Parisien opts to retire from cycling

Canadian François Parisien announced today that he will retire from professional cycling. The 31-year-old Quebecois hinted that he was considering leaving the sport in October, and confirmed the decision today in a post on his Facebook page.

"After 18 years devoted to my cycling career, after winning a World Tour race, after taking part in six world championships, the Commonwealth Games as well as in many races at a high level, I have achieved my goals. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and I know that I did it in a noble manner. Today, I need to go to new challenges," he wrote.

He said he started to consider retirement after returning to Europe to rejoin his Argos-Shimano team mid-way through this season, despite having won a stage of the Volta a Catalunya earlier in the year.

"This was only only two weeks from the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and Montréal that informed my choice. On the other hand, it was important for me to finished the remainder of the season before making a final decision and make the public announcement."

Parisien expressed his disillusionment earlier this month following the confession of his compatriot Ryder Hesjedal to past doping.

He was passed over for the Canadian Olympic team in 2008 as first alternate behind two now-confessed [ex-]dopers. "It makes me sick," he said. "I feel a lot of frustration and disgust. These frauds defined a large part of my career since I was young."

Parisien was the national road champion in 2005 and was signed by the TIAA-CREF team of Jonathan Vaughters the next season. He spent two seasons in the programme before moving onto the Canadian Symmetrics team, which later became Planet Energy and Spidertech. He raced five seasons with the team before it folded, and he was hired by Argos-Shimano.

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