Dan Martin has announced his retirement from professional cycling.
The 35-year-old Irishman has called time on his career after 14 seasons in which he scored 22 professional wins, including two Monuments and five Grand Tour stage victories.
Martin, who currently rides for Israel Start-Up Nation, said the decision to retire had been “challenging and complex” but that he came to the realisation racing was no longer “fun” for him. He said earlier in the year at the Giro d’Italia that “cycling is not worth the risk” after battling through a hazardous gravel stage at the Italian Grand Tour.
“After 14 seasons as a professional cyclist, I have decided to call it a day,” Martin said.
“Though this huge decision has taken much thought, I feel that the time is right to move on as I want to achieve so many other things in life.
“In some ways, deciding to stop has been challenging and complex; it’s perhaps one of the biggest and most important decisions I have ever made; and in other ways, it’s been easy. Though I am still competitive, I’ve realised that racing has lost the fun element: the whole reason I race in the first place.
“I still love cycling and feel privileged to have called racing bikes, something I have relished since I was a kid, my ‘job.’ Through cycling, I have met so many amazing people who have enriched my life and shared some incredible experiences with them.
“Giving 100% to what I do has always been how I operate. Though I could continue racing for a few years to come, and for many, this would seem like the obvious thing to do; I am at a point where I’m ready to take on some exciting new challenges in life.”
Martin turned professional with Jonathan Vaughter’s Team Garmin-Chipotle in 2008 and remained with the team through its various incarnations until 2015. In that time he took both of his major overall stage race victories, the 2010 Tour of Poland and the 2013 Volta a Catalunya. He also scored the first two of his five Grand Tour stage wins with the team at the 2011 Vuelta a España and the 2013 Tour de France.
It was as a one-day racer that Martin impressed most with Garmin, winning the 2013 Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the 2014 Il Lombardia, having finished second at the 2011 Il Lombardia and second at the 2014 Fléche Wallonne.
Martin then moved to Etixx-Quick-Step in 2016 where he spent two seasons, though suffered a relative dry spell by his standards, taking three wins, the most notable a stage at the Volta a Catalunya in 2016.
He roared back at the Grand Tours with a stage victory atop Mûr de Bretagne at the 2018 Tour de France while riding for UAE Team Emirates, before spending the final two years of his career at Israel Start-Up Nation, where he flourished with stage wins at the Vuelta a España in 2020 and the Giro d’Italia in 2021.
It was with Israel Start-Up Nation that Martin also took the best Grand Tour overall result of his career, fourth at the 2020 Vuelta, finishing 2-43 behind winner Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma). Prior to that his best overall result was sixth at the 2017 Tour de France.
Martin says the end of his racing career is not the end of his life on the bike, explaining that in recent years he has found interests outside of cycling that he’ll focus on once he retires, as well as spending more time with his family.
His next race will be the Tour of Britain, which begins on Sunday (September 5), though it’s not yet confirmed where his last race will be.
“What next? I will always be a cyclist; I won’t hang up my wheels, just my race number,” Martin said.
“During the last few off-seasons and when I’ve had time outside of training and racing, I have found a new sense of purpose and fun in developing companies and working within businesses. This interest led to Rubix Ventures, a company I co-founded with trusted contacts, to help athletes invest in exciting growth companies.
“I’m also looking forward to being more present as a father and husband at home and doing some simple things that are not compatible with the requirements of a cycling career, like going for a run with my wife.
“With the finish line in view, I’ve dug into training over the last few weeks and am looking forward to having an impact in my final few races and hopefully ending this period of my life in style.”