Rogers retires due to heart problems

Due to a congenital heart defect and bouts of arrhythmia, Australian Michael Rogers cuts his pro racing career short.

Tinkoff’s Mick Rogers made it official Monday, pulling the plug on his 16-year career due to ongoing heart problems.

The 36-year-old Australian cited arrhythmia as the cause behind his mid-season decision. He started the Dubai Tour in February and has not raced since.

“Recent cardiac examinations have identified occurrences of heart arrhythmia that have never been detected beforehand,” Rogers wrote Monday. “The latest diagnosis, added to the congenital heart condition which was diagnosed in 2001, means my competitive career must end.”

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Part of the hyped “class of 2000” at Mapei that also included Fabian Cancellara and Filippo Pozzato, many touted Rogers as a potential Tour de France winner. A pro since 2001, he won three consecutive world time trial titles from 2003-2005, but he could never follow through on his grand tour potential. Ninth in the 2006 Tour de France, and sixth in the 2009 Giro d’Italia were his only GC top 10s.

Rogers cited a bout with mononucleosis for a dip in form, but then he won the 2010 Amgen Tour of California with the High Road franchise.

He morphed into a super-domestique role in a switch to Team Sky in 2011, becoming a key helper in Bradley Wiggins’s history 2012 Tour win. A move to Saxo – Tinkoff saw Rogers hit his stride again, finding a new peak in 2014, winning two climbing stages at the Giro, and another in the Pyrénées at the Tour.

He also was awarded an Olympic time trial bronze medal after winner Tyler Hamilton was disqualified for doping.

“Whilst I’m disappointed to miss my 13th Tour de France and a chance to compete at my fifth Olympic Games, I’m not prepared to put my health in jeopardy,” Rogers wrote. “The opportunity of being a professional cyclist is that after retirement the challenge of a whole new career beckons. And even more importantly, I married the woman of my dreams 11 years ago, and together we are raising three particularly animated daughters.”