When I woke up this morning, I saw my friend Dan Seaton’s post on Facebook saying that Niels Albert was going to host a press conference later today and that he might be retiring. While everybody was hoping that this might be just a rumour, it turned out to be the truth. During a short and to the point speech, Niels Albert announced that due to a heart condition that was discovered during a routine medical check-up, he has been forced to end his racing career.
Even though I couldn’t understand exactly what he was saying in Flemish, it was gut wrenching to watch a clearly heartbroken Albert to make the announcement that ended his stellar career. I could especially relate to his state of mind as I have had a health scare this time last year and it wasn’t sure if I could get back on my bike – and I’m just an enthusiastic amateur.
I thought it would be fitting to pull together photos of his career – my archives went back to 2008, his first season among the elite men. What you can find below is fifty photos from the last six years, moments of joy, pain and contemplation. Given that I am putting on the finishing touches of the 2013/2014 cyclocross book (you can order it here >>>), we’ll add an extra chapter to commemorate Albert’s career.