Haimar Zubeldia announces retirement from Pro cycling
Haimar Zubeldia, 40, has announced that Clásica Ciclista San Sebastián on July 29th will be the final race of his industrious 20-year career.
It is a fitting race to call his last, a prestigious classic held in the Basque Country and passes close to where he lives. A race he calls his own.
Zubeldia first turned pro with Euskaltel-Euskadi at the age of 20 where he remained for 11 years before joining Astana in 2009. In 2010, he signed with RadioShack and continued through the team's metamorphosis over the next years into the current Trek-Segafredo team.
Haimar Zubeldia: "After so many kilometers and pedal strokes the time has come to announce that I will say goodbye to cycling in the Clásica San Sebastián. It has been 20 years of few words and a lot of emotions. I have been very happy, but now I am looking forward to opening the door for other dreams."
"At the age of 20 I was given a hand by the Euskadí team and full of dreams I entered professional cycling into a peloton with Pantani, Zülle, Olano, and Jalabert. It has been 20 years of magic moments like the ones experienced, amongst many others, with Ulrich, Basso, Armstrong, and Beloki.
"And now, 20 years later, I will pin my last bib number in the peloton of Froome and Contador. It has been a privilege to share my passion and profession at the sides of all those great cyclists."
"Euskaltel, Astana, and Trek have been my family, and they have allowed me to live the most unforgettable experiences. All of this, with deep affection, I feel for this sport, in every turn, in every corner."
Zubeldia, a strong climber, has built his career predominantly as a crucial support rider to the team’s GC leaders. He is currently riding his 16th Tour de France and has finished an impressive five times in the top 10 in cycling's biggest event. But more than these impressive results, Zubeldia has been a steadfast teammate throughout the years.
Luca Guercilena, General Manager of Trek-Segafredo: "Haimar has been such a pleasure to work with. He is a quiet, intelligent, and hardworking man who has always been very loyal to his team. He has been very consistent in his results and this over an impressive period of 20 years.
"He maybe did not win a lot during his career, but he was always there, a professional in every way. He has been many times the rock to build our team on, a certitude so to say. He has been riding a Trek Bike for the last 10 seasons, and that is an impressive benchmark. Now, after 20 seasons as a pro, a completely new life will begin for which we wish him the very best."