Philip Deignan has announced his retirement from professional cycling, bringing an end to his 14-year career.
The 35-year-old Irishman confirmed his retirement in a brief message posted on social media.
“With a combination of sadness but also a huge sense of pride and optimism that I would like to announce my retirement from professional cycling,” Deignan wrote.
“As a 15-year-old riding around Donegal I never dreamt that I would go on to make the sport I love my job for 14 years. I appreciate all the opportunities that have come my way and to so many people who have helped me during my career, thank you."
“There have been lots of ups and down but to be able to finish my career healthy and at the top of my sport with the best team in the world, makes me grateful and proud. On to the next challenge.”
Deignan won just two races as professional, with the highlight his stage victory at the 2009 Vuelta a Espana, when he overcame Roman Kreuziger in a two-up sprint in Avila. He was the first Irishman to win a stage of a Grand Tour since Stephen Roche's victory in the 1992 Tour de France.
Deignan went on to finish 9th overall at the 2009 Vuelta. He rode 11 Grand Tours in total, with his final appearance coming at the 2017 Giro d’Italia.
In 2016 Deignan married Lizzie Armitstead and their daughter Orla was born in September. Lizzie Deignan will return to racing in 2019 after signing with the new Trek-Segafredo women’s team.
After Deignan announced his retirement, she tweeted: “Will always be grateful to cycling for introducing me to the most honest and humble man I know. Congratulations.”