Omega Pharma-Lotto's Christophe Brandt to call it a career this afternoon
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Omega Pharma-Lotto's Christophe Brandt to call it a career this afternoon

by Jered Gruber at 6:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Belgian could go out on a high note with a Philippe Gilbert victory this afternoon

QuickStep's Marco Velo and RadioShack's Chechu Rubiera won't be the only two riders counting the Giro di Lombardia as their final race. Omega Pharma-Lotto's Christophe Brandt is calling an end to an eleven year career when he crosses the finish line in Como following his last 260 kilometers as a professional cyclist.

"Enough is enough. I've achieved everything that I could as a cyclist. The job requires a lot of sacrifices that I can no longer afford. I'm ready for something new in my life," says the Belgian in Le Soir.

Brandt has raced his career mainly as a domestique, but has managed a number of solid results. His lone win was in 2002 at the Druivenkoers, but he also managed a notable 14th place in the 2004 Giro.

"I have deliberately chosen a role as a domestique. I had no talent, and I found that I could fulfill a role. It was nice to ride for Cipollini, Tchmil, Evans, and Gilbert. You cannot underestimate such a role."

The 33 year old isn't entirely sure what's up next for him, but he is certain that he wants to remain in the sport.

"I do not know what the future holds, but I will no doubt remain with the team. Maybe I can get into the youth project with the National Lottery, or perhaps I can start right away as a team director."

With a promising 14th place finish in the 2004 Giro, it would seem that more would have been possible for Brandt, but Brandt places some of his step back from going after results to a coma he ended up in following a bad crash in 2006.

"I was lucky, but after I that I did not reach my best level. Maybe because I was struggling with a fear for my daughter."

Brandt will have the chance to ride in support one more time today en route to Como. His team captain, Philippe Gilbert, is the hot favorite to take his second consecutive win at the Giro di Lombardia today.

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