Madrid: Spaniard Carlos Sastre, a surprise Tour de France champion in 2008, announced his retirement at the age of 36.
The GEOX-TMC rider told a news conference at a Madrid hotel he had made the decision last year.
"The time has come to bring this cycle to a close," he said. "Next year I will start a new phase, although I do not yet know what I will do."
Sastre built his 2008 Tour triumph on the ascent of the Alpe d`Huez and was seen as someone who thrived on his typical status as an underdog.