Joseba Beloki retired: "Cycling is dying a slow death."

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22.12.2007/ Joseba Beloki announcent his retirement during a press conference on Friday. The 34 year old hopes to continue continue working in the world of cycling in some capacity.

© Euskatel-Euskadi
Joseba Beloki started his career with Euskatel-Euskadi (© Euskatel-Euskadi)

Beloki finished second to seven-time champion Lance Armstrong in 2002 following back-to-back third-place finishes in 2000 and 2001. Beloki started his career with Euskatel-Euskadi in 1998 and was one of the strongest rivals of Lance Armstrong until a crash during stage 9 of the 2003 Tour de France. Beloki was, with only 40 seconds behind Armstrong, second overall at that moment. Beloki suffered severe injuries and was never able to perform on the same level again. In 2005 he rode his next and final Tour de France and finsihed 75th overall.

"I leave with my head high and proud of all I have accomplished," Beloki said. "Like in all things with life, there exists a start and finish and while I was hoping to end my sporting career on a high, I've already arrived at this point and this was something I had to accept."

In 2006 Beloki was allegedly involved in the Puerto scandal while riding with the Liberty Seguros team of Manolo Saiz. Beloki did not find a new team after Liberty Seguros stopped operations.

"Cyclists are living in a desperate moment of suffering, solidarity, lies and betrayal," Beloki said during his retirement press conference. "Cycling is dying a slow death." Beloki's final race was in 2006.

Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro
Born: August 12, 1973
Place of Birth: Vitorria, Spain
Professional career: 1998 - 2007
1998 - 1999: Euskatel Euskadi
2000:           Festina
2001 - 2003  O.N.C.E.
2004:           Brioches La Boulangère (until August 1)
2004:           Saunier Duval - Prodir (From August 1)
2005 - 2006  Liberty Seguros (until June 1)
2006:           Astana (From June 6)
Stage 3b Tour de Romandie
Stage 5 Vuelta Ciclista Asturias
General Classification Vuelta Ciclista Asturias
Memorial Jacinto Gonzalez de Heredia
Stage 1 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
Stage 4 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
Stage 8 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
General Classification Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
Escalada a Montjuich
Stage 6 Euzkal Bizikleta
Stage 3 Clásica Internacional de Alcobenas
General Classification Clásica Internacional de Alcobenas
Stage 5 Euzkal Bizikleta

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