By Susan Westermeyer
Georg Totschnig has announced his retirement, after 13 years in pro cycling. He has ridden for Gerolstiener the last few years. His biggest accomplishment was a stage win in the Tour de France 2005, the first ever for the team and the first ever for an Austrian rider.
"After long and intensive consideration, the time has come to put this wonderful but hard part of my life behind me," the 35-year-old said in a press conference on Monday in Salzburg. "Now I want to start something new and can end my career the way I always imagined I would: healthy, satsified, successful, happy and I had some good offers to keep on riding."
His first priority now is to spend more time with his wife Michaela and their three children, Emma, 8, Max, 2, and Josef (six months). He will continue to ride in his free time but also stay professionally involved with the sport. He will work for Tour of Austria sponsor Hervis, participate in a fitness program with his personal sponsor Palfinger and help the Austrian cycling federation (ÖRV) with its youngsters. "It would be careless of us not to use the potential of Georg Totschnig," said ÖRV general secretary Rudi Massak.
Totschnig also received praise from Gerolsteiner team manager Hans-Michael Holczer, who called him a "strong, level-headed rider." He also recalled how he experienced the highlight of the Austrian's career: "I sat in the auto behind him on the way to his Tour stage win; that was the most moving moment that I have experienced in sports."