Grégory Rast has announced that he will retire at the end of the current season but will remain with Trek-Segafredo in an unspecified role in 2019. The experienced Swiss rider has been a professional since 2001 and has been part of the Trek-Segafredo squad since its beginnings under the RadioShack banner in 2010.
"I am happy the word is out and that everybody now knows that I will retire at the end of the season, but the season is not over yet, so I want to focus and enjoy racing for a couple of months more before I start to think about my last race," Rast said in a statement released on Monday. "I want to give it my all for the team, and for myself, to finish my career at the highest level possible."
Trek-Segafredo manager Luca Guercilena paid tribute to Rast's career and said that his precise role at the team in 2019 has yet to formalised.
"He's one of the backbones of the team, and over the past few years, we saw him develop into an excellent guide for the young riders," Guercilena said. "He shared his broad experience and knowledge with them without any reserves. That's why we are happy to keep him on board. We are looking at different options now, but we have not yet defined in which function that will be."
Rast began his professional career with the Post Swiss squad in 2001, before moving to Phonak in 2003. The Cham native moved on to Astana following the disbandment of Phonak at the end of 2006, before he joined the nascent RadioShack set-up in 2010.
Rast scored six victories during his professional career, including two Swiss national titles, in 2004 and 2006. He claimed a solo stage victory on the 2013 Tour de Suisse in Meilen, and also won the Tour of Luxembourg in 2007.
In the latter part of his career, Rast served as a road captain in a Trek squad led by his fellow countryman Fabian Cancellara. The 38-year-old lined out in ten Grand Tours over the course of his career.
"It's never easy to call it a day, but I feel relieved now that I have decided upon my future," said Rast, who is competing at the Tour of Utah this week. "I have been with this team since the very beginning, and I have been riding a Trek bike since 2008. We go way back, so when Luca offered me the opportunity to stay with the team, I didn't have to think twice."
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