Kurt-Asle Arvesen to retire at Paris-Tours after successful career
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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Kurt-Asle Arvesen to retire at Paris-Tours after successful career

by Xylon van Eyck at 12:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Tours
 
Norwegian says he never thought he’d win the races he did

Kurt Asle ArvesenKurt-Asle Arvesen will ride his last race as a professional tomorrow when he lines up for Paris-Tours. The 36 year old has enjoyed an illustrious career with notable victories while riding in support of some of the sport’s most successful athletes.

Throughout the years, Arvesen has shared teams with Ivan Basso, Bobby Julich, Paolo Bettini, Carlos Sastre and the Schleck brothers.

"I think I’ve done almost everything I could have done in cycling and when I was a kid and started out I never expected to be able to do all of this," he said, speaking on the Team Sky website. "I’ve won more races than I expected and been a part of some of the biggest teams in the world so it’s been a great adventure."

Although Arvesen’s race wins each year were never large in quantity, he had a knack for winning big races which include being crowned under-23 world champion and taking stages in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

"The under-23 title in 1997. That was a door-opener for me to be a professional because there weren’t many big teams who looked to Norway and what we were doing - you almost had to win the World Championship to become a pro.

"We didn’t have other pros from Norway at that time and we didn’t have contact with the big teams so it needed something special and luckily I won that sprint in front of Óscar Freire in San Sebastián and that gave me the opportunity to become a pro.

"And then that first stage in the Giro was another highlight – I struggled a little bit in the beginning in Italy so to go back there with a small Danish team and win a stage in their biggest race was a really good feeling. It showed the Italians I was an okay bike rider."

Arvesen leaves at a time when Norwegian cycling is healthy with regards to the number of professionals they have in the peloton. Thor Hushovd last year became the first world champion from the country and this year he and compatriot Edvald Boasson Hagen both won two stages each at the Tour de France.

After paving the way for many Norwegians, Paris-Tours will be his swan song to the peloton and to Team Sky as a rider. Arvesen moved to the British squad last year after seven successful years with Bjarne Riis at CSC and SaxoBank.

"It's going to be strange on Sunday. I’ve been thinking about this race for a long time now and it's getting closer and closer."

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