End of an era as Jens Voigt lines up for last race

Legs to be told to “Shut up” for final time at this week’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge

by Simon_MacMichael   August 18, 2014  

Jens Voigt is so tough cameras dare not capture all his colours Image by Flickr user petitbrun

The peloton is set to lose one of its most popular characters with confirmation from Jens Voigt that the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which begins today, will be his final race.

The Trek Factory Racing rider said yesterday that he will be hanging up his wheels after the race, less than a month shy of his 43rd birthday and after 18 seasons as a professional. To mark the occasion, Trek have supplied him with a custom chrome Madone 7.

Quoted in the Denver Post, he said: "I had some great moments. I met some of the greatest people in the world. I am thankful for the sport of cycling and what it gave to me."

Long-time team mate Fränk Schleck added: "He always came to every single race willing to win. He was always great for the team, and the whole team will need that special push — and somebody who brews the coffee for us."

Voigt rode the Tour de France a record-equalling 17 times, beginning the last of those in the crowd-pleasing, attacking style that has endeared him to fans around the world, going on a solo break on Stage 1 from Leeds to Harrogate.

It didn’t stick, but he does have two stage wins in cycling’s biggest race, the second being this one from 2006 when he beat fellow escapee Oscar Pereiro to the victory, the pair crossing the line a full half hour ahead of the peloton.

If Voigt is known for one thing other than his buccaneering approach to riding, it’s his pithy witticisms, epitomised by what has become his catchphrase, “Shut up legs!” and typified in this interview.

And here he is being realistic about Andy Schleck’s prospects of winning the Tour de France in 2009, when his team mate finished runner-up to then Astana rider, Alberto Contador.

Finally, here’s Voigt talking to road.cc’s own Mat at Eurobike in 2010.

Retirement means that Voigt will have the opportunity to spend more time with his wife and six children, although he clearly knows his place in the household, having once said: “In the hierarchy of the family, I’m just above the dog. But I like it that way.”

13 user comments

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Lets hope no one does a 'Kristoff' to Jens.

CJStevens

posted by CJSTEVENS1955 [64 posts]
18th August 2014 - 11:56

34 Likes

Good luck to Jens in retirement, he's brought great entertainment over the years, and cycling will be poorer without him.

All hail his worthy successor, Adam Hansen.

posted by s_lim [119 posts]
18th August 2014 - 12:59

39 Likes

Legend.

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

mikroos's picture

posted by mikroos [185 posts]
18th August 2014 - 13:06

37 Likes

I was really hoping he'd finish things off at the Quebec WT races since I usually go to them . . .

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [225 posts]
18th August 2014 - 15:32

22 Likes

it was great to see Jens here in July doing what Jens does best, riding out on front like there was no tomorrow - bike racing will miss him

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [142 posts]
18th August 2014 - 19:40

20 Likes

Northernbike wrote:
it was great to see Jens here in July doing what Jens does best, riding out on front like there was no tomorrow - bike racing will miss him

Absolutely. Jens seems a genuinely lovely fellow, his demeanour off the bike has surely made him as many fans as his exploits on it.

One of my favourite scenes from this year's Tour was watching him riding alone through the huge crowds on Buttertubs on his way to the polka dot jersey and the combativity prize. I cannot begin to imagine what it felt like for him.

This is a photo I keep returning to:
https://twitter.com/liverpoolmerc/status/485499278014840832
It looks even better if you click through to the bigger version.

And of course he just had to attack in Paris:

"I felt it was almost an obligation to entertain the fans one last time... That is the way I knew I must say good-bye."
More at http://www.trekfactoryracing.com/news/reflections-successful-tour

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1966 posts]
18th August 2014 - 20:37

20 Likes

We'll miss him.

I have an idea though. Live they have "the verdict" after the cricket where pundits talk through the day's play, have something similar for grand tours but fronted by Jens and David Millar. It could work.

Meanwhile: Jens no longer has a shadow. After being repeatedly dropped, it finally climbed into the team car muttering about a stomach complaint.

posted by SteppenHerring [205 posts]
18th August 2014 - 22:09

25 Likes

Awesome rider, and a real personality to have in the sport. I think I might paint shut up legs on the garage floor in front of the turbo in his honour!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3198 posts]
19th August 2014 - 16:13

14 Likes

Is he writing a book? I reckon he'd be a great writer. Having that depth of experience and knowledge with clearly some interesting opinions, some of which I think he's held back..... It would also be funny.

He's a fantastic fellow. It will be sad not to see him.

posted by MrsK [39 posts]
19th August 2014 - 21:35

15 Likes

I'd definitely buy his memoirs!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3198 posts]
19th August 2014 - 22:31

8 Likes

I heard him commentating on Eurosport(?) once, he was brilliant!!
Good luck with whatever you decide to do Jens.

Currently going slower than I'd like...

posted by stealth [189 posts]
20th August 2014 - 21:35

2 Likes

The video that Orica Greenedge filmed on the last stage of the TDF, featuring Jens, is funny.
A true legend, modest, funny and exciting. Not sure there will be too many more like him, if at all.

posted by J90 [116 posts]
21st August 2014 - 0:30

1 Like

Is the Era that is ending a geological one, like the Holocene?



Suffering from Low Cadence.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1294 posts]
21st August 2014 - 2:29

1 Like