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Verbrugghe to retire

Belgium's Rik Verbrugghe (Cofidis)

Belgium's Rik Verbrugghe (Cofidis) (Image credit: AFP)

Belgian pro cyclist Rik Verbrugghe (Team Cofidis) will retire after the Giro di Lombardia on October 18.

According to the AFP, Verbrugghe has struggled to recover from a crash in the 2006 Tour de France. "I went through a dark period back then, a difficult reassessment, and even though I returned to the top level, after that incident I started to think of ending my career," admitted Verbrugghe, who broke his leg in that crash.

Verbrugghe, 34 years-old, won three stages in the Giro d'Italia (2001, 2002, 2006) and one stage each in the Tour de France (2001), the Tour of Romandie (2002) and the Eneco Tour (2005). He also won the Flèche Wallonne in 2001.

He has previous ridden for Quick Step and Lotto; in August, he fractured his collarbone in the San Sebastian Classic.