Astarloa retires quietly
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Astarloa retires quietly

by Bjorn Haake at 9:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Igor Astarloa is retiring after ten years as a professional, unable to find a new team for the 2010 season. The 2003 World Champion fell afoul with the International Cycling Union's (UCI) blood passport program in May of 2009. He was already fired by Milram in 2008 for showing adverse values during team-internal tests.

Astarloa had found the team Amica Chips - Knauf for 2009, but when the UCI announced his name in the blood passport investigation, the Italian team also disposed of the Spaniard. Astarloa has not raced since May 2, 2009. "For a simple suspicion by someone they eliminate you from cycling," Astarloa told El Mundo Deportivo. "I was racing bikes for 22 years. All you have done in your life, for a simple suspicion, it all stops. There is no positive control and I see that things aren't fair."

Astarloa made it clear he is fed up with the world of cycling, even though he thinks with some more effort he could have found a team. "Instead of always being in that bad ambience, I think it is better to leave it and go with the good memories. I was never tested positive, I was always racing and I was never sanctioned, either."

Instead, Astarloa can now relax on the beaches of Florida, where he spent time with his family since December. "We spent Christmas here. I didn't hear much about the whole ordeal. My mother María, together with Aitor Galdós, Koldo Fernández de Larrea and Rubén Gorospe were my buddies."

Astarloa has no regrets and will always keep the good memories of his win in the road race of the World Championships. The only thing he would change is some of the people in the background in the last couple of years in his career. "It's not the same atmosphere as before; cycling is a bit strange now. We used to have a lot of fun between us teammates."

Astarloa spent ten years in the peloton and saw the change slowly coming in. "Now you are always under suspicion and there a lot of bad assumptions."

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