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Video: Jens Voigt on the struggles of retirement

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Jens Voigt is back this year but not as a rider.

Jens Voigt is back this year but not as a rider.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Germany's Jens Voigt (CSC Tiscali) rides in the leading group during the 69th Fleche Wallonne in 2005.

Germany's Jens Voigt (CSC Tiscali) rides in the leading group during the 69th Fleche Wallonne in 2005.
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Of course Jens Voigt got a farewell photo with a joey

Of course Jens Voigt got a farewell photo with a joey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jens Voigt (Trek) after breaking the Hour Record

Jens Voigt (Trek) after breaking the Hour Record
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Jens Voigt (Trek) goes out fighting on the third to last day of racing before retirement

Jens Voigt (Trek) goes out fighting on the third to last day of racing before retirement
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)

Few riders in the peloton have ever been as open and outspoken as Jens Voigt, and the German is brutally honest about how difficult it is to transition from professional athlete to retired.

Voigt rode professionally until he turned 43, and retired for good last year after setting the Hour Record. He admits it has been difficult to watch his body get fatter, to get slower on the bike and to settle in on a new career.

"If you retire it is a bigger change than you think," Voigt said at the Tour of California. "You have to come to terms with the fact that your fitness is gone. You needed five or six hours a day to keep that fitness, but you don't have time anymore because you're working another job. You have to come to realise that you'll never be that fit and strong again in my life. It's downhill from there, you get fatter, slower, weaker. I still struggle with that."

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