Supported by Eusebio Unzué and his team-mates racing the Tour de France, Adriano Malori announced on Monday his retirement from professional cycling.
The 29-year-old Italian – an ITT vice world champion in 2015, Giro d’Italia GC leader and stage winner in the Vuelta a España- claimed his biggest victory away from cycling, though, completing a sensational recovery from neurological injuries sustained at a serious crash in the 2016 Tour de San Luis.
“We all knew what happened in Argentina. I’ve spent two years battling against that dreadful day, and I won, even though it wasn’t a complete victory. My goal in life, though – and that’s what I’ve explained to Eusebio – was to do something special in cycling. It won’t be possible to do it as a rider, so it will have to be in another way. Today marks the start of ‘Adriano Malori 2.0’. I’ve already spent one month learning some cycling science, trying to work my way in the future as one who can help on that. I’m getting lots of support from the Italian Federation, as well as two friends who are part of this team: Mikel Zabala and Manu Mateo.
“I’ve given everything to try and become a professional cyclist again, but this year’s results have been quite evident. At the Volta ao Alentejo, I only rode 80km. In the Vuelta a Castilla y León, I barely managed to ride 30km. Giving it a try was the only way to know if I was ready or not. I can still ride a bike leisurely, but the racing is not something I can cope with. Still, my recovery has been impressive. And it’s not my word, rather than the doctors’. That’s the first positive conclusion I draw from this: everyone who suffers from the same injuries I did can now know there’s someone like me who got back from his suffering, one who defied all knowledge and beat his illness. It’s the most important side of my story. It’s about bringing hope to many people, even it I wasn’t able to come back as a top rider. As I said during the ‘Informe Robinson’ documentary we recorded with Movistar+ back in November: if you want to do something, you can. I’ll always say that, and that’s the message everyone should follow.
“Movistar has been a very beautiful side of my life, not only about the sport I love. I’ve found magnificent people here, great friends, a true family. I’ve always have a big place in my heart for this green M. It was a big honour to race with them, and they were so, so supportive in my recovery, cheering on me when I needed it. To everyone at the Movistar Team -riders, staff, support-: don’t forget you have a nice meal waiting for you in Parma! (laughs)”