersey (Image credit: AFP)
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Stuart O'Grady, left, wins stage 14 of the 1998 Tour de France ahead of Giuseppe Calcaterra

Stuart O'Grady, left, wins stage 14 of the 1998 Tour de France ahead of Giuseppe Calcaterra (Image credit: AFP)
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Stuart O'Grady rode his final Tour de France in 2013 as part of the Australian WorldTour squad Orica-GreenEdge. O'Grady sets tempo at the head of the peloton while compatriot Simon Gerrans holds the yellow jersey

Stuart O'Grady rode his final Tour de France in 2013 as part of the Australian WorldTour squad Orica-GreenEdge. O'Grady sets tempo at the head of the peloton while compatriot Simon Gerrans holds the yellow jersey (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Denis Menchov won the 2004 edition of the Tour of the Basque country ahead of Iban Mayo, left, and David Etxebarria, right

Denis Menchov won the 2004 edition of the Tour of the Basque country ahead of Iban Mayo, left, and David Etxebarria, right (Image credit: AFP)
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Denis Menchov won the best young rider's classification at the 2003 Tour de France and is on the podium to receive his final white jersey

Denis Menchov won the best young rider's classification at the 2003 Tour de France and is on the podium to receive his final white jersey (Image credit: AFP)
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Denis Menchov won the 2007 Vuelta a Espana and is joined on the final podium by runner-up Carlos Sastre, left, and third-placed Samuel Sanchez, right

Denis Menchov won the 2007 Vuelta a Espana and is joined on the final podium by runner-up Carlos Sastre, left, and third-placed Samuel Sanchez, right (Image credit: AFP)
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Denis Menchov wins stage 2 of the 2002 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré on top of Mont Ventoux

Denis Menchov wins stage 2 of the 2002 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré on top of Mont Ventoux (Image credit: AFP)
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Denis Menchov finished the 2005 Vuelta a Espana in 2nd place but was named the winner after Roberto Heras was stripped of his title due to a doping violation

Denis Menchov finished the 2005 Vuelta a Espana in 2nd place but was named the winner after Roberto Heras was stripped of his title due to a doping violation (Image credit: AFP)
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The final victory of Denis Menchov's career took place in stage 20 of the 2012 Vuelta a Espana

The final victory of Denis Menchov's career took place in stage 20 of the 2012 Vuelta a Espana (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Denis Menchov, right, on the 2010 final Tour de France podium with Andy Schleck, left, and Alberto Contador. After Contador was stripped of his title due to doping, Menchov would move up to 2nd overall on GC.

Denis Menchov, right, on the 2010 final Tour de France podium with Andy Schleck, left, and Alberto Contador. After Contador was stripped of his title due to doping, Menchov would move up to 2nd overall on GC. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marco Pinotti was a six-time Italian time trial champion during his professional career

Marco Pinotti was a six-time Italian time trial champion during his professional career (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marco Pinotti won stage 5 in a heavy downpour at the 2009 Tour of the Basque Country

Marco Pinotti won stage 5 in a heavy downpour at the 2009 Tour of the Basque Country (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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In 2013 David Veilleux fulfilled a dream of competing at and finishing the Tour de France. Here he leads the early breakaway during stage 2

In 2013 David Veilleux fulfilled a dream of competing at and finishing the Tour de France. Here he leads the early breakaway during stage 2 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A beaming David Veilleux (Europcar) in the leader's jersey at the 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné

A beaming David Veilleux (Europcar) in the leader's jersey at the 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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David Veilleux (Europcar) earned the biggest victory of his career as he soloed away to win the opening stage of the 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné

David Veilleux (Europcar) earned the biggest victory of his career as he soloed away to win the opening stage of the 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Christian Vande Velde is all smiles as he wears the maglia rosa during stage 2 at the 2008 Giro d'italia

Christian Vande Velde is all smiles as he wears the maglia rosa during stage 2 at the 2008 Giro d'italia (Image credit: Sirotti)
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A career highlight for Christian Vande Velde was earning the maglia rosa after his team prevailed in the opening stage team time trial at the 2008 Giro d'Italia

A career highlight for Christian Vande Velde was earning the maglia rosa after his team prevailed in the opening stage team time trial at the 2008 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) soloed to victory in stage 4 of the 2009 Paris-Nice

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) soloed to victory in stage 4 of the 2009 Paris-Nice (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Christian Vande Velde in action during stage 9 the 2008 Tour de France where he would ultimately place a career best 4th overall

Christian Vande Velde in action during stage 9 the 2008 Tour de France where he would ultimately place a career best 4th overall (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Christian Vande Velde has a strong track background and is pictured here in the individual pursuit at the 2000 Olympic Games

Christian Vande Velde has a strong track background and is pictured here in the individual pursuit at the 2000 Olympic Games (Image credit: AFP)
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Stage 15 of the 2012 Tour de France came down to a two-man duel between Christian Vande Velde and Pierrick Fedrigo, with the Frenchman coming out on top for the win.

