Magnus Backstedt, the giant Swede with a long pro history, is retiring. After a career with many improbable wins - including Paris Roubaix, a Tour de France stage, and Swedish National Champ road race - injuries have come too frequently, and he's stepping out of the saddle. From the press release:
After 13 years of professional cycling, 34-year old Magnus Backstedt will step down from the highest level of the sport. Backstedt will take his career learnings, combined with what he has gleaned from Garmin-Slipstream's dedication to the next generation of cycling champions, to work with his own development squad and to stay on as a consultant for Garmin's young riders.
The development team is a Swedish registered continental team - Cyclesport.se-MagnusMaximusCoffee.com. I think it's fair to say that Big Maggy has had a pretty strong fan base here at PdC, and we'll miss him. Good luck, Maggy.
Full statement from Backstedt on the jump.
Official Statement from Magnus Backstedt:
I have had a fantastic career. I turned pro at 21; I have raced with some of the best riders and teams in the World. I've won a stage of the Tour de France and the biggest one-day Classic in the World, among others. I can take a step down from the highest level of the sport with my head held high and with the knowledge that I helped bring about a change in the sport by being involved with Garmin-Slipstream.
I believe in a NEW clean future for our sport and I can pass this onto my own young riders. I want to thank Jonathan Vaughters, Doug Ellis, every single person in the team, everyone at Garmin and our other sponsors who have supported me. Most of all I want to thank my family (wife and 2 daughters especially), friends and all the people who have helped me through the years.
I also want to thank my fans. You guys have been a huge contributing factor in helping me get back from each setback. As they say, as one door closes, another one opens. New beginnings with no regrets. I'm still going to ride my bike, wind down and bring on the future champions.
Thank you all!
- Magnus Backstedt