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November 26, 2004

Bartoli retires from racing

CSC's Michele Bartoli is calling it a career, fulfilling a prophecy Liggett made back in July, when Bartoli was less than thrilled to have to race cautiously in defense of Ivan Basso.

Bartoli didn't think he could be competitive in 2005:

After a recent vacation in Mexico with his wife Alexandra, the 34 year-old from Pisa returned home and began riding, but soon realized that with the ongoing pain in his left leg and lower back, he would no longer be competitive due to physical problems. "I don't know the source of these pains," explained Bartoli. "Perhaps from all the crashes I've had in the last years of my career."

Bartoli was the top-rated World Cup rider in 1997 and 1998, and had multiple stage wins in the Giro d'Italia, and twice took bronze at the World Championships.

Bartoli declared at his press conference that, "I just wasn't motivated to continue...I can't be a top level rider any more and that was a major influence on my decision, rather than my recent physical problems."

Posted by Frank Steele on November 26, 2004 in Top Stories, Tour news | Permalink

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