Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Former Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders champion Niki Terpstra will quit professional road racing at the end of the 2022 season.
The 38-year-old Dutchman made the announcement in a video on his Instagram channel as he looked back on a journey that started as an eight-year-old boy.
Terpstra turned professional with Team Milram in 2007 and spent four years at the team before switching to Quick-Step, a team where he achieved much of his successes. He has spent the past four seasons with TotalEnergies, but his contract was due for renewal at the end of this season.
“At the end of this season, I will retire from professional road cycling. Ever since I was eight, I’ve been obsessed with cycling. I imagined cycling in the big races. I’ve managed to cycle them all and be victorious at my dream races,” he said. “My career is filled with extreme highs and lows and, with everyone who has supported me, family, friends, fans, we can be proud of what we’ve achieved. I still love cycling and I will continue doing that but in a different way.”
Terpstra’s early career saw him split his time between the track and the road and he won a silver medal at the 2005 track world championships in the team pursuit. On the road, he showed some early promise in the cobbled classics and it would be there that he gained most of his successes.
He topped the podium at the 2014 Paris-Roubaix following a late break after the final major section of cobbles. Four years later, he went on to win E3 Harelbeke and the Tour of Flanders back-to-back. He has been on the podium of most of the major cobbled classics throughout his career.
Despite his hugely successful 2018 season, Terpstra would leave Quick-Step at the end of that year and move to Total Direct Energie, which is now known as TotalEnergies. He enjoyed some good results in 2019, but some bad luck and lack of form since has seen him unable to revisit his former glories.
This year, Terpstra has branched out away from road cycling and he took on the LeadBoat Challenge last month. He had been linked with a potential move to the Dutch Beat Cycling team.
In a caption alongside the video he posted, Terpstra said that he had options to continue his road career but that he wanted something new. However, he appeared to indicate that his racing days were not over, perhaps indicating a move to a different discipline.
“Despite options to continue, I feel it’s time to close this incredible chapter of my career and focus on new challenges on and off the bike,” he said. “I could not have imagined that at the age of eight, while starting to ride my bike, I’d have the chance to one day be part of the professional peloton and race all those iconic races. To then also win monuments such as Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders is still mind blowing to me and my family.
“I can’t wait to finish this season on a high note, as some great events are still on my agenda. Later more on that. It was an incredible journey and I like to thank everyone who supported me during my career. But listen, I am not done yet with cycling. Of course, I will continue to race… stay tuned.”