Stage 15 of the 2012 Tour de France came down to a two-man duel between Christian Vande Velde and Pierrick Fedrigo, with the Frenchman coming out on top for the win. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Christian Vande Velde was part of the Garmin team which won the stage 2 team time trial at the 2011 Tour de France which put teammate Thor Hushovd into the yellow jersey

Christian Vande Velde was part of the Garmin team which won the stage 2 team time trial at the 2011 Tour de France which put teammate Thor Hushovd into the yellow jersey (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Christian Vande Velde won the 2012 USA Pro Challenge general classification, the final victory of the American's career.

Christian Vande Velde won the 2012 USA Pro Challenge general classification, the final victory of the American's career. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Ina-Yoko Teutenberg was a five-time winner of Philadelphia's Liberty Classic. She's pictured his at the 2012 edition where she outsprinted world champion Giorgia Bronzini and Rochelle Gilmore for the victory

Ina-Yoko Teutenberg was a five-time winner of Philadelphia's Liberty Classic. She's pictured his at the 2012 edition where she outsprinted world champion Giorgia Bronzini and Rochelle Gilmore for the victory (Image credit: Marco Quezada/nyvelocity.com)
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Ina-Yoko Teutenberg won the bronze medal at the 2011 road race world championship behind winner Giorgia Bronzini and runner-up Marianne Vos

Ina-Yoko Teutenberg won the bronze medal at the 2011 road race world championship behind winner Giorgia Bronzini and runner-up Marianne Vos (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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In a driving rainstorm, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg takes the field sprint for 4th place at the 2012 Olympic Games road race in London

In a driving rainstorm, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg takes the field sprint for 4th place at the 2012 Olympic Games road race in London (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Ina-Yoko Teutenberg was prolific winner throughout her career. Here the German championi wins stage 3 of the 2012 Energiewacht Tour

Ina-Yoko Teutenberg was prolific winner throughout her career. Here the German championi wins stage 3 of the 2012 Energiewacht Tour (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marco Pinotti (BMC) won the final stage time trial at the 2012 Giro d'Italia

Marco Pinotti (BMC) won the final stage time trial at the 2012 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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It doesn't get much better than this for an Italian pro cyclist. Marco Pinotti earned the Giro d'Italia leader's jersey after his team prevailed in the opening stage team trial at the 2011 edition of the Italian Grand Tour

It doesn't get much better than this for an Italian pro cyclist. Marco Pinotti earned the Giro d'Italia leader's jersey after his team prevailed in the opening stage team trial at the 2011 edition of the Italian Grand Tour (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2009 Giro d'Italia champion Denis Menchov

2009 Giro d'Italia champion Denis Menchov (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Denis Menchov suffered a dramatic crash in the 2009 Giro's final stage time trial, but thanks to a very quick bike change the Russian successfully defended the pink jersey

Denis Menchov suffered a dramatic crash in the 2009 Giro's final stage time trial, but thanks to a very quick bike change the Russian successfully defended the pink jersey (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Juan Antonio Flecha pushes the pace in the 2005 Paris-Roubaix ahead of eventual winner Tom Boonen and runner-up George Hincapie. Flecha placed third that year and would finish on the Paris-Roubaix podium three times

Juan Antonio Flecha pushes the pace in the 2005 Paris-Roubaix ahead of eventual winner Tom Boonen and runner-up George Hincapie. Flecha placed third that year and would finish on the Paris-Roubaix podium three times (Image credit: AFP)
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While Johnny Hoogerland is remembered for landing on the barbed-wire fence after being taken out by a media car at the 2011 Tour de France, Juan Antonio Flecha also crashed heavily in that incident during stage 9

While Johnny Hoogerland is remembered for landing on the barbed-wire fence after being taken out by a media car at the 2011 Tour de France, Juan Antonio Flecha also crashed heavily in that incident during stage 9 (Image credit: AFP)
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Juan Antonio Flecha and his famous finish line salute as he won stage 11 of the 2003 Tour de France

