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Soler announces retirement from professional cycling

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Juan Mauricio Soler (Movistar Team) wins stage 2 at the Tour de Suisse

Juan Mauricio Soler (Movistar Team) wins stage 2 at the Tour de Suisse (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Movistar's Mauricio Soler in action

Movistar's Mauricio Soler in action (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Soler's injuries could have killed him but he is flying home at last today

Soler's injuries could have killed him but he is flying home at last today (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) would finish the day in 21st place.

Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) would finish the day in 21st place. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Mauricio Soler (Movistar) in preparation for the Tour de San Luis.

Mauricio Soler (Movistar) in preparation for the Tour de San Luis. (Image credit: Luis Enrique Barbosa)

Mauricio Soler has announced his retirement from cycling. The news comes just over 12 months after he was airlifted from the Tour de Suisse, just days after the Colombian took the stage victory on Crans-Montana, which he dedicated to his fallen Movistar teammate Xavier Tondo, who died in a freak accident at his home in Spain.

Soler fractured his skull after colliding with a spectator in the sixth stage of the 2011 Tour de Suisse. He was placed in an induced coma, and in July was moved to a hospital in Pamplona, before returning home to Colombia in December of last year. He has endured months of physical therapy in a bid to return to normality.

"On the recommendation of my neurologist and medical advisers it is believed that I will not be able to return to peak physical condition needed in my sport, cycling, and for that reason I will no longer compete," he told Colombian television network Señal Colombia.

Soler's victory in Switzerland in June of last year was his first since the Vuelta a Burgos in 2007, just a few weeks after he won a stage at the Tour de France and secured overall victory in the mountains classification under the banner of the Barloworld team. He had since struggled through injury and visa problems also often disrupted his race program.

His aim now, is to make the most of what he has.

"Thanks to God, and to my family, starting with my wife and the Colombians, and also Señal Colombia, my life is good and I will keep working with physicians to have a good quality of life."