When it comes to retirements this autumn, the media spotlights have honed in on the departures of Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citröen) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) from professional racing. But the Belgian Classics star and French climbing champion are far from being the only names hanging up their wheels this month.
Spain’s Imanol Erviti (Movistar) announced just after completing Il Lombardía this Saturday that he would be leaving the sport at the end of the year, while Tony Gallopin (Lidl-Trek), who retired after finishing Paris-Tours, had announced his exit a few months ago.
A pro since 2010 with Cofidis, Gallopin’s most successful spell as a pro. came between 2013 and 2018, when he took a stage of the Tour de France and led the race for a day.
During that period ‘Gallopin’ Gallopin’, as he was nicknamed by some English-speaking media, won stages in Paris-Nice and the Vuelta a España. He also claimed his biggest one-day victory, in the Clásica San Sebastián in 2013 as well as then finishing second on two further occasions in Spain’s only WorldTour Classic.
“The sending-off I got from my fans, a great race, the way I fought hard all the way through… frankly it couldn’t have ended better,” Gallopin told L’Équipe afterwards.
64th at the finish, Gallopin said that he had long planned to end his career in a race that he had often watched as a spectator when he was a child.
“When I was a kid, not even 10, then I raced it as an U23” – winning the 2008 edition of Paris-Tours in that category – “and then as a pro for almost the last 15 years. That’s incredible,” he added.
Gallopin’s next step in his career is already decided. Like his uncles Alain and Joel before him, he will become a sports director, in Gallopin’s case with Lotto-Dstny in 2024.
Imanol Erviti is the one rider who has been with Movistar throughout his entire career, joining the squad when it was sponsored by Illes Balears-Caisse d’Epargne back in 2005 and remaining with the team through to 2023.
On a personal level, his career high points were two stage victories at the Vuelta a España, as well as top 10s in races where Movistar and Spanish teams traditionally did not flourish like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders: in fact, his seventh place in 2016 in Flanders was at that point Movistar’s best ever result in De Ronde.
But his real strength lay in being…