Every year there is a list of big-name riders who end their career in professional cycling and the class of 2023 includes a number of key riders that have transformed the sport in the last decade.
The retirement class of 2023 includes Annemiek van Vleuten who did so much to lift the level of professionalisation in women’s cycling, and Peter Sagan who combined winning world titles and Classics with a knack for entertaining and shaking up the sport.
Other retirees include Thibaut Pinot, Greg van Avermaet, Rohan Dennis, Marta Bastianelli, Nacer Bouhanni, Daryl Impey and Jack Bauer.
In this special feature we look back at the career of some of the biggest retirees of 2023.
Leading with emotion, the French rider with a flare for firing up the fans
- Top victories: Il Lombardia, 3 x Tour de France stages, 2 x Vuelta a España stages, Giro d’Italia stage and KOM, Milano Torino, Tour of the Alps, 2 x Tour de l’Ain, 2 x Tour de Suisse stages, 2 x Tour de Romandie stages, Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var
- Career win tally: 33
“I haven’t won so many races in my career, but I think winning can even be boring,” said Pinot as he finished Il Lombardia and ended his professional cycling career.
Boring is a word that could never be used to describe Pinot’s career, which began in 2010 with FDJ and finished with the same team this year.
Despite downplaying his winning prowess the 33-year-old is leaving the sport with an impressive victory list, from Il Lombardia to three Tour de France stages, stage wins at the Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia plus victory at Milano-Torino.
However, it is the wins that Pinot didn’t get that provided just as much excitement and anticipation for so many fans over the years.
The rider – who at one stage caused French fans to brim with hope that they would see a home nation rider claim victory at the Grand Tour once again – delivered a fitting farewell to the race for the yellow jersey in his final season.
On the final mountain stage of the Tour de France for 2023, Pinot stoked those flames of excitement once again. He took off on the Petit Ballon, with spectators yelling wildly as accelerated clear of the break and to the head of the race, spurring dreams of an awe inspiring final victory at the race. Pinot fought on to the final ascent of the Platzerwasel but was caught and finished seventh.
The victory may not…