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Veteran of the women’s peloton, Marta Bastianelli, has said that she will retire from the sport next July, with the Giro d’Italia Donne set to be her final race as a pro.
The 35-year-old UAE Team ADQ rider told Italian website Bici Sport from her team training camp in Italy: “Everything has a beginning and an end. Cycling has given me so much. We have decided with the team that the Giro d’Italia will be my last race, I will end my career where it began, here in Italy.’
Bastianelli had previously planned to retire at the end of this season, however after a successful year that saw her claim six wins, she changed her mind, extending her contract through to 2023. “I am really happy to continue with the team, we decided together that I can contribute with my experience to the young and new riders for an additional season,” she said at the time. “I would like to end my career with another Grand Tour, and a victory, then we will decide with the team the final step of my career.”
The Italian rider has become a mainstay of the women’s peloton, with a pro career that began in 2006 with Safi – Pasta Zara – Manhattan. Bastianelli went on to win the World Championships Road Race title in 2007 in Stuttgart ahead of Marianne Vos, as well as claiming multiple national titles.
However, Bastianelli’s career has seen a few breaks and setbacks. Her season in the rainbow stripes came to an end after she tested positive for the stimulant flenfluramine twice in July 2008. She blamed it on contaminated diet pills and it was ruled that she had ingested the substance due to negligence yet still served a two-year ban as a result.
She returned to racing in 2009 but then sat out the 2013 and 2014 seasons to give birth to her first child. After returning to racing in 2015 Bastianelli has gone on to claim wins at the Giro d’Italia Donne, the Tour of Flanders, Emakumeen Bira, and the European Road Race Championships.
Her home ‘Grand Tour’ as an Italian rider, Bastianelli will be looking to replicate her 2017 stage win and end her career on a high. The 2023 race is due to take place between the 30th June and the 9th July 2023.