Marco Pinotti blog: Time to bring my career to a close
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Thursday, October 03, 2013

Marco Pinotti blog: Time to bring my career to a close

by Marco Pinotti at 7:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews
 
It’s the right moment to stop and to do something new

Marco PinottiThe world championships are over, the season is nearly finished and so too my career as a professional bike rider. I’ve been racing as a professional for fifteen years and I've decided that it’s now time to move on and do something else. I’ve got a nice opportunity ahead but there’s also some mixed feelings because I’ve been doing this so long.

Stopping this season is something that came to my mind ever since I crashed in the Tour of the Mediterranean last February. I had fractured my shoulder when I fell in last year’s world championships and falling again a few months later and damaging my shoulder was hard.

I probably could have done one more year, but it was a matter of finding a balance between this career and having time with my family. A couple of years ago I made a promise that I was going to stop after the Olympic Games, to finish while I was still be competitive. But it was hard to end my career right after the Games.

This year this was on my mind since the beginning of the season. I had a few weeks when I thought about stopping right then, but I decided again to start over again and see what I could achieve. I’m glad I did that because I won the Italian national championship again and I had some very good months with the team. I also gained a spot in the national team for the world championships, which was a nice experience.

It’s all a question about when to hang up the bike. I could have raced next year but I actually had no big goals like the Olympic Games to fight for. Then another opportunity came along…the BMC Racing Team asked me if I would work with the performance team, going into a role there.

For me it was the perfect solution, to stop racing but to keep working with the team in a new position. So the plan is that I will be working in the performance group headed by Allan Peiper. I will have a coaching role and help him in training riders and monitoring their performances. I will try to use my experience to help the riders to achieve their goals.

I will try to use everything I have been given, everything I have learned to pass on to the team. It is something I think I can do well. I have a lot of passion for the sports science, and this is an opportunity for me to make a job from it.

Coaching has been something I started with Linda Villumsen at the end of 2009. Since then she has been very happy working with me. Now it becomes like a real job. I can learn in this team, I have the opportunity to work with very, very educated people in sport science. For me is a very good opportunity to learn, to grow in an apprenticeship.

During my career I have been working with different people and from different backgrounds. I learned a lot from them and I have to thank them for helping me and passing on the passion for the training, for looking at numbers, for evaluating performance and monitoring the results of the training data. I’ll draw on all this now for my new role.

My family is super happy with the opportunity. They are excited. For me, it is exciting too, but of course there is a bit of a mixed feeling.

On one hand, you have the excitement of finishing a part of your life and then starting a new one. It opens opportunities and it is something new to look forward too. On the other, there is certainly a bit of sadness of stopping something that was really was amazing, and which has characterised my life for the past fifteen years.

Mine hasn't been a career full of victories but I am very proud of the few I got: winning races like the Tour of Ireland, leading my home Grand Tour for a few days, being competitive with the best time trialists in the world.

Particularly in the second part of my career, I became more competitive and I like to think it's because I've learned to work harder, to be more consistent and to train less by feelings and more based on science. Now finishing while I am still competitive is important to me. This is the right time.

Worlds in Florence and final races:


Marco PinottiI rode my last world championships last week, finishing seventh in the time trial in Firenze. I was expecting a result between the fifth and tenth position. Everybody knew beforehand that there were four riders above the level of the others, which was confirmed, and you also had a really good performance by Kiryienka.

Then you had this Danish guy Rasmus Quaade, who was strong. He was pretty good last year in the under 23 time trial, finishing fifth. After that, it was my position, seventh.

In the end, considering the course which was not perfect for me and the level of competitors, I think it was a good performance. I think to have finished a couple of spots ahead, I needed different conditions. Perhaps a headwind, so I could take advantage of my smaller size compared to others.

I knew before the start that I was at a good level so I achieved the result I was expecting.

My final world championships took place in Italy, so that was good. Regardless of the fact that it was there, I think it was probably the best-organised championships, together with Mendrisio in 2009.

There were also huge crowds, probably because it was hosted in Florence. The spectators could go there for the world championships and also take advantage of a nice city, staying a couple of days afterwards to see the town. It was a win-win situation for the city.

Now I’m getting ready for my final races. I will do Lombardy this weekend and then two days after that we will fly to Beijing. That is a race that I have been looking to do for the past three years but never had a chance; now I do, so I’m looking forward to that.

China is a place that I always wanted to visit. I think it will be a good race. It’s too bad that they took out the time trial, but we will go there with a good team and it will be a nice experience to race there in China.

My last race will then be the Grand Prix des Nations. I kind of felt that there would be a good feeling to finish up with the national champions jersey, then to stop. I’ll close the chapter with that jersey on my back, then turn the page for the next part of my life. As I said, there'll be mixed feelings about ending my career, but also excitement about what lies ahead.

Thanks for reading,

Marco



About Marco Pinotti: A pro rider since 1999, Marco Pinotti has spent the past two seasons with the BMC Racing team. The 37 year old has had a fine career, winning six national time trial championships, two stages of the Giro d’Italia, netting ninth in the Italian Grand Tour and winning the 2008 Tour of Ireland.

The world time trial championships is his big goal for this season, particularly as it is on home soil and because he was looking set for a possible bronze medal in 2012 prior to crashing out.

An intelligent and respected rider, Pinotti has given an unique insight into the peloton in his book The Cycling Professor. For more details click here.

 

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