Click here to see a gallery of photos from Peter Van Petegem’s last race

Peter Van Petegem bowed out of professional racing today in a kermesse in Desselgem, Belgium. The 37-year-old Quick Step rider finished in the bunch, one lap down on winner and team mate Steven de Jongh.

Van Petegem celebrated on the podium with his family and team mate Serge Baguet who also retired today. Both riders ended their careers in what turned out to be a largely uneventful race, but the significance of it brought in large crowds.

The Belgian media was also out in force, a measure of the regard Van Petegem is held in.

The East-Flandrian had his best year in 2003 when he did the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix double (winning both in the space of a week), one of only nine men to do so.

Van Petegem was also well known, and well loved by the Flandrians, for his three victories in Het Volk, the race that traditionally opens the Belgian racing season.

Van Petegem twice finished the Tour de France, but rarely showed any form when racing outside of the spring classics season. He has recently expressed his desire to continue working within the sport as a Director Sportif or team manager.

Peter Van Petegem ? results in brief

2003
Tour of Flanders
Paris Roubaix

2002
Het Volk
Three Days of De Panne

2001
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne
GP D?Isbergues
Paris Nice (stage two)

2000
GP D?Isbergues

1999
Tour of Flanders
GP E3 Harelbeke
Three Days of De Panne

1998
Het Volk

1997
Het Volk

1994
Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen

Click here to see a gallery of photos from Peter Van Petegem’s last race