Enrico Gasparotto has announced his retirement from professional cycling at the age of 38 after a successful career spanning 16 years for eight teams, winning various races.
Gasparotto is perhaps best known for his two wins and other excellent performances at the opening race of the Ardennes Classics, Amstel Gold Race, but the Italian-born rider, who is now Swiss registered, has managed so much more than that.
"Cycling has been my life for the past 20 years: 16 as a professional and four as an under-23," wrote the 38 year old on an Instagram post on Sunday (November 29).
"[It's been] a journey that has seen me grow and mature, both as an athlete and as a person, and that taught me what determination, hard work, perseverance, sacrifice and being able to get up after a defeat mean.
"It is these absolute values that I will carry with me and that will guide my new path."
Gasparotto turned pro with the Italian squad Liquigas, where he raced for three years before a year at Barloworld and then a year at Lampre.
He then joined Astana, he stayed with the Kazakhstani outfit for five years when he joined Wanty-Groupe Gobert for two years, a year at Bahrain-Merida followed before he joined the team soon to be called Qhubeka-Assos, now NTT Pro Cycling, where he raced for two years until the end of his career in 2020.
"I want to remember all the teams where I have served in these sixteen years, each of them has stimulated my personal growth and for this I want to thank them all for the opportunity.
"It has been an honour to race for your colours and to fight in the most important races of the world cycling scene.
"I have always lived cycling in an all-encompassing way, with great passion and dedication and I think the right time has come to say goodbye and dedicate more time to my family and my crew, led by my wife Anna (fundamental in everything), my parents Toni and Luigina, my sister Lisa and those friends with whom I have shared ideas and opinions in the last days.
"Thank you, guys, for the incredible unconditional support, both in moments of maximum joy and especially in difficulties.
He was national champion of Italy in 2005 and briefly wore the pink jersey at the 2006 Giro d'Italia, thanks to a team time trial where he led the team over the line instead of the planned leader, Danilo De Luca.
Taking ten career wins, not including TTT victories, he was still an incredibly talented rider who achieved many great things.
Gasparotto changed his nationality to Swiss in 2019, as he had lived there for many years, so that he had a better chance at riding the World Championships one last time, which he did in Emilia-Romagna in 2020 where he finished 46th.
"My great goal of these sixteen years and above all of these last years of career has certainly been to seek sporting success, but also to be myself, with my strengths and weaknesses, always trying to leave something of me for every person with whom I have had the pleasure of working.
"The messages received in recent years from my younger colleagues, masseurs, mechanics, sports directors make me understand that I have succeeded in this; this makes me a happy and proud person for the work done so far and makes me look to the future with confidence."
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