Cycling: Expatriate professional Sciandri ends long career

Britain's longest standing continental-based professional cyclist, Max Sciandri, has announced that he is retiring from the sport.

Despite being at his strongest in one-day racing, Sciandri, 37, won stages of the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia during his 16-year career. He and the Welsh rider Nicole Cooke are also the only Britons to have won World Cup events, in Sciandri's case, the now defunct Leeds Classic.

Born in Derby and with strong family connections in Tuscany and the United States, Sciandri obtained British nationality in 1995, taking a bronze medal for the UK in the 1996 Olympics road-race. His last win was the Tour of Lazio, one of Italy's biggest one-day races, in 2000, but after David Millar he was still the UK's most successful continental-based professional.

"I was just getting really tired, there were lots of little factors all coming together which said this was the moment to quit," Sciandri explained. "My only regret is not going to the Olympics this year, but a younger guy should have a chance."

Sciandri's final race was the Tour of Georgia in late April with the CSC squad, which took the team prize in the event.

Alasdair Fotheringham writes for Cycling Weekly

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