De Groot facing retirement, but stays 'on the clock'
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

De Groot facing retirement, but stays 'on the clock'

by Steve Jones at 1:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

After eleven years with the Rabobank team, Bram De Groot is facing a possible end to his cycling career.

VeloNation caught up with the Dutchman following the Cross Vegas race here at Interbike in Las Vegas. De Groot said he was making an appearance in the 'cross scene for the first time in "a very long time".

He said jokingly afterwards, "I was in great position on the first lap, and then I blew up. And then I blew up again...and again!"

Admittedly not his style of racing, he is still enjoyed his first visit to "Sin City", hanging in there to finish inside the top 20.

The most impressive part of De Groot, though, is how at a time when he is without a contract for 2010, he kept his long-time sponsor front and center.

"No, no, no," De Groot said, as he motioned to his chest with one hand, shaking the index finger on his other, "please let me zip up my jersey first!"

A consummate professional to the end, he told VeloNation, "When you don't have another contract offer, then you have no choice but to retire."

It remains to be seen whether the man who helped shephard Denis Menchov to his overall victory in the Giro d'Italia will be back next year, but if he is, there's not doubt that he'll keep his new sponsor's best interest at heart.


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