Damiano Cunego has announced that he plans to retire at the end of the 2018 Giro d’Italia.
“As the time passes, I notice that the level in cycling is getting higher. I feel that it’s getting harder for me to be competitive. It’s time to retire and I would like to do so in the Giro, where it all kind of started,” Cunego said.
Junior world champion in Verona in 1999, Damiano Cunego turned pro with Saeco and raced his first Grand Tour in the 2003 Giro d’Italia.
The Italian had his big breakthrough next year when he outperformed his team leader Gilberto Simoni to bring home the Maglia Rosa.
Although he was best young rider at the 2006 Tour de France and placed in the top ten of the Giro on three further occasions, Cunego never managed to finish on the podium of a Grand Tour again.
However, he won three editions of the Il Lombardia, Amstel Gold Race and the silver medal at the 2008 Worlds Championships in Varese.