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David Veilleux (Europcar) announced his retirement from professional cycling on Wednesday morning through a statement on his website. This year, the 25-year-old Canadian became the first Quebecker to participate in the Tour de France, where he finished 123rd.
Veilleux said that he wanted to concentrate on his mechanical engineering studies, and devote more time to his family.
In his statement, Veilleux thanked his Europcar team for helping him achieve his objectives over the past three years, such as competing in cycling’s biggest races, which he dreamed of participating in as a boy. Over his career, Veilleux participated in Milano-Sanremo, Paris-Roubaix, the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), and this year’s Tour de France. Veilleux also highlighted his stage victory at this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné, as well as other North American races, and his participation at the world championships.
Veilleux joined Europcar in cycling second division after gaining prominence in North America with the Kelly Benefit Strategies (now Optum) team, for whom he won the 2010 Canadian criterium championship, as well as the overall race at the 2010 U.S. criterium championship. Veilleux said that he was proud of what he had achieved as a professional cyclist, but that it was time for him to look to the future and pursue personal goals such as his education, and, eventually, start a family.
Veilleux also said that, while he would probably spend less time on his bike, he planned on staying involved in cycling, specifically with young cyclists. He said that he wanted to commit to helping young cyclists develop and speak to them about his experience. Veilleux also said that he wanted to continue to be a good example for anyone who wants to achieve a goal that they think is unattainable.
Veilleux’s last races as a professional will be this weekend’s Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec and Montréal.