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Rory Sutherland announces retirement at end of season

VISE BELGIUM AUGUST 18 Rory Sutherland of Australia and Team Israel StartUp Nation during the 41st Tour de Wallonie 2020 Stage 3 a 192km stage from Montzen to Vise TourdeWallonie TRW2020 on August 18 2020 in Vise Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Rory Sutherland (Israel Start-Up Nation) in action at the Tour de Wallonie (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Israel Start-Up Nation veteran Rory Sutherland has announced that he will retire from the sport at the end of the 2020 season, drawing his 16-year pro career to a close.

The Australian, who joined the Israeli WorldTour team this season, made the announcement in a post to Instagram, stating that, though he loved the sport and his team, he felt that the time is right to move on.

Sutherland turned pro with Rabobank back in 2005 having spent three years developing at the Dutch squad's Continental team. Six years at the American UnitedHealthcare team followed, before a move to Saxo-Tinkoff for 2013. Before moving to ISN, he spent three years at Movistar and two at UAE Team Emirates.

His final season was disrupted before it had even begun when he suffered a broken leg after crashing an electric scooter during Israel Start-Up Nation's training camp in December. He returned to racing after the season restart, taking part in Milan-San Remo and the Tour de Wallonie, among other races.

"2020 will be my final year as a professional cyclist. I have been a professional for nearly two decades and I am grateful for all the experiences the sport has brought to my life," Sutherland wrote.

"During these years I was fortunate enough to have been part of various teams and I will cherish the relationships I have with both riders and staff throughout the sport and the memories of races and victories both large and small. I will never forget my days and years on the bike with my teammates.

"The time has come to end this chapter of my life. I have been incredibly lucky to have raced for so long. I love cycling and riding my bike and I love the people I get to work with, but it is time for me to move on. I’m proud of what I have achieved throughout the years and wish to thank my amazing wife and children for their endless support in allowing me to live this life.

"I am excited for the future and look forward to new challenges and opportunities within the sport of cycling. Thanks to everyone!!!!"

Sutherland's career highlights include stage wins at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and Tour of Utah in 2012, as well as the overall at the Vuelta a La Rioja in 2017. During his time in the USA, he won the Tour of the Gila, also winning the Joe Martin Stage Race and Cascade Cycling Classic on two occasions.

The 38-year-old had established himself as a valuable domestique during his time in the WorldTour. He worked for Nairo Quintana during the Colombian's 2016 Vuelta a España victory, also assisting Alejandro Valverde to two wins at La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège and working for Roman Kreuziger when the Czech rider won Amstel Gold Race in 2013.