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Three (high-profile) gentlemen retiring this year: Dan Martin, Nico Roche and André Greipel. All of them while still being competitive (Dan Martin close to his best, Roche and Greipel far from their prime but still competitive)

Glad they were able to enjoy and be somewhat of a factor in their last races.
It's sad to see the riders of my generation all retiring. If I didn't have the Irish guys to cheer for in my early days of watching I don't think I would have tuned in to the TdF long enough to become a full time cycling fan.

I know more than enough about cycling now to be able to find new riders to love but seeing Martin win at the top level which is rare for the Irish in any sport and I couldn't care about Nico's results watching him plough away for TdF top 10s at little AG2R is how I learned cycling is about more than doped up Texans.

I don't think anyone who comes along in cycling will ever be as special to me personally as Nico and Dan
You still haven't answered when either article was from. Unless you by "There was a follow up article" means this article:

Nicolas Roche announces retirement from pro cycling | Cyclingnews

And of course that still doesn't answer when the first article was from.
I was referring to two articles that appeared on the CN website in the last three days - The first article was a patched up news article which showed parts of Roche's retirement statement from his instagram account, while the second article was a long-form interview with Shane Stokes. Why don't you ask Cycling News where they sourced the article ? Media platfoms often share news stories, so effectively not every article on CN is written by a CN journalist.

I was surprised at Roche's retirement announcement as he always expressed an interest in riding until his 40 which was mentioned in the Stokes article - I surmised that the main driver behind Roche's retirement was no compelling contract offer on the table which was strongly suggested in the Stokes article.

Anyway that's my opinion and I'll let you worry about silly names and memes.
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