Garzelli’s career celebrated at Tre Valli Varesine
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Garzelli’s career celebrated at Tre Valli Varesine

by VeloNation Press at 3:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Italian feted by supporters in hometown

Stefano GarzelliThirteen years after he won the Giro d’Italia, the 40 year old rider Stefano Garzelli celebrated his retirement at today’s Tre Valli Varesine race today, bidding farewell in front of a large home crowd.

The Vini Fantini Selle Italia rider used the occasion to thank many of his fans for their support of what was a sixteen year career that started with the Mercantone Uno squad of Marco Pantani.

Garzelli brought his career to a conclusion after this year’s Giro d’Italia, and resisted the temptation to get back into the saddle one last time. Instead, he was presented with an award on the podium, giving him a chance to soak up the applause of the home crowd.

“I'm glad I stopped when I did…this year at the Giro d’Italia I realized that would be my last effort,” he explained. “I love cycling, I love this world and I will not turn away. Let's say that the first and largest chapter, the life of cycling rider, is finished.”

Garzelli is currently living in Valencia with his Spanish wife but spent most of his life in Varese.

Apart from his 2000 Giro win, the climbing specialist was also second in the 2003 race, won eight stages and was King of the Mountains twice. He won races such as the Tour de Suisse, the Vuelta a Aragón, the GP Miguel Indurain, Tirreno-Adriatico plus two editions of today’s contest, the Tre Valli Varesine.

“This Giro d'Italia, with Vini Fantini Selle Italia team, was the right conclusion of a journey, with a colour that identifies me (he won the 2000 Giro d'italia 2000 with a very similar team kit, that of Mercantone Uno) and which has always made me dream.”

He thanks the team management for their trust and support, and wished for ongoing success for Vini Fantini Selle Italia, saying that it was ‘one of the most beautiful’ teams in which he had raced.

Once seen as the new Pantani, Garzelli’s career didn’t scale the same heights as his former team-mate but was a successful one nonetheless.

Lampre Merida rider Kristijan Durasek won today’s race, finishing two seconds ahead of Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Bardiani Valvole – CSF Inox) and a further five up on Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha).

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