Joaquim Rodriguez to end 17-year career after 2016 season

Joaquim Rodriguez
Joaquim Rodriguez, pictured during this year's Tour de France, finished third in the event in 2013

Spanish cyclist Joaquim Rodriguez says he will retire from the sport by the end of this season.

The 37-year-old, a podium regular in the Grand Tours, says Rio 2016 will be one of his last competitions.

Rodriguez lies fifth overall after nine stages of this year's Tour de France, 37 seconds behind leader Chris Froome.

"I have no idea what will be my last race," the Katusha rider said. "In theory, Rio and the Vuelta a Espana are still on my programme."

He added: "I still enjoy this sport so much but I am 37 years old. One day, I will have to stop anyway and I prefer to do this when I am still riding at a high level.''

In a 17-year career, Rodriguez's best results include a third-placed finish in the 2013 Tour de France, while he came second in the 2012 Giro d'Italia and at last year's Vuelta a Espana.

Rodriguez, nicknamed 'Purito' ('Small Cigar' in Spanish), made the announcement during a rest day on the Tour de France.

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