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Two-time Amstel Gold Race winner Enrico Gasparotto has announced his retirement from pro cycling at the age of 38.
The Italian, who took Swiss nationality last year, calls time on a 16-year career, ending it with a two-year stint at NTT Pro Cycling. He turned pro with Liquigas in 2005 and spent three years there before one-season stints at Barloworld and Lampre. He raced for Astana between 2010 and 2015, closing his career with two years apiece at Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Bahrain-Merida and NTT.
Gasparotto ends his career with 10 victories on his palmarès, with Amstel Gold Race wins in 2012 (at Astana) and 2016 (at Wanty) undoubtedly the highlights. He was Italian national champion in 2005 and also won stages at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya.
In 2008 he won the Europe Tour rankings after a consistent season with Barloworld, while in 2007 he marked his Giro d'Italia debut by spending two days in the maglia rosa after Liquigas won the opening team time trial, later helping Danilo Di Luca win the overall.
"Cycling has been my life for the past 20 years: 16 as a professional and four as an under-23," Gasparotto wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday. "A long journey in which I was able to travel the world, experience different cultures, meet magnificent people, and establish sincere and profound friendships.
"[It's been] a journey that has seen me grow and mature, both as an athlete and as a person, and that taught me what determination, hard work, perseverance, sacrifice and being able to get up after a defeat mean.
"It is these absolute values that I will carry with me and that will guide my new path."
Gasparotto paid tribute to the teams he raced for during his career, saying it was an honour to ride for the seven teams he did, and added that he'll now have the chance to spend more time with his family.
"I want to remember all the teams where I have served in these sixteen years, each of them has stimulated my personal growth and for this I want to thank them all for the opportunity.
"It has been an honour to race for your colours and to fight in the most important races of the world cycling scene.
"I have always lived cycling in an all-encompassing way, with great passion and dedication and I think the right time has come to say goodbye and dedicate more time to my family and my crew, led by my wife Anna (fundamental in everything), my parents Toni and Luigina, my sister Lisa and those friends with whom I have shared ideas and opinions in the last days.
"Thank you, guys, for the incredible unconditional support, both in moments of maximum joy and especially in difficulties.
"My great goal of these sixteen years and above all of these last years of career has certainly been to seek sporting success, but also to be myself, with my strengths and weaknesses, always trying to leave something of me for every person with whom I have had the pleasure of working.
"The messages received in recent years from my younger colleagues, masseurs, mechanics, sports directors make me understand that I have succeeded in this; this makes me a happy and proud person for the work done so far and makes me look to the future with confidence."
Gasparotto's final race was the Vuelta a España, where he finished 120th overall. He's the 14th rider confirmed to be leaving NTT (now Qhubeka Assos) at the end of the season, with other notable departees including Michael Valgren (to EF Pro Cycling), Ben O'Connor (to AG2R Citroën) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (to Total Direct Énergie).
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