Gutierrez retires due to collapse of Rock Racing
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Gutierrez retires due to collapse of Rock Racing

by Neil Browne at 11:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping

The fallout from Rock Racing reverting to amateur status has begun. Thirty-five year old Jose Enrique Gutierrez has decided to retire.

Earlier this week the UCI rejected Rock Racing's application for a Continental license. In the case of Gutierrez, it was too late in the season to start searching for a contract for 2010.

“After receiving the news that my team, Rock Racing, with whom I had extended my contract this season, is not continuing after not obtaining a license from the UCI, and considering the point of the season, it would be very difficult to find a new team that could offer me minimum conditions both in economic terms and a racing calendar to continue training like a professional like I always have throughout my career, I have decided to end my professional career,” said Gutierrez in a statement.

Known as “The Buffalo”, Gutierrez started his racing career in 1998 with the Kelme-Costa Blanca team. In 2004 he switched to the Phonak team where he won a stage of the 2004 Vuelta a España and in 2006 finished second on the final general classification at the Giro d' Italia.

However, after his second place at the Giro his name was linked to Operation Puerto, a blood doping ring organized by Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. While not convicted of blood doping, Phonak placed him on a “non-active” list for the remainder of the year. He spent the following two years riding for the Italian team LPR and then transferred to Rock Racing for the 2009 season.


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