Serge Pauwels (CCC Team) has announced his retirement from professional cycling, bringing the curtain down on a career that has spanned 15 years.
The Belgian has struggled with illness in 2020, completing two stage races in February before being sidelined by a virus infection then myocarditis – inflammation of the guts muscles.
He has now recovered from both but, at 37, and with CCC Team set to disband and be appropriated by Circus-Wanty, he has decided to maneuver on from professional racing.
I have spent the last few couple of months ago resting which has given me the time to make a decision what i would like to try to to moving forward. I’m happy to possess now been given the green light from a health perspective but I’m almost 37-years-old and that i feel this is often an honest moment to call time on my career,” Pauwels said.
Assuming i was forever within the early stages of my career it might be a special story but I can reminisce now and say that I even have achieved everything I wanted to, so i feel this is often the proper time to retire. I even have my family to believe and that i can’t wait to spend longer with them, as I even have been ready to since the interruption within the season back in March.
Further explanation on Pauwel situation, CCC Team doctor Max Testa said: “Unfortunately, with only a few races left within the season, Serge simply won’t have the time to coach and build up to race-ready form before the ultimate Classics or the Vuelta a España. It’s a shame that Serge cannot celebrate his career one last time on the road but the foremost important thing is that his recovery was successful.”
He started the career in 2006 at the Topsport Vlaanderen team, a renowned developer of Belgian talent, before riding for the Cervélo Test Team in 2009. He stepped up to the WorldTour in 2010 as a part of the inaugural Team Sky roster and spent two years at British team before moving to QuickStep for 3 years.
Pauwels’ biggest success came at the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire, where he won the ultimate stage and therefore the overall title.
He is technically a stage winner of the 2009 Giro d’Italia, after placing second on stage 15 behind Leonardo Bertagnolli, who was later stripped of his results thanks to doping offences. However, the instant had been controversial as Pauwels was called back from the break by team leader Carlos Sastre, while he never received a message to mention he had become the stage winner.
Pauwels rode 13 Grand Tours during his career, his best result being 13th overall at the 2015 Tour de France.
There will be no final send-off at a race, but no regrets either.
“I’m not sad. I’m not the type of rider who needs one last lap of the Champs-Elysées or anything like that. I’m more excited to seem ahead and see what the longer term holds,” he said.
Here is appreciation for everyone who has played a task in my career, from my teammates to the staff, and my family and friends. It really has been an unforgettable ride and that i feel lucky to be stepping away on my very own terms.
My career was very interesting and spanning the past 15 years and once I reminisce , I even have nothing but good memories of my time as knowledgeable cyclist. There are few people that can say they love their job and cycling has been far more than that on behalf of me , it really may be a passion and I’m looking forward to staying involved within the cycling industry following my retirement