Paris-Tours starts retirement for Vierhouten, Ljungqvist
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Paris-Tours starts retirement for Vierhouten, Ljungqvist

by Bjorn Haake at 7:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Sunday's Paris-Tours will be the final races for Aart Vierhouten (Vacansoleil) and Marcus Ljungqvist (Saxo Bank). Vierhouten stops after 14 years as a pro, while Ljungqvist rejected offers from his team manager Bjarne Riis as well as from the Radio Shack team.

Vierhouten's favorite race is Paris-Roubaix. It's not quite as extravagant on Sunday, but the Dutchman was still happy with the way he'll retire. "I am happy that a beautiful race like Paris-Tours will be my last race. I enjoyed cycling throughout my career and it shall stay this way after I retire," Vierhouten said.

Vierhouten won two races in 2006, the first stage of the Ster Elektrotoer and the Noord Nederland Tour a few days later. He started his career 1996. His teams were Rabobank, Lotto - where he helped Robbie McEwen in the sprints - Skil Shimano and P3Transfer - Batavus. This year he raced for the new Vacansoleil team.

He will use the Amsterdam Six Days (October 19 - 24) to wave good-bye to his fans, riding the event together with teammate Jens Mouris.

Swedish rider Ljungqvist spent the last four years with Bjarne Riis but negotiations for a new contract failed, according to Danish newspaper Dalarnas Tidningar. "Yes, I said 'no' to both Lance and Bjarne," Ljungqvist stated. "I made the decision together with my wife Carina."

Ljungqvist was a professional for 12 years, starting his career at Cantina Tollo in 1998. He also raced for Team Fakta, Crédit Agricole and Bianchi, before moving to CSC. While he didn't want to provide details he said he will stay involved in cycling.

Ljungqvist won the Swedish National Championships three times and won the overall of the Tour of Luxembourg in 2002. He took a lot of good results in 2007, when he was part of the winning squad in the 2007 Eindhoven team trial. Other results that season include a second overall in the Tour of Ireland and also second in the Monte Paschi Eroica, which was resurrected that year. In 2006 he also won the team time trial with his CSC team in the Vuelta a España.


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