AG2R La Mondiale rider Stijn Vandenbergh has announced his retirement after failing to find a contract for next season.

The 36-year-old Classics veteran started his professional career in 2007, before moving to AG2R for the first time, and then having stints with Katusha and QuickStep.

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He has some success to his name, finishing second in the 2013 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, fourth in the 2014 Tour of Flanders, and won a stage at the 2016 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

https://player.acast.com/re-cycle-the-cycling-history-podcast/episodes/the-arrival-of-the-angliru-when-jimenez-won-the-first-ascent

Speaking to Het Laatste Nieuws, Vandenbergh admitted that he had hoped to race one last Classics season in Spring 2021.

"The final deadline is over," he said. "I've turned the switch in my head. It's done.

"I'm going to enjoy the free time I never had. I definitely want to see my daughter more often. She's with me every two weeks for a weekend but even that didn't always work out during the season.

"I'd also like to take more trips. Thailand is on my list and I want to do a mountain bike tour of Morocco. I enjoy the mountain bike even more than the road bike nowadays – you can really ride in the countryside instead of next door."

He has yet to decide on the next step in his career.

"I give myself six months to a year to think about it," he said.

"I've already organised a couple of tours and I'd like to do that more often – day trips by car on nice rides in the beautiful nature where you can get breakfast and lunch while following the route via roadbook."

The day when the Angliru broke Wiggins, and Froome 'lost' the 2011 Vuelta

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