By Jonny Long
Jonathan Dibben has retired from professional cycling at the age of 26.
The Brit rode the 2020 season for Lotto-Soudal, but has not had his contract renewed and will now climb off for good, his last-ever professional race having been the Giro d'Italia.
"In the last couple of weeks it's been the biggest realisation that I've stopped racing now," Dibben told PodCrash, a podcast co-hosted by former Olympic medalists Callum Skinner and Philip Hindes. "So there's no need to be panicking and training all the time. This stage [of my retirement] is now fully underway.
Dibben finished last in 133rd place at the Giro, more than six hours down on winner Tao Geoghegan Hart, and says he took a moment to savour the end of his career on the penultimate stage 20.
"There was a moment on the second to last day of the Giro when I knew it was more than likely my last-ever race as the next day was just a time trial in Milan. We'd finished up in Sestriere, it was a gorgeous day...and I was just sorting of finishing the stage knowing we'd made the time cut and I dropped off the back of the grupetto riding in the last few minutes thinking about it being my last race with the time trial which was going to be over in a flash," Dibben said. "It was one of the very few moments during a bike race that I've savoured."
The Brit turned pro with Team Sky in 2017, winning a stage of the Tour of California that year, having ridden for Team Wiggins since 2015, before leaving at the end of the 2018 season, then joining Continental outfit Madison Genesis in 2019.
After that team folded at the end of the 2019 season, he stepped back up to the WorldTour with Lotto-Soudal for the 2020 season.
He started off the year at the Tour Down Under, before racing the Volta ao Algarve and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad before the coronavirus lockdown. He then returned at the Tour of Poland before the Giro, his first and last Grand Tour.
As for the future, Dibben doesn't know the long-term plan but will look to remain in cycling for now.
"I don't know, long term I'm not so sure..." Dibben said. "You've got to find something you enjoy, that's my first criteria, I don't want to just get a job to pay the bills, I want to do something I enjoy and having fun doing. For the short term I'm going to look to stay within cycling, maybe I'll do some coaching or take on a role within a team. Certainly, coaching, a lot of people do it at the minute but it's something I'd certainly enjoy. We'll have to see."
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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