Rigoberto Urán has confirmed that 2024 will be his final season as a professional rider. The EF Education-EasyPost rider made the announcement on Sunday evening, hours after the end of the Tour Colombia.
Urán had already indicated his intention to retire in November, but he appeared to row back on that idea in recent weeks, revealing that EF had offered him a two-year contract extension and insisting that no decision had yet been taken. All week, however, Colombian television station RCN had teased a Sunday night interview with Urán under the tagline: “What is Rigo going to say?”
Ultimately, Urán announced that he would finish his career after 19 seasons in the professional peloton. His EF Education-EasyPost team released a statement to coincide with his RCN interview.
“As a cyclist, I believe the time has come to say: we have reached the end,” Urán said. “It has taken me a long time to come to this decision. It is something I have thought long and hard about. The truth is that it is scary. Cycling has given me everything in life.
“For almost 23 years, my aim was to get up, eat breakfast, and ride my bike. I was a part of a team that took me to the major races around the world. Now that is going to end.”
Urán had spoken of his fear of retirement in an interview with Cyclingnews at the Tour Colombia.
“It’s not easy, and a lot of people have struggled with it, not just in cycling but in every sport,” he explained then. “You often spend more nights in the year sharing a room with a teammate than with your wife. It’s a life where you have lots of people doing everything for you. And when you finish, you don’t have that anymore.”
Urán placed fourth overall at the Tour Colombia and EF won the team prize. He was acclaimed raucously by the crowds on Bogotá’s Carrera 7 when he took to the podium on Sunday afternoon, by which point word of his imminent retirement announcement had already begun to spread.
“I’m going to try to enjoy it, give my best in the races, and race every one like it is my last,” Urán said. “This season will be a thank you, a thank you very much. I only have gratitude for the team, for all the people, all the many coaches and many teammates who were always there to help me over the past 20-plus years.”
The 37-year-old is scheduled to race O Gran Camiño later this month, and he indicated in his interview with Cyclingnews that he hoped to ride a top-level programme in 2024, including Paris-Nice, the Volta…