Tom-Jelte Slagter has announced his retirement from professional cycling, with the Dutchman set to work in agriculture as a dealer of John Deere machinery.
Slagter, 31, turned professional with Rabobank in 2011 and spent three years at the team that’s now known as Jumbo-Visma, achieving his biggest career victory with the overall Tour Down Under title in 2013.
He moved to Jonathan Vaughters’ Garmin team – now EF Pro Cycling – in 2014 and won two stages at Paris-Nice, along with stages at the Tour of Alberta, Tour du Haut Var, and Tour of Austria, plus top-10’s in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, La Flèche Wallonne and the GPs of Montréal and Québec.
After two seasons at Dimension Data, he spent 2020 at ProTeam level with B&B Hotels-Vital Concept, but has now decided to hang up his wheels.
“After a career of 10 years as a professional cyclist, the time has come for me to take a new path and with a lot of ambition to focus on a new challenge,” Slagter said in a social media statement.
“The past 10 years as a cyclist have been a great time in which I would not have missed anything. I will carry that with me forever, but now is the right time to say goodbye.”
Slagter also announced that he will start a new career in January, working as a representative for Groenoord, a dealership for John Deere, which makes tractors and other farming equipment.
“I can also announce where my future lies, because I have signed a collaboration with Groenoord in the position of representative agriculture machinery, in my beloved province of Groningen,” Slagter wrote.
“I’m really looking forward to this new step and can’t wait to build on the future together. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported and followed me during my cycling career.”
In an interview with local newspaper Dagblad Van Het Noorden, he added: “I’ve always loved John Deere – definitely number one for me. If that vacancy had been from Fendt or New Holland, I wouldn’t even have contacted them.
“I’ve always loved the sport, and still do. It’s not that I’m tired of it. But I have always done a lot of things outside of it. Cycling was a big part of my life, but it has never been my whole life. There was one too many every day away from home. I just wanted to be with the kids.”