2021 will be the last season in the peloton for Daniel Martin as the Irish climber of Israel Start-Up Nation announced that he will stop at the end of the year.

“After 14 seasons as a professional cyclist, I have decided to call it a day. Though this huge decision has taken much thought, I feel that the time is right to move on as I want to achieve so many other things in life,” Martin said in a statement.

“In some ways, deciding to stop has been challenging and complex; it’s perhaps one of the biggest and most important decisions I have ever made; and in other ways, it’s been easy. Though I am still competitive, I’ve realised that racing has lost the fun element: the whole reason I race in the first place.

The Irish climber started his career with Garmin. During that period he won the monuments Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Lombardia, and a stage in both the Vuelta a Espana and the Tour de France. He then rode two seasons for Quick-Step, and then another two years for UAE Team Emirates. He has been riding for Israel Start-Up Nation since 2020 and won a stage in the Giro d’Italia earlier this year, as a result of which he has now victories in all three grand tours.

“I still love cycling and feel privileged to have called racing bikes, something I have relished since I was a kid, my ‘job.’ Through cycling, I have met so many amazing people who have enriched my life and shared some incredible experiences with them.”

“Giving 100 per cent to what I do has always been how I operate. Though I could continue racing for a few years to come, and for many, this would seem like the obvious thing to do; I am at a point where I’m ready to take on some exciting new challenges in life.

“I feel fortunate to be deciding when I retire. I am genuinely grateful for the support of family, friends, fans, and so many cycling teammates and colleagues who have supported me throughout my career. A big thank you to my current team, Israel Start-Up Nation and all the staff and riders for making these past two seasons one of the most enjoyable and successful periods in my career.

“What next? I will always be a cyclist; I won’t hang up my wheels, just my race number. During the last few off-seasons and when I’ve had time outside of training and racing, I have found a new sense of purpose and fun in developing companies and working within businesses. This interest led to Rubix Ventures, a company I co-founded with trusted contacts, to help athletes invest in exciting growth companies.

“I’m also looking forward to being more present as a father and husband at home and doing some simple things that are not compatible with the requirements of a cycling career, like going for a run with my wife.”

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