Cipo decided to quit at San Remo

ario Cipollini tells a Milan press conference that his performance at Milan-San Remo lays behind hi

ario Cipollini tells a Milan press conference that his performance at Milan-San Remo lays behind hi

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Mario Cipollini told a press conference in Milan on Friday morning that he made his mind up about retiring when he failed to have any impact in the closing stages of Milan-San Remo last month. "I am no longer the rider I was. I realised that at Milan-San Remo when I gave all that I could, but there was no balance between my head and my legs, my legs simply didn't respond as I would have wanted," explained Cipollini.

"It was a sad day for me, I didn't take this decision with joy in my heart, and it has cost me a great deal of emotion," said Cipollini, who won 189 races in his 17-year pro career. "I am not the rider I was once and the pressure for the Giro was becoming too much."

Sat between Liquigas boss Roberto Dal Lago and Liquigas-Bianchi team manager Roberto Amadio, the 38-year-old sprinter, who announced his retirement on Tuesday, added: "I can't go on like this for myself, the fans and for Liquigas-Bianchi."

He continued: "I was no longer the same as I had been and with my character, which demands that I win rather than finish in second place, I can't go on." Asked how he felt after making his decision to retire, Cipollini said "I have a feeling of undoubted liberation." He said that he has no future plans as yet, but revealed that he is likely to be at the Giro prologue next weekend as a guest of the race organisation and that he is likely to continue with the Liquigas team in an as yet unspecified position.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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