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'It was the perfect ending for me' - Lisa Brennauer retires from pro cycling

Decorated German cyclist Lisa Brennauer has ended her sparkling professional cycling career on home soil at the European Championships in Munich on Sunday. 

Brennauer called the timing of her retirement the "perfect ending" to a career that has spanned 14 years.

"I'm happy that I was able to choose the end of my career here in Munich, so close to home," she told the media after finishing fourth place in the elite women's road race won by Dutch sprinter Lorena Wiebes.

Brennauer announced earlier this month that she would hang up her wheels at the European Championships where she competed in the road and track cycling events.

In addition to finishing fourth in the road race, Brennauer finished 12th in the individual time trial for the road events. 

On the track, Brennauer was part of the team that won the gold medal at in the Team Pursuit and she secured the silver medal in the Individual Pursuit, behind her compatriot Mieke Kröger.

“For me, it was definitely the perfect ending. Anyway, I'm happy that I was able to choose the end of my career myself, that it wasn't imposed on me by anyone," Brennauer said in an interview with German media outlet deutschlandfunk.

"And choosing this place here for the European Championships in Munich, in Bavaria, so close to my home, is something very special for me."

Lisa Brennauer is part of the German team that won the Team Pursuit at European Championships 2022

Lisa Brennauer is part of the German team that won the Team Pursuit at European Championships 2022 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Brennauer competed in her final road race of her career at the Tour de France Femmes with trade team Ceratizit-WNT in July. 

She said that experiencing what it was like to race in the rebirth of the women's stage race, after a 33-year absence, was special and marked a step forward in women's cycling.

“This year you noticed that the Tour de France in particular was a really big step forward. Cycling has developed tremendously in the women's sector. There are always further and next steps forward," Brennauer said.

Brennauer started her pro racing career on the road with trade team Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung in 2009, and went on to race for teams Hitec Products, Specialized-lululemon and its versions under title sponsors Velocio-SRAM and Canyon-SRAM, along with teams Wiggle High5 and the last four years at Ceratizit-WNT.

BRUGES BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 22 LR Gold medalists Nikias Arndt of Germany Lisa Brennauer of Germany Tony Martin of Germany Lisa Klein of Germany Max Walscheid of Germany and Mieke Kroger of Germany with world champion jerseys celebrate on the podium while holding the flag of they country during the medal ceremony after the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 445km race from KnokkeHeist to Bruges the day cyclist Tony Martin of Germany withdraws from professional cycling flanders2021 TT on September 22 2021 in Bruges Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Lisa Brennauer is part of Germany's Mixed Team Relay squad that won the world title in 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Brennauer was successful on both the road and in track racing, winning the individual time trial world title in 2014 and excelling in stage races, one-day events and team time trials.

Among her 58 professional wins were nine German titles on the road, the individual time trial world title in 2014, along with titles in the Mixed Team Relay at the World Championships (2021) and European Championships (2020), three World titles in the Team Time Trial (2013-2015).

On the track, Brennauer won the Olympic title in the team pursuit in Tokyo and European titles in individual and team pursuit in 2018, 2021 and 2022.

In addition to stage race wins in the Thüringen Ladies Tour, Boels Ladies Tour, Women's Tour, Festival Elsy Jacobs and two titles in the Challenge by La Vuelta, Brennauer earned podiums in major one-day races like the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem.

In June, Brennauer won the time trial and road race titles at the German Championships, where she decided that this season was the right time to end her career.

"There wasn't one special day where I suddenly thought, I want to stop cycling, rather I think it's a process I've been going through over the last years and thinking about my future and other plans I have in life," Brennauer said. "Now, I am at a point where I feel like the time is right for me."

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