Garmin-Sharp’s Klier retires, slides into team director job

German classics specialist won Ghent-Wevelgem in 2003, along with a stage at the 2007 Vuelta a Espana

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Classics specialist Andreas Klier, who won the 2003 edition of Ghent-Wevelgem, announced his retirement this morning. Klier will next move into a team director role with his team since 2011, Garmin-Sharp.

Klier broke the news on Twitter, which was followed up with a story on Garmin’s website.

The 37-year-old German, who rode for five teams during his career that began in 1996, said he was confident in his decision to step away from the professional ranks.

“I had the honor of spending many years in the saddle and I have decided that now it is time for me to stop racing and to start a new role,” Klier said in the Garmin story. “In my mind and my heart I know this is the right decision for me, and I have been given the opportunity to move into a director role at Garmin-Sharp. So now, I will stop racing with a big smile in my face and a lot of wonderful moments in my mind and look forward to the future.”

Klier spent much of his racing career chasing classics victories. 2003 Ghent-Wevelgem was his highlight in that regard, but he also finished second in 2005 at both E3 Prijs Vlaanderen and Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders).

At the 2007 Vuelta a Espana, Klier won stage 13. He also finished sixth at the Tour of Qatar that season, while in 2009 Klier placed fifth in the Tour of Qatar and Ghent-Wevelgem.

“I had wonderful years as a professional,” Klier said. “Together with my teammates, we won races, we lost races but above all we were always a team and we share memories that will last a lifetime. These are the moments I will never forget.”

Klier joked that as a professional rider, all he had to worry about was his role in the race — whether it was leading out a teammate in a sprint finish or getting into a breakaway. In his new job as a team director, he will be responsible for details such as picking up riders’ numbers and leaving them in their hotel rooms.

“If you ask me today to go and get the numbers for the riders, I probably couldn’t sleep all night,” Klier said. “I have a lot to learn and therefore I am happy that I am allowed to do so in such a healthy environment. I am very thankful for that.”

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