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Ten Dam calling stop on career after Lombardia

Fan-favorite ten Dam is racing for the last time as a pro this weekend in Italy, but expect to see him at a gravel race next season

One of cycling’s most charismatic riders is calling stop to his career following Saturday’s Giro di Lombardia in Italy.

Laurens ten Dam, a fan-favorite for many Americans, confirmed his retirement earlier this season and Lombardia will mark the final career of his career.

“Saying that you will stop is harder than saying that you will continue, but this is my last year in the World Tour,” he said in June. “”I will be 39 in November and I will have been a pro for 16 years. I would not have thought that before when I became a cyclist.”

The 38-year-old Dutch climber — nicknamed LtD — turned pro in 2003 with Rabobank, and raced for later incarnations of the team, as well as Sunweb and CCC Team, which he joined this season. He won two races during his career, including a top-10 with ninth overall at the 2014 Tour de France.

His most successful role came as a domestique, capped by helping Tom Dumoulin win the 2017 Giro d’Italia overall title with Sunweb. Ten Dam is an avid van-camper and gravel rider, and promises to remain active in the sport.

Ten Dam is among dozens of riders retiring this season. Simon Spilak (Katusha-Alpecin), Amaël Moinard (Arkéa-Samsic), and Lars Baks (Dimension Data) are other riders who’ve also recently confirmed their respective retirements.

Frenchman Hubert Dupont will also close his career out with Lombardia on Saturday with Ag2r-La Mondiale.

Rory Sutherland, who is not retiring this season, will also see an interesting weekend. The UAE-Emirates rider will race the Giro di Lombardia on Saturday, board a flight that evening for France, and race Paris-Tours on Sunday.