Marco Velo to retire after Giro del Lombardia
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Marco Velo to retire after Giro del Lombardia

by Ben Atkins at 1:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Fall Classics, Giro di Lombardia
Arrivederci to one of the best names in cycling

marco veloThe Giro di Lombardia this Saturday will mark the last race in the long career of Quick Step rider Marco Velo. The 36-year-old will be hanging up his wheels after having been a professional for 15 years; in that time he has taken just 10 victories, despite riding for some of the biggest teams, since he has always worked in the service of others.

“It will be a special moment,” explained the 36-year-old Velo, “I’ve been a part of this world since I was a kid. It’s an important chapter of my life that’s coming to a close. I have spectacular memories of my years on a bike. I’ve ridden beside some important champions, and at the same time I managed to achieve some satisfying personal goals, like the consecutive Italian time trial titles from 1998 to 2000.

“Even my last two years with team Quick Step have been beautiful,” he continued. “I’d like to thank Patrick Lefevere, the staff and the team sponsors for all the support they’ve given me. I’d also like to thank all the many different people whom I’ve met during my career and who stood by me even in the hard times. Ideally I’d like to give them all a hug.”

Velo joined the Brescialat team in 1996 before moving to Mercatone Uno in 1998, where he was part of the team that guided Marco Pantani to victory in that year’s Giro d’Italia. He won successive Italian time trial championships between 1998 and 2000, but became most famous after his transfer to Fassa Bortolo in 2002; he became the lead out man to Alessandro Petacchi during the Ale-Jet’s heyday.

He followed Petacchi to Milram in 2006, but in 2009 elected to join his friend Matteo Tosatto at the Belgian Quick Step team.

“Marco only spent two seasons with us on the team but from the get go he turned out to be an excellent team player, ideal for the group,” said Team Manager Patrick Lefevere. “Unfortunately, due to some physical problems this year he wasn’t able to express his full potential. We wish Marco all the best of luck for his future, which we are sure he’ll approach with the same strength and determination that he demonstrated on a bike.”

The retirement of Velo from the sport will mean the loss of one of the most appropriate names in cycling. Although the word “velo” is French for bike it means nothing in Italian, but he is often jokingly referred to as “Marco Bici” in his home country.

Velo will spend his final race in the service of Dario Cataldo, who has recovered from the recent bout of flu that kept him out of the Giro di Piemonte.

Quick Step team for the Giro del Lombardia:
Carlos Barredo, Dario Cataldo, Sylvain Chavanel, Dries Devenyns, Francesco Reda, Kevin Seeldraeyers. Matteo Tosatto and Marco Velo


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