Italian rider Filippo Pozzato has confirmed his retirement from cycling at the age of 37 after 19 years as a professional. Pozzato revealed his decision to step away from the bike in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday, with the 2006 Milan-San Remo victor deciding the time is right to call it a day.
Pozzato started out in 2000 with Mapei and also had spells riding for Fassa Bortolo, Quick-Step, Liquigas, Katusha, Farnese Vini and Lampre, while the final three years of his career have been with Wilier-Selle Italia.
Pozzato won an individual stage at the Giro d’Italia in 2010 and also won single stages of the 2004 and 2007 Tours de France, but his career was also blighted in 2012 when he was banned from cycling for three months by the Italian National Olympic Committee after they found he had worked with disgraced doctor Michele Ferrari from 2005 to 2008.
He said: “I had already decided (to retire) on the evening of the GP Plouay in August. I would have liked to have contested a 20th year as a professional but only in a high-level context. To perform at your best, you need big motivation.
“Every race has its story and I’m happy to have raced against (the likes of Tom) Boonen and (Fabian) Cancellara, two giants of the cobbles. My regret is that I didn’t succeed in expressing my talent to the full.”