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Sebastian Langeveld will hang up his race wheels and climb into the team car when he finishes Paris-Tours on Sunday.
The Dutchman is set to retire after Sunday’s race and become director for his EF Education-EasyPost team, calling time on a career that saw him score victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and finish third at Paris-Roubaix and fifth at Tour of Flanders.
“I am super grateful that I can make my own decision to stop my career now,” Langeveld said. “The time is right. Luckily, I am not one of those athletes who all of a sudden has to retire because they don’t have a contract or they are injured. I am still going to be on the road with a great bunch of people.”
Langeveld, 37, raced through nine grand tours and 45 monuments during his racing life with Skil-Shimano, Rabobank, Orica-GreenEdge, and latterly the EF-Slipstream setup.
The Dutchman was a regular at the sharp end of the northern classics through the turn of last decade and scored headline victory over Juan Antonio Flecha and Mat Hayman at the 2011 Omloop.
“I always had the idea to do one more classic campaign and stop at the velodrome in Roubaix, doing one more time the races I so much love, the reason I started cycling in the first place. But these last weeks the feeling of stopping was getting stronger and stronger. So I have to be honest with myself, I know it’s time,” Langeveld wrote on social media.
After racing with his current team since 2014, Langeveld isn’t totally ready to leave just yet. He will join Tejay van Garderen and Matti Breschel as former team riders-turned-directors after he races Paris-Tours for a fifth and final time.
“I’m looking forward to the second part in my career as a sports director for EF Education-EasyPost,” he wrote. “I’m ready and motivated to put in the same passion in this role as I did as a cyclist.”
This weekend’s French classic will also see monument champion Philippe Gibert riding into retirement in what is a pivotal weekend for pro cycling.
National heroes and illustrious veterans Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali also hang up their wheels after one last blast through Saturday’s Il Lombardia.