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Cycling great Peiper to focus on health

Australian cycling great Allan Peiper is stepping away from the sport to focus on his ongoing cancer battle.

The 61-year-old had stepped down from his role as sport director at UAE Team Emirates after this year’s Paris-Roubaix, but hoped to stay involved with them as an adviser.

But Peiper’s six-year cancer battle has taken a massive toll on the former professional rider.

“The treatment for cancer which I have undergone in the last six years has taken a huge toll on me mentally and physically – so much so that I don’t feel at this time that I can do the job like I want,” Peiper said in a statement.

“The last three years with UAE Team Emirates have been a wonderful experience.

“The team took me in knowing I had been sick and yet offered me every opportunity, immense support and understanding for which I am utterly grateful.”

Along with riders such as Phil Anderson and Michael Wilson, Peiper was among the Australian cycling pioneers who went to Europe in the late 70s and early 80s to forge professional road careers.

He rode 10 Grand Tours, including five Tours de France, and won a stage in the Giro d’Italia.

Peiper was also part of a team time trial stage win at the Tour.

He has lived in Belgium for the past 40 years after retiring from competition, became one of professional road cycling’s top team bosses.

UAE Team Emirates’ Slovenian star Tadej Pogacar, who has won the last two Tours de France, credits Peiper with having a major influence on his life.

Peiper also has worked with Australian cycling teams at major events such as the Olympics.

UAE Team Emirates chief executive Mauro Gianetti said the Australian will always be welcomed back.

“Though he is stepping back, Allan will always be a member of our team,” he said.

“In these three years we have all learned a lot from him.

“His professionalism, commitment and knowledge have been invaluable to the team and we are all very grateful and thankful for what he has done.

“We wish him the very best and are all supporting him in his latest fight, that we know he will tackle with the same drive and determination as he always does. Allan’s place in the team will remain for good.”

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