Juan Antonio Flecha and his famous finish line salute as he won stage 11 of the 2003 Tour de France (Image credit: AFP)
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World Cup leader Nicole Cooke triumphed in the 2007 Tour of Flanders

World Cup leader Nicole Cooke triumphed in the 2007 Tour of Flanders (Image credit: CJ Farquharson / WomensCycling.net )
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2008 Olympic Games road race podium (L-R): Emma Johansson, Nicolel Cooke and Tatiana Guderzo

2008 Olympic Games road race podium (L-R): Emma Johansson, Nicolel Cooke and Tatiana Guderzo (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Nicole Cooke outsprinted Marianne Vos and Judith Arndt to win the 2008 road race world championship. With her victory Cooke became the first cyclist to win a road world championship and the Olympic road race in the same year.

Nicole Cooke outsprinted Marianne Vos and Judith Arndt to win the 2008 road race world championship. With her victory Cooke became the first cyclist to win a road world championship and the Olympic road race in the same year. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2008 was a special year for Nicole Cooke as she won the road race world championship in addition to Olympic gold

2008 was a special year for Nicole Cooke as she won the road race world championship in addition to Olympic gold (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Nicole Cooke is moments away from winning the 2008 Olympic Games road race gold medal in Beijing

Nicole Cooke is moments away from winning the 2008 Olympic Games road race gold medal in Beijing (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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World Cup leader Nicole Cooke sprints to victory in the 2003 GP de Plouay. With her overall World Cup victory that year she became the first Briton and the youngest rider (20) to win the overall title.

World Cup leader Nicole Cooke sprints to victory in the 2003 GP de Plouay. With her overall World Cup victory that year she became the first Briton and the youngest rider (20) to win the overall title. (Image credit: AFP)
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Nicole Cooke wins stage 5 en route to overall victory at the 2003 Grande Boucle Tour de France Feminine

Nicole Cooke wins stage 5 en route to overall victory at the 2003 Grande Boucle Tour de France Feminine (Image credit: AFP)
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Great Britain's Nicole Cooke celebrates her victory in the 2008 Olympic Games road race ahead of Emma Johansson (Sweden) and Tatiana Guderzo (Italy)

Great Britain's Nicole Cooke celebrates her victory in the 2008 Olympic Games road race ahead of Emma Johansson (Sweden) and Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) (Image credit: AFP)
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Nicole Cooke won the junior women's road race world championship in 2000

Nicole Cooke won the junior women's road race world championship in 2000 (Image credit: AFP)
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Nicole Cooke on the top step of the podium of the 2005 Fleche Wallonne. Oenone Wood, left, finished second and Judith Arndt, right, placed third.

Nicole Cooke on the top step of the podium of the 2005 Fleche Wallonne. Oenone Wood, left, finished second and Judith Arndt, right, placed third. (Image credit: AFP)
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Sandy Casar wins the third Tour de France stage of his career in stage 9 of the 2010 Tour

Sandy Casar wins the third Tour de France stage of his career in stage 9 of the 2010 Tour (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sandy Casar celebrates his sprint victory in stage 4 of the 2003 Tour of Switzerland

Sandy Casar celebrates his sprint victory in stage 4 of the 2003 Tour of Switzerland (Image credit: AFP)
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The last professional victory for Juan Antonio Flecha would be the 2010 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

The last professional victory for Juan Antonio Flecha would be the 2010 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bert Grabsch won the elite men's time trial world championship in 2008

Bert Grabsch won the elite men's time trial world championship in 2008 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Denis Menchov resplendent in his national champion's kit for winning Russia's time trial title in 2012

Denis Menchov resplendent in his national champion's kit for winning Russia's time trial title in 2012 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andreas Klöden in his German road race champion's kit during the 2004 Tour de France

Andreas Klöden in his German road race champion's kit during the 2004 Tour de France (Image credit: AFP)
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Telekom trade teammates Alexandre Vinokourov, Jan Ullrich and Andreas Klöden swept the medals at the 2000 Olympic Games road race in Sydney, Australia

Telekom trade teammates Alexandre Vinokourov, Jan Ullrich and Andreas Klöden swept the medals at the 2000 Olympic Games road race in Sydney, Australia (Image credit: AFP)
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Andreas Klöden won the 2000 edition of Paris-Nice. Joining the German on the final podium were Francisco Mancebo, left, and Laurent Brochard.

