Knaven takes part in final race, retires after 17 years as a professional
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Knaven takes part in final race, retires after 17 years as a professional

by Bjorn Haake at 8:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Milram rider to put on racing suit one last time on Sunday

Servais Knaven retires after 17 years in the professional cycling peloton. On Sunday, he will race in his farewell race in the Profwielerronde Etten-Leur. Former and current racers will join Knaven in the event, which offers a variety program that includes youth and celebrity races.

While some of his Milram teammates will ride the ProTour race Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg, Knaven will be joined by his colleagues Niki Terpstra, Wim De Vocht and Wim Stroetinga in his last performance. The Milram quartet will lead an illustrious field, including Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) and Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso.

In his 17 years as a professional, Knaven was Dutch national championship in 1995. A big success was the stage victory at the 2003 Tour de France, in the stage from Dax to Bordeaux. For once Bordeaux eluded the sprinters, with Knaven coming home 17 seconds ahead of an eight-man group.


But the career highlight was his 2001 win in Paris-Roubaix, a race he finished a record-breaking 16 times. I 2001, Knaven beat three-time winner Johan Museeuw by 34 seconds. A group around George Hincapie came in a few seconds after Museeuw.

Milram hired Knaven for his vast experience in the classics. The Dutchman still raced through the spring program, but the Dutch National Championships in late June were his last races. For one final time, Knaven will put on his race suit and do what he does best - pedal hard.

Knaven turned pro in 1994 with TVM, which became Domo-Farm-Frites. He joined Quick Step in 2003, before heading to Germany. He raced  for T-Mobile in 2007, which became American team Columbia/ In 2009 he moved back to a German squad, Milram. Sponsorship for Milram is fizzling out, so retirement takes away from Knaven's stress to find a  new team.

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