Steven De Jongh to retire at the end of season

Steven De Jongh (Quick Step)

Steven De Jongh (Quick Step) (Image credit: AFP)

Quick Step rider Steven De Jongh will retire from racing at the end of the 2009 season after what will be 15 years of racing as a pro.

"Cycling has been my life for a long time, so the decision wasn't easy. I'll turn 36 this year, and it's time to focus more on my private life and on my two kids," said De Jongh.

De Jongh has claimed over fifty wins during his professional career, including the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen in 2003 and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne twice, in 2004 and 2008.

He began his career with TVM in 1995, moved to Rabobank in 2000 before he signed with his current team, Quick Step, in 2006.

De Jongh indicated that he may not leave cycling altogether. "I will quit, but that doesn't mean I won't be active in cycling anymore - in what kind of function I don't know yet. I have some time to make a decision. 'Til that time, I will be a rider 100%."

On Sunday De Jongh completed the Tour de France in Paris. It was his sixth participation in the French Grand Tour.

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