The Navarrese, 38 years old and with three stages in the Giro, helped Froome win the Tour twice and will hang up his bike at the end of this campaign
Mikel Nieve, who is already 38 years old, announced this Tuesday that he will hang up his bike at the end of this season after fifteen campaigns as a professional cyclist. The Navarrese runner, who now plays for Caja Rural, has been the example that many gregarious have noticed. A great climber, he was one of the key pieces in the dominance of the Sky team and Chris Froome.
Trained at the Caja Rural amateur, he went on to the professional field at Euskaltel-Euskadi. That’s where the successes began, always on hard stages, high mountains. He won at Alto del Cotobello in La Vuelta in 2010 and, above all, he exhibited his stamp as a long-distance runner in the 2011 Giro d’Italia with his victory in the Val di Fassa stage with almost 6,300 meters of unevenness after seven and a half hours on the bike in the rain and in intense cold.
When Euskaltel disappeared, the best team in the world, Sky, knocked on Leitza’s cycling door, signing him in 2014. With the British squad he achieved another victory in the Giro d’Italia, in Cividale del Friuli and the mountain classification in the 2016 edition. He was at Froome’s side in the Briton’s triumphs in the 2016 and 2017 Tour de France.
In 2018 he signed for Mitchelton-Scott and won the Cervinia stage in the Giro d’Italia that year. That year he bordered on success on a day of the Tour, but was caught in the last kilometer of the eleventh stage on the way to La Rosière. He leaves an example of dedication and regularity: until La Vuelta in 2021, he had finished in the Top-25 overall in all the grand tours that he had completed (he only dropped out in the 2020 Tour de France).
This is how he says goodbye with a statement: «After 15 years pedaling in the best races in the world, the time has come to say goodbye to professional cycling at the end of this season.
It has been a privilege to share a platoon with great cyclists and the people who make up this world of cycling.
There are many people I want to thank for all these years: family, friends, teammates, fans, all the staff with whom I have shared a team, organizers and all the people who have helped me during all these years. But I especially want to thank my father, whom I miss so much, and my mother, who have given me everything throughout my life. Also to my brother, who has always supported and helped me, and my son Daniel.
They have been unforgettable years, I have learned and enjoyed a lot being a cyclist, but the time has come to end this stage and start living other experiences.
Thank you to all. Thank you!”