Gregory Baugé, nine times a world champion on the track, announced his retirement Sunday.
“I have always been 100 percent [committed] and found that I was no longer in this scheme [of things],” Bauge told Stade 2 French television. “I felt I was 90 percent — this is not enough to seek a performance at the Olympics.”
Although Baugé is a three-time Olympian and earned three silver medals and a bronze medal at the Games, the top step on the podium at the Olympics eluded the Frenchman.
Baugé explained that while he was sad to not have won an Olympic title, he was more regretful for being stripped of the team sprint world championships title in 2011, when he missed an out-of-competition doping control, which resulted in the vacating of his 2011 worlds results.
“I miss the Olympic title,” said Baugé. “But my biggest regret is to have lost a world title [for] my teammates.”
The 36-year-old French rider has a palmares that includes rainbow jerseys in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2015 in the individual sprint.
The rider known as “Tiger” also has world championship titles in the team sprint in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2015.
Baugé got his start racing internationally as a junior, winning the world championships in 2002 in the team sprint.
Over the summer of 2020 following the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests, Baugé, a high-profile Black cyclist, said racism exists in cycling, but added that he personally had not had to deal with it during his career.
“Since I’ve been involved in cycling at the highest level, I have not necessarily felt racism. Later, I know that Kévin Reza experienced some difficult first years with acts of racism, and he was not properly supported,” Baugé said.