Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi announced his retirement on Tuesday after 18 years as a professional rider.

Issuing a statement via his Lampre-Merida team’s website, Petacchi said: “My career has been full of satisfactions and enriched by all the most important victories that a rider like me could ever aim at.

“At the threshold of the 200 victories in career, I feel my life reaches a peculiar moment, a turning point in which I perceive the need to find a new dimension and to have more time to dedicate to my family. These considerations induce me to the decision to pause my career.”

The 39-year-old hasn’t ruled out returning to the sport as a coach or manager at a later date: “I want to say goodbye to all the cycling fans, considering that maybe there will be the chance to come back some day to be part on the world that gave me so much, offering my experience to the new cycling generation.”

Petacchi has a huge string of victories to his name (see full list below), including multiple stage wins in the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, including winning the Tour’s coveted green jersey in 2010. His one-day wins include Milan-San Remo, Scheldeprijs and Paris-Tours.

His career hasn’t been without controversy. In 2007 he returned a ‘non-negative’ test for excess levels of salbutamol. Although Petacchi held a therapeutic excemption certificate for the drug, the level was well above the allowed upper limit. He was subsequently suspended by his Milram team and handed a back-dated 12-month ban. He returned to competition in 2008 with LPR Brakes and was signed by Lampre for 2009, where he has been ever since.

Alessandro Petacchi’s full rider profile on www.cyclingweekly.co.uk>>

Alessandro Petacchi’s wins

2012

Bayern Rundfahrt; stage one

Bayern Rundfahrt; stage three

Bayern Rundfahrt; stage five

Bayern Rundfahrt; points classification

2011

Volta a Catalunya; stage two

Giro d’Italia; stage two

Tour of Turkey; stage four

Tour of Turkey; points classification

2010

Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria; stage two

Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria; stage four

GP Costa degli Etruschi

Tour de Suisse; stage four

Tour de France; stage one

Tour de France, stