Australian veteran Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) confirmed he will retire at the end of 2016.
Rogers, who turns 36 in December, told The Sydney Morning Herald he will try to return to the Olympic Games before putting an end to his career.
“I think it’s time,” Rogers told Fairfax Media. “I’m very proud of what I’ve done, but that’s enough, that’s enough.”
Rogers, who was once hailed as a possible Tour de France winner, endured a lot of ups and downs throughout his career. He won three world time trial titles, then avoided a racing ban despite testing positive for clenbuterol in 2013, returning to racing in 2014. Rogers was also linked to controversial trainer Michele Ferrari, but he denied any wrongdoing.
Rogers turned pro with Mapei in 2001. He developed into a stage-racing prospect, winning such races as the Deutschland Tour in 2003 and the Santos Tour Down Under in 2002.
A move to T-Mobile in 2006 saw him make a run for the Tour de France, only to admit he would likely never win the yellow jersey. He won three straight world time trial crowns during 2003-05.
A move to Sky in 2011 saw him develop into a super-domestique, and he played a key role in helping Bradley Wiggins win the 2012 Tour. He moved to Tinkoff-Saxo in 2013 and enjoyed a breakout 2014 season, winning two stages at the Giro d’Italia, and another one at the Tour.
For 2016, Rogers confirmed he will race the Tour Down Under and try to help teammate Alberto Contador win the Tour. He said he’d like to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
In the same interview, Rogers expressed his condolences for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and said he feared that bike races, such as the Tour de France, could become targets.
“It’s been on the back of my mind, events such as the Tour, a big international event, where the whole world is watching,” Rogers told the paper. “A lot of riders do think about it, because we pass a lot of people by the side of the road, and it’s quite easy for a potential attack.”