Kloden announces retirement

Controversial German rode alongside Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong

PARIS (AFP) — Veteran German Andreas Klöden retired from cycling on Thursday at the age of 38, bringing to an end a career that started in 1998.

Twice a runner-up on the Tour de France, in 2004 and 2006, for a long time Klöden rode alongside compatriot Jan Ullrich on the German team Telekom, which later became T-Mobile, at a time when the sport was marred by doping.

Suspected of doping in the 2006 Tour, Klöden never admitted to using banned substances and no case was ever brought against him.

Later an Astana teammate of Lance Armstrong following the American’s return from retirement in 2009, his successes included winning the Paris-Nice in 2000 and two Vueltas al País Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country).

He finished his career with RadioShack-Leopard. The team, owned by Luxembourger Flavio Becca, will become Trek Factory Racing in 2014 and Klöden did not have a contract with the new squad.