Santiago Botero to retire in July 2010
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Botero to retire in July

by VeloNation Press at 12:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Santiago Botero has decided to end his cycling career after fourteen years in the professional peloton. The Colombian raced in Europe for the famous Kelme, Telekom and Phonak team until 2006, when his name was linked to the Spanish Operación Puerto scandal.

His results faded while riding for the Telekom team due to health problems, but the Colombian told Diario Vasco that he left the European racing scene in his best condition while on Phonak, and felt he had unfinished business. "I missed two years that I would have wanted to try to win the Tour de France," he said.

Botero headed home in the fallout from the scandal and road with the Une Orbitel team in 2007, but was surprisingly brought to the American racing scene in 2008, finding a home on fashion designer Michael Ball's Rock Racing squad.

At the age of 37 with three children he now feels it's time to move on. "I have a 20-year-old teammate that plugs in an iPod to listen to music and trains most days with a helmet. When I started using these devices when I would ride, I had to change the cassette and turn it around for music," he recalled.

He said his last race will be the Vuelta a Columbia in July, and then he will focus on his other business interests in Columbia. The product of an upper class family, he chose to study Business Administration in his hometown of Medellín during his cycling career to prepare him for this eventuality.

"I have some economic stability. I have properties, houses, apartments, places to rent, plus a bike brand called "Éxito" [Success] that is sold in a supermarket chain throughout Colombia," he said. "They are not high-end. I preferred them to be affordable to more people."

The Colombian's best achievements on the bike were his stage and the King of the Mountains wins in the 2000 Tour de France, and two years later the time trail World Championship along with two more Tour stage wins.


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