Egoi Martinez faces retirement, says cycling has given far more to him than it has taken away
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Egoi Martinez faces retirement, says cycling has given far more to him than it has taken away

by VeloNation Press at 12:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
“I know I have to put an end to this stage in order to focus on another stage of my life”

Egoi MartinezLeft stranded by the breakup of the Euskaltel Euskadi season, the Spanish rider Egoi Martinez has accepted that the time has come to call an end to his career, and will hang up his wheels.

The 35 year old won the Tour de l’Avenir at the start of his career and then went on to win a stage plus the mountains jersey in the 2006 Vuelta a España, as well as taking a solid twelfth overall. He went three places better than that in 2008 and while his age slowed him down a little in more recent years, he was still seventeenth overall in the 2012 Tour de France and 22nd in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Netting thirtieth in the Vuelta a España also showed that he had something left to give, but when the Euskaltel Euskadi backers said that they wouldn’t continue in the sport and the takeover talks initiated by Fernando Alonso broke down, he was left without an offer.

“It’s not the desired end,” he accepted. “We fought with all our might to find something, but it has not been possible. It’s necessary to accept it. I know I have to put an end to this stage in order to focus on another stage of my life.”

He was encouraged by how he rode as a domestique in this year’s Grand Tours and had hoped to continue on. “I saw myself with strength and desire to keep going,” he said. “I was hoping that a WorldTour team would be interested in my services, although I an conscious of the difficult moment that is facing professional cycling now.”

A number of teams all came to an end this season, saturating the market with riders, driving down their price and also making it impossible for many to find a place for 2014. Teams have a limited number of places and these were dwarfed by the number of those who found themselves out of a job.

Martinez recognises the reality of the situation and accepts it, even if he would have liked to stay on another year. “I am going with this little regret, but with a big smile. I am very grateful to the fans, my peers, the sponsors… The races make the big riders important, but also those around them. Without them there would be nothing.”

“Cycling has given me much. It has also taken things away, but thankfully I can say that the first far outweighs the latter.”

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