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Maxime Monfort announces retirement

(Image credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Lotto Soudal veteran Maxime Monfort has announced that he will retire from the professional peloton at the end of the 2019 season. The 36-year-old, who has been a pro since 2004, announced his decision via Twitter.

Monfort is currently in his sixth season at the Belgian squad, having previously spent time at Cofidis, Columbia-HTC, and Leopard-Trek after starting out at Landouwkrediet.

He has five career victories to his name, including the 2009 Belgian time trial championship, the 2004 Tour of Luxembourg, and the 2010 Bayern Rundfahrt, as well as time trial victories at both those stage races.

Monfort said that his choice was a difficult one, but has come to the conclusion that it's the right time to call an end to his career.

"It's not without emotion that I announce the end of my career as a professional cyclist," he wrote. "It was a difficult decision. I lived a very intense 2019 season with great moments in my role as a teammate, especially at the Tour de France.

"I choose to finish on a beautiful note. I could have spent another year in the peloton, but I am convinced that the time has come to stop."

Monfort, who recently saw his sixth place at the 2011 Vuelta a España upgraded to fifth after Juan José Cobo's disqualification, rode the last of 20 Grand Tours of his career in July.

At the Tour he finished 142nd in Paris and was part of a successful campaign for Lotto Soudal, with the team taking four stage victories courtesy of Caleb Ewan and Thomas De Gendt.

The Belgian's final race will come next month at the Famenne Ardenne Classic, which takes place near his hometown of Nadrin in Wallonia.

"I'm in active discussions for new professional projects," Monfort said. "I will tell you more soon, but my desire is to continue to invest myself in the world of cycling. Before that, I want to finish my season in the best possible way.

"My very last race will be the Famenne Ardenne Classic in Marche-en-Famenne on Sunday October 6. This is a race that takes place in my dear province of Luxembourg, close to my hometown of Nadrin. [It's] very symbolic."

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Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.