Andreas Klöden won the 2000 edition of Paris-Nice. Joining the German on the final podium were Francisco Mancebo, left, and Laurent Brochard. (Image credit: AFP)
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No gifts for you Andreas Klöden! Lance Armstrong outsprinted the German to claim stage 17 of the 2004 Tour de France in Le Grand-Bornand

No gifts for you Andreas Klöden! Lance Armstrong outsprinted the German to claim stage 17 of the 2004 Tour de France in Le Grand-Bornand (Image credit: AFP)
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Andreas Klöden won stage 5 at the 2011 Paris-Nice and took over the leader's jersey. The German, winner of Paris-Nice in 2000, would ultimately finish 2nd overall

Andreas Klöden won stage 5 at the 2011 Paris-Nice and took over the leader's jersey. The German, winner of Paris-Nice in 2000, would ultimately finish 2nd overall (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The last stage race victory of Andreas Klöden's career would be the 2011 edition of Tour of the Basque Country

The last stage race victory of Andreas Klöden's career would be the 2011 edition of Tour of the Basque Country (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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With his victory in stage 11 of the 2007 Tour, Robbie Hunter made history as the first South African to win a stage at the Tour de France

With his victory in stage 11 of the 2007 Tour, Robbie Hunter made history as the first South African to win a stage at the Tour de France (Image credit: AFP)
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Robbie Hunter celebrates victory in stage 16 of the 2001 Vuelta a Espana

Robbie Hunter celebrates victory in stage 16 of the 2001 Vuelta a Espana (Image credit: AFP)
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Robbie Hunter sprints to victory in stage 1 of the 1999 Vuelta a Espana

Robbie Hunter sprints to victory in stage 1 of the 1999 Vuelta a Espana (Image credit: AFP)
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Robbie Hunter won the 2004 Tour of Qatar general classification

Robbie Hunter won the 2004 Tour of Qatar general classification (Image credit: AFP)
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Robbie Hunter was the 2012 South African road champion

Robbie Hunter was the 2012 South African road champion (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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German time trial champion Bert Grabsch in action during a time trial in the 2012 Tour de France

German time trial champion Bert Grabsch in action during a time trial in the 2012 Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bert Grabsch was a four-time German time trial champion. Here he shares the 2011 podium with HTC-HighRoad teammates Patrick Gretsch and Tony Martin

Bert Grabsch was a four-time German time trial champion. Here he shares the 2011 podium with HTC-HighRoad teammates Patrick Gretsch and Tony Martin (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Time trial world champion en route to victory during stage 4 of the 2009 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré

Time trial world champion en route to victory during stage 4 of the 2009 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bert Grabsch in his time trial world championship kit

Bert Grabsch in his time trial world championship kit (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sandy Casar wins the 18th stage of the 2007 Tour de France ahead of Michael Boogerd.

Sandy Casar wins the 18th stage of the 2007 Tour de France ahead of Michael Boogerd. (Image credit: AFP)
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Mike Creed spent his first race in the director's seat for the Smartstop team.

Mike Creed spent his first race in the director's seat for the Smartstop team. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Mike Creed (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) edge ahead

Mike Creed (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) edge ahead (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Mike Creed will have to watch the team race for the rest of the season after breaking his collarbone in Schaal Sels

Mike Creed will have to watch the team race for the rest of the season after breaking his collarbone in Schaal Sels (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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Michael Creed salutes the crowd atop Fillmore Street at the 2005 Barclay's Global Investors Grand Prix in San Francisco.

Michael Creed salutes the crowd atop Fillmore Street at the 2005 Barclay's Global Investors Grand Prix in San Francisco. (Image credit: Lane Occhiello)

With another road season in the books it's time to look back at the riders who called it a career in 2013.

The year kicked off with Nicole Cooke announcing her immediate retirement from cycling in January. In her farewell press conference the 29-year-old spoke of winning "every race and more that I dreamt I could win" and looking back at her career that's indeed the case. In 2008 Cooke achieved arguably her greatest accomplishment as she became the only cyclist to win both Olympic gold and the rainbow jersey in the same year on the road but she was a prolific winner throughout her years who could win both stage races and one-day events on any terrain.

Cooke was a three time La Flèche Wallonne Féminine winner (2003, 2005, 2006), a champion at Amstel Gold (2003) and Tour of Flanders (2007), and won the overall World Cup twice (2003, 2006). She twice won the Grande Boucle Tour de France Feminine stage race (2006-2007) and claimed victory in the Giro d'Italia Femminile (2004) as well. Cooke was also a 10-time British national champion and the 2002 Commonwealth Games road race champion.

