Romain Bardet announces retirement - Frenchman to finish pro career at 2025 Dauphiné and transition to gravel racing

Romain Bardet has announced his retirement from pro cycling. The Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL rider has renewed for another year with the Dutch team and has revealed that he will now race his final Tour de France. He will race on the road for the last time at next year's Criterium du Dauphiné before focusing on gravel racing.

“It has really been a pleasure to work with Romain over the past few seasons," team DS Rudy Kemna said in a press release. "He is a true professional who always gives his all for the sport and gives energy to those around him. We’ve seen Romain not only perform brilliantly on the bike with us, but he has a passion for helping those around him, and with a voice of wisdom and calmness he helps to guide and mentor the young up-and-coming GC talents within the team."

The Frenchman was one of the most popular and successful riders of the past generation, twice riding to the podium of the Tour de France in 2016 and 2017. The 33-year old was on the podium of the 2018 World Championships; races such as the Criterium du Dauphiné and most recently Liège-Bastogne-Liège this spring, showing that he still has his best level. He won stages at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Tour de France whilst he also conquered the KOM classification in 2019. He moved away from his AG2R team in 2021 in pursuit of a new challenge with DSM.

“I have really enjoyed my time with the team," he said in an emotional message, confirming he found a new home with the Dutch team, but it has come the time to make a decision. "So far so for me, it was a no-brainer to either continue with them or fully end my career. I am very grateful for the relationship I have with all the team members and for the trust that the management is putting in me." Although he has kept a high level, he has also struggled to match the level of the new generation who is racing on a superior level up the mountains, making it difficult for him to succeed in the stage-races.

"I was not really sure if I wanted to continue cycling, but I still feel that I can bring value and keep chasing big results with the team, so I am happy that we are going into another year together to do something a bit special," he continues. "For me, this is the way I dreamed of finishing my career. I hope to still chase some big victories with the team in 2025, especially in the Giro, to try and get the missing stage win there." He will end his career on the road at the Dauphiné in June 2025 after the Giro d'Italia.

"I also feel that I want to give the team something back in this race after doing it together three times. I will also keep working with the younger riders in the team and help them develop towards their GC goals. The Dauphiné will be my final road race, as it is my favourite race on the calendar. It is really mountainous and close to where I live. These are the roads I used to train on a lot, so there couldn’t be a better place to finish my road career."

Bardet will join several former pro riders who made the switch to gravel, and will test himself off-road with sights on a daily life that doesn't take out as much from him, as he looks to focus on his family as well. "After that, I am really excited to tackle a new challenge and do gravel racing with the support of the team. It will be a kind of transition for me, but I will do my best in some of the World Cups and hope to also do well in the World Championships in Nice in 2025.”

"We’re excited that we can continue working with him in his final year on the road and be there to support him as he takes on his new adventure in gravel racing," Kemna concluded.

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