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Merckx to retire after Tour

Axel Merckx will retire after the Tour de France this summer, he told the Belgian magazine Cyclosprint. "Perhaps still some criteriums, but my real job of being a cyclist ends with the Tour," he said.

Merckx signed a one-year contract with T-Mobile Team, after previously announcing that he would retire at the end of last season when his former team, Team Phonak, folded.

"If I were not married, then I would continue for a year or two," he said. "But that is not the case, and so I will stop. I stop for my children and my wife, they are the determining factors."

Until then, however, Merckx, 34, has a full program. He is scheduled to ride Paris-Nice, the Belgian Classics, the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.

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