While Cooke was justifiably proud of her cycling career, she also utilised her farewell press conference as a means to speak out regarding what she saw as the UCI's failure to commit to developing women's cycling during here 11-year professional career.

In May Russia's Denis Menchov announced his retirement with immediate effect after a knee injury kept him out of the Giro d'Italia. The 35-year-old left the peloton with three Grand Tour victories in his palmares (Vuelta a Espana in 2005, 2007 plus the 2009 Giro d'Italia). He twice finished on the Tour de France podium and won stages in all three Grand Tours. Menchov won the Tour's best young rider classification in 2003 and also won the Tour of the Basque country in 2004 during his 15-year pro career.

His last significant win came on stage 20 of the Vuelta last year when he won atop Bola del Mondo. As well as riding for Banesto, Menchov also turned out for Rabobank, Geox TMC and Katusha. While Menchov was never charged with doping offences throughout his career, he was called to Vienna, Austria in 2009 to answer questions in relation to the "Human Plasma" case and was part of leaked document, their "Index of Suspicion", put together by the UCI.

Stuart O'Grady retired from the pro peloton the day after finishing the Tour de France, bringing to a conclusion a career stretching back to 1995. During the 1998 season he won a stage in the Tour and wore the maillot jaune for three days. O'Grady's Tour success continued in 2001 when he wore the yellow jersey for six stages and was part of the winning team time trial squad with Crédit Agricole.

O'Grady won Paris-Roubaix in 2007 plus had a pedigree on the track, too, as he earned the gold-medal in the Madison with Graeme Brown at the 2004 Olympic Games. However, he also had a bad history of crashes, the worst of which came in the 2007 Tour, when he fractured three vertebrae, among other bones.

O'Grady, 39, retired under a cloud of doping as he confessed to taking EPO prior to the 1998 Tour. He was expected to compete into the 2014 season but retired instead just days before a report by the French Senate revealed that he had returned a suspicious sample during the 1998 Tour.

Sandy Casar, 34, called it quits this year after spending his entire career, 2000-2013 with the FDJ squad. Frequently on the attack, the Frenchman won three Tour de France stages (2007, 2009, 2010), the overall at Route du Sud (2005) and the Paris-Camembert one-day race (2011). In 2006 he finished 6th overall at the Giro d'Italia.

A surprise retirement in 2013 came courtesy of 25-year-old Canadian David Veilleux. After starting his professional career on US-based Continental teams, Veilleux then spent 2011-2013 with the French Europcar squad. 2013 was his best year in the pro peloton as he won the opening stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné and held the yellow jersey until stage 4. He finished his debut Tour de France and then completed his career in September on home soil at the WorldTour races in Quebec and Montreal. Veilleux had been working on his engineering degree and opted to end his career to resume his studies full-time.

Robbie Hunter wrapped up a 15-year professional career in 2013 with a Tour de France stage win (2007), plus two stage victories in the Vuelta a Espana (1999, 2001) among the highlights of his palmares. Hunter is the first South African rider to complete and win a stage at the Tour de France. He won the 2004 Tour of Qatar, the points classification at the Tour de Suisse, and won his national road title in 2012.

Juan Antonio Flecha completed a 14-year professional career highlighted by a Tour de France stage victory in 2003 (where he famously pantomimed the release of an arrow as he crossed the line) plus a solo win at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Flecha began his career on Spanish teams but with his preference for the Classics he found a better home at Rabobank where he competed in 2006-2009. He moved to Sky in 2010 and rode his final year in the peloton this year for Vacansoleil-DCM.

Unlike most of his fellow Spaniards, Flecha had a predilection for the spring Classics and during his career he notched podium finishes at Paris-Roubaix (2005, 2007, 2010), Tour of Flanders (2008), Gent-Wevelgem (2005), Brabantse Pijl (2008), and was stood on the podium four additional times at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in addition to his victory.

Italy's Marco Pinotti spent 15 years in the professional peloton in a career in which he won 28 races, the majority of which were against the clock. Pinotti won his national time trial title six times and used his prowess in the race of truth to claim victory in two Giro d'Italia individual time trial stages (2008, 2012). Pinotti was also part of two team time trial victories at the Giro (2009, 2011), the former which resulted in the Italian spending a day in the maglia rosa. At the 2007 Giro Pinotti also spent four days in the maglia rosa.

Pinotti will still remain within the sport at its highest level as he transitions to a role with the coaching staff at BMC, the WorldTour squad at which he spent the final two years of his career.

Ina-Yoko Teutenberg brought her lengthy career to a conclusion in 2013, but unfortunately for the German an injury was what ultimately forced her to bow out. The 38-year-old suffered a concussion in early March at the Drentse 8 van Dwingeloo and was unable to return to racing. In mid-October Teutenberg decided to retire.

Teutenberg won over 200 races during her stint in the peloton with her last major success the gold medal earned at the 2012 road world championship where she was part of the Specialized-lululemon squad which won the inaugural world title in the discipline.

Highlights of her career include 21 stage wins at the Tour de l’Aude, six stage wins at the Route de France, 11 stage wins of the Giro d’Italia Femminile, five Liberty Classic titles and a win in the women’s edition of the Tour of Flanders (2009). She represented Germany at the 2000 and 2012 Olympic Games.

Two other Germans hung up their wheels at the end of the 2013 season: Andreas Klöden and Bert Grabsch. Klöden was a stage racing stalwart who began his career in the late 1990s. Twice a podium finisher at the Tour de France, Klöden's biggest victories included the overall at Paris-Nice (2000), Tour of the Basque Country (2000, 2011), Tirreno-Adriatico (2007) and Tour de Romandie (2008).

He began his career on Team Telekom, later T-Mobile, and remained there through 2006. Klöden moved to Astana in 2007 then transferred to RadioShack in 2010 where he remained for his final four years in the pro peloton. While Klöden never tested positive in his career he was named in the Freiburg investigation regarding the transfusion of his own blood during the 2006 Tour de France.

Bert Grabsch was a noted time trialist whose biggest victory was the 2008 individual time trial world championship. Noted for turning massive gears via his powerful physique, Grabsch was a four-time German national time trial champion and won a time trial stage at the 2008 Vuelta a Espana.

Michael Creed swapped the saddle for the comfort of the seat of team car mid-way through 2013. The American pro had been publicly clear on his stance towards doping in the sport and rode for a number of teams including US Postal, Rock Racing, TIAA – CREF and Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies. Along with directing he now runs an online podcast in which he regularly interviews personalities from the sport.

Christian Vande Velde described his career as one with "some insane highs and some really low lows". He embarked on his professional road career in 1998 with the US Postal Service Team where he spent the first six years of his career. Vande Velde spent 2004 on Liberty Seguros, 2005 through 2007 with Team CSC and then moved to the Garmin organisation, run by former teammate Jonathan Vaughters, in 2008. He spent the final six years of his career on the US squad.

Vande Velde contested 22 Grand Tours in his career, with multiple starts in Italy, France and Spain. He twice finished top-10 in the Tour de France, with 4th overall in 2008 his best result. While at Garmin, Vande Velde has been a part of three team time trial victories in Grand Tours, highlighted by a win in the first stage of the 2008 Giro d'Italia which put him into the maglia rosa. Vande Velde is a two-time Olympian and has the following stage race victories in his palmares: 2012 USA Pro Challenge, 2008 Tour of Missouri and 2006 Tour of Luxembourg.

Vande Velde provided testimony against former teammate Lance Armstrong as part of USADA's Reasoned Decision published in October, 2012. Vande Velde confessed to doping while with the US Postal squad, Liberty Seguros and Team CSC and served a six-month suspension from September, 2012 through March, 2013.

Vande Velde's teammate David Zabriskie also called it a career in 2013, quietly slipping away from the professional peloton following Il Lombardia in early October and bringing to a close a 15-year career. The 34-year-old American spent the final six years of his career in Jonathan Vaughters' Slipstream organisation following stints at Nutra Fig, Seven Up-Colorado Cyclist, US Postal and Team CSC.

Zabriskie won seven US time trial titles and famously became the first American to win stages in all three Grand Tours, which also included a stint in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France. However his subsequent confession to doping as part of the USADA's investigation into doping at the US Postal Service team led to all of his results from May 13, 2003 to July 31, 2006 being erased, including one time trial title and his three individual Grand Tour stage victories. He also served a six-month ban between September, 2012 and March 2013.

Zabriskie won the 2009 Tour of Missouri and placed second overall on three occasions at the Tour of California (2009, 2010, 2012). He was part of the Garmin organisation's team time trial victories at the Giro d'Italia (2008) and Tour de France (2011) and earned silver (2006) and bronze (2008) at the time trial world championships.