Addy Engels to hang up his wheels in Putte-Kapellen Sluitingsprijs
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Addy Engels to hang up his wheels in Putte-Kapellen Sluitingsprijs

by Ben Atkins at 12:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Fall Classics
 
Dutchman to join 1t4i as sports director after 12 years serving others in the peloton

addy engelsAddy Engels (Quick Step) will retire from professional cycling in the Sluitingsprijs – the closing race of the Belgian season – in Putte-Kapellen tomorrow. The 34-year-old Dutchman turned professional in 2000, with Rabobank, and has spent the past five seasons riding for teams in the sport’s first division. Since he has spent most of his career riding for others, Engels doesn’t have any victories to his name, with second place in the twelfth stage of the 2006 Giro d’Italia his biggest result.

In his career Engels has ridden fifteen Grand Tours, finishing all of them, including both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France this year.

“At this time I have mixed feelings," said Engels. "I knew this day would come sooner or later, that's the way things inevitably go in the life of an athlete. As of tomorrow an important, very beautiful chapter in my life will come to its conclusion, but at the same time I'm starting a new one; I see a new horizon, which I hope contains a universe of opportunities to pursue with passion and determination.”

After spending four years at Rabobank, Engels rode for the smaller Bankgiroloterij team for one season, before joining Quick Step in 2005.

“I’d like to thank the entire team for all they’ve done for me,” he said. “I spent the last seven years of my career in this jersey. I was 27 years old when I got here. In this team I found new motivation and I got the chance to race alongside great champions like Paolo Bettini, Sylvain Chavanel and many others. They’ve been some challenging seasons, but they were rich in satisfaction; unforgettable seasons which I’ll forever carry in my heart and in my bag of experience.”

Engels will take his ‘bag of experience’ with him to a new role at the Project 1t4i team (currently Skil-Shimano) next season, where he and Dutch former rider Marc Reef will start as coaches.

“We offer them a route in which they can gain experience and will be of great value to the team within a short time,” said 1t4i general manager Iwan Spekenbrink. “Addy has a lot of experience as a professional cyclist and Marc also has a clear vision on cycling.

“They both have good coaching skills and are communicatively competent,” he added. “They know how to convey a message; they are eager and true team players. They will be of great value to our cyclists and a reinforcement to our team.”

In the meantime, Engels will be given the Quick Step team leader’s number eleven in tomorrow’s race, which was won by young British sprinter Adam Blythe (Omega Pharma-Lotto) last year.

Quick Step team for the Sluitingsprijs, Putte-Kapellen
Addy Engels, Nikolas Maes, Fréderique Robert, Andreas Stauff, Kevin Van Impe, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Julien Vermote

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