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Luis Pérez leaves with a victory

Luis Pérez Rodriguez (Andalucía-Cajasur)

Luis Pérez Rodriguez (Andalucía-Cajasur) (Image credit: AFP Photo)

By Monika Prell

Spaniard Luis Pérez (Andalucía-Cajasur) will leave cycling with a second major victory in his palmarès after breaking away to win Stage 18 of the Vuelta a España in Ávila. The 33 year-old, winner of Stage 2 at the 2003 Vuelta, is set to end his professional career this year which began with ONCE in 1995.

"I am now one of the happiest people in the world," declared Pérez. "I want to dedicate the win to my team Andalucía-Cajasur - from the riders to the whole outfit because it was the only team that had faith in me and cared about having me on its roster."

Aside from his two Vuelta triumphs, Pérez also won Stage 1 and the overall at this year's Clásica a Alcobendas, but described Thursday's win as the best moment of his long career.

Interviewed on Spanish television channel TVE, he denied that the victory would have any impact on his imminent retirement, saying: "Although I got today's stage win, I already made the decision. I spent 13 years as a professional rider. For me, there's no better way to finish my career than getting a victory in the Vuelta a España."

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