MADRID (AFP) – Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre announced Thursday he is retiring from the sport at the age of 36.
2011 Vuelta a España, stage 15, Carlos Sastre
“The time has come to end this cycle,” an emotional Sastre, winner of the Tour de France in 2008, told a news conference in Madrid. “A new stage is beginning, although I still don’t know what I will do.”

Sastre said his family had encouraged him to stay in competition for another year but he had already made the decision to quit last year.

“I don’t want cycling to become a financial matter for me, I have always tried to be a professional and I have known my limits.”

Sastre, who won the 2008 Tour, said being alongside the winner and winning team of this year’s Vuelta a España was “the best climax” to his career.

Sastre took part in the Spanish race and his Geox teammate, Juan Jose Cobo, claimed the first grand tour victory of his career when he won it on Sunday.

Geox was also the top team in the race.