Michael Albasini delays retirement and makes plans to honour Tour de Suisse
May 27 2020 08:57 pm CET

Michael Albasini delays retirement and makes plans to honour Tour de Suisse
Michael Albasini delays retirement and makes plans to honour Tour de Suisse
Photo of Mitchelton-Scott jersey (c) Jonathan Roorda / CyclingPub.com

Mitchelton-Scott's Michael Albasini has decided to delay his retirement and continue racing the new 2020 calendar.

The Swiss rider was set to retire in June at the Tour de Suisse, after his 16th appearance in his home race. But the Covid-19 pandemic has forced him to change his plans, and he will continue racing and will honour the local race in his own way.

Albasini will work with head sport director Matt White in a new race program. "I still want to finish my career with a number on my back, so I will continue after summer when the season restarts," the rider explained. "This pandemic cancelled all of my plans; the retirement plan but also the holiday plans I had with my family, so because of that, if I cannot have the holidays, I want to at least finish my career with a real race.

"There was a step-by-step process to get to this point. When it first started to happen I thought that was it, that it wasn't nice but it was going to be how my career finished and it is how it is. Then I started realising that everything couldn't happen – I couldn't finish my career in Switzerland, I couldn't have the holiday and it wouldn't make sense to have a half a year doing nothing."

Albasini has in mind how he wants to have his last days as a professional rider, and he will do everything in his power to make it happen. "I also had to get the motivation back, because it was a whole preparation for nothing and I have to do this again now," the Swiss commented. "That was something I struggled at first to think about and it took me a while to get through it. Now, I am motivated to do all the preparation again, so I can at least have one of the things I planned at the start of the year.

"First of all, I just want to have the chance to enjoy my last races, knowing they are my last races. I want to enjoy the company and the feeling of being in the race and to have these memories from my last races that I can keep with me, if not, I have even forgotten the name of the last race I had. I really looked forward to racing this season; to make all the training camps and all of the other things around race like the feeling when you come from the massage, or when you go to dinner and talk with the boys at the table. I just want to really enjoy it the last times and now I have the possibility to still do it."

The rider has also done some plans for the original dates of the Tour de Suisse, in which he will be travelling with his family and friends through all the stages -depending on the government regulations in June. "I will still do the Tour de Suisse," Albasini affirmed. "It's not a race anymore, but I am still going to see all of the stages and it's still a lot of riding. It'll be like a good bike trip with friends that change day-by day.

"I will have company every stage, which makes it even more fun. I will have friends, other sportspeople from all different sports, and will have a stage with some former Swiss pro cyclists. It's going to be a really nice time to have six or seven hours a day to be out there talking. If you're in a race you have less time to enjoy, so this way I can really enjoy it with a lot of people who have been part of my career."




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