Olympic champion Van Vleuten to retire at the end of 2023 season

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Cycling - Road - Women's Individual Time Trial - Medal Ceremony - FSW - Fuji International Speedway - Shizuoka, Japan - July 28, 2021. Gold medallist Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands celebrates on the podium REUTERS/Matthew Childs

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June 29 (Reuters) - Olympic champion Annemiek van Vleuten will retire from professional cycling after the 2023 season, the Dutchwoman announced on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old, who races for Movistar, won Olympic gold in the time trial and silver in the road race at the Tokyo Games last year.

"The main reason, as I explained, to retire in 2023 is to do so while on top of my game, to round out that improvement process we and the team took up in 2021, and look for new challenges in life," Van Vleuten said in a statement.

Van Vleuten's win in Tokyo completed a remarkable turnaround after she had suffered three fractured vertebrae and a concussion following a horrifying high-speed crash during the road race at the 2016 Rio Games.

She also won the world time trial title in 2017 and 2018 and the road race in 2019.

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Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk Editing by Toby Davis

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