The Nippo-Vini Fantini rider proves it’s never too late

Italian professional Alan Marangoni has picked up his maiden win during his last ever race.

The Nippo-Vini Fantini rider is calling time on his 11-year career, signing off with a bang at the Tour of Okinawa on Sunday.

At 34-years-old, the former Cannondale WorldTour pro claimed his first professional win on the day he leaves the sport.

Marangoni said: “It was the perfect day I have always looked for in my career and I found it today.

“I took the risk of attacking in the last kilometres because I wanted to play all the cards to reach this goal I chased several times during my career.

“Crossing the line first and winning on a day that was already special for me was indescribably emotional.

“It was a month of sacrifice far from home, but I wanted to close my career in the best way.

“A fairytale ending that I have dreamed of many times and that today has become a reality.”

>>> Aqua Blue Sport bosses respond after riders claim pay has been delayed

Marangoni slotted into the decisive breakaway at the Tour of Okinawa one-day race.

The escapees built up eight minutes ahead of the chasers, but only four riders remained out front in the final 10km.

Attacks went on the final climb, but Marangoni was able to follow before he countered with 4km left to ride. 



That attack stuck, leaving Marangoni free to cross the line ahead of Australian Freddy Ovett (Australia Cycling Academy). 

Marangoni joined the WorldTour with Liquigas-Cannondale in 2011, staying with the outfit until he stepped down a level in 2016.

For the last two season he has ridden for the pro continental team Nippo-Vini Fantini – his last team as a professional bike rider.