Rob Partridge will hang up his wheels after his record-equalling 11th Tour of Britain.
The Welshman, who turns 32 on Monday, announced his retirement on the eve of the final stage, which finishes minutes from his home in Cardiff.
Partridge insists he will not walk away from the sport, though, expressing his determination to explore other exciting opportunities out of the saddle.
But the former British under-23 champion reckons the time is right to bow out, with a home stage of the Tour of Britain a perfect finale. He said:
“I have had a good career, a good crack at being a professional cyclist and I bow out but with my head held high.
“I have seen some amazing places and met some amazing people. I have made friends for life from cycling.
“I wouldn’t have met Soph, my fiancée, if it wasn’t for cycling, along with a lot of my best friends.
“It has taught me a lot as well. It broadens your horizons, opens your eyes to the world and gives you a great outlook on life.
“And that is one of the reasons I want to stay within the cycling world and not walk away from it completely.
“The Tour of Britain is where I started my career – day one in the breakaway, actually. So getting in the break on stage one again this year was great.
“And with the finish in Cardiff, minutes from my house, with friends and family out there, it seems good timing to announce my retirement.
“It really is a great event. There is so much public interest, it is definitely one of my favourite races.
“So to go out the same way as I came in, just seems a nice way to bookend my career and do so on my terms.”
While Partridge will look back on his many successes fondly, he reckons the 2017 campaign has been one of his most memorable.
And he wished his BIKE Channel Canyon ‘family’ the best of luck for the future, admitting it will be tough to watch them from the sidelines in the coming seasons. He added:
“With the likes of Hank, Opie, Dex all involved, this year has been so much fun.
“Every time we go to a race we have had a laugh. And we have been pretty successful, too.
“It has been one of my most enjoyable seasons. It’s just a shame the team did not come along a little earlier in my career.
“It would have been nice to have a bit longer with this group. Everyone works so hard, it is quite a small team, almost a family.
“I am sure I will sit back and watch the boys over the next couple of seasons, wishing I was out there with them.
“Long may it continue, for years and years. But the time just feels right for me to retire now.”
The Tour of Britain returned in its current format in 2004 and an 18-year-old Partridge wasted no time in announcing himself as he jumped clear in the break on stage one in Manchester.
Since then he has been crowned British under-23 champion, tasted success in major domestic races such as the Ryedale Grand Prix and enjoyed Tour Series glory, both as an individual and overall.
In a glittering career which has seen him race for NFTO, Velosure-Giordana, UK Youth, Endura, Rapha Condor and Halfords Bikehut, Partridge was seventh in the national road race in 2014, eighth overall at the Tour of Britain in 2010 and finished third (2008), fourth (2015) and sixth (2010) among his 10 visits to the An Post Rás.
The Wrexham-born rider has also represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games, won the Welsh national road race twice and clinched the mountains classification at the Le Tour de Bretagne Cycliste.
Now Partridge moves on to a different chapter in his cycling life.