By Gregor Brown
Marco Pinotti will retire this season and become a coach with BMC Racing starting next season. After 15 years, including two Giro d'Italia stage wins, the Italian felt the time and the opportunity was right.
"The team believed in me to offer this role, it shows that I created credibility. People know what's behind my performance, the science in the training," Pinotti told Cycling Weekly. "This seems like a natural progression."
The 37-year-old Italian joined BMC Racing last year after racing for HTC-Highroad, Saunier Duval and Lampre. He joked that he could not simply retire and sit on the couch.
"Like most retired Italians, I'll go stand around and watch workers build homes. However, Italy's in a crisis and there are not many construction sites. I'll have to do something else!"
Allan Peiper, who worked with Pinotti at HTC and is now BMC's performance manager, proposed the idea at the Tour of Poland. Pinotti thought about it, about his contract expiring and about searching for a new team. During the Vuelta, he decided his future.
"Peiper had his hands full, not a free moment to do what he wanted to do this year," Pinotti added. "He said he needed someone like me to help follow the riders and their training, giving suggestions."
Pinotti will work part time until he understands his role better and team with Daniel Healey and Bobby Julich. After the Tour of Beijing and Chrono des Nations, his final races, they will meet to discuss 2014.
The transition will allow Pinotti time to reflect on his career. He won two Giro stages on his own and helped Highroad to two team time trial wins, the second one in 2011 earned him his second spell in the leader's pink jersey. In addition, he has six national time trial titles in his palmarès.
"I'm happy with how my career went. I look back to 15 years ago, I didn't think I was going to have a career like this. If I'd stopped to examine certain events, I have some regrets. If I look at it all together, though, I'm happy," Pinotti explained.
"I wasn't one of the biggest or best talents of my generation, but I was able to obtain what I did thanks to my work. Working better than the others. Not more, but better than the others."
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