PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
At 38 years old, Saunier Duval-Prodir's Andrea Tafi is at last letting the curtain fall on an illustrious career, of which the highlight was his win in the 1999 Paris-Roubaix. This year's Roubaix - his 13th - where he could only manage 42nd place, 4-52 down on winner Tom Boonen, was his last race in Europe, but his last race per se will be Sunday's final stage of the Dodge Tour de Georgia, where on Wednesday's second stage he staged a lone breakaway, during which he reached a gap of almost six minutes, but was caught with just 8km left of the 197.5km stage.
Asked whether he ever thought he might be allowed, by the European teams in the race, to win the stage as a 'gift', Tafi replied, smiling: "In professional cycling, there is no such thing as a gift. Today I just didn't have the luck. I gave it everything, but Phonak were strong chasing me down. But there is no such thing as a gift," he repeated. "This race means a lot as it will be the last one of my career. I said goodbye to racing in Europe at Paris-Roubaix," Tafi said. "And now this is goodbye here in the US. I will be upset and miss it, but I'm sensible enough to know when it's time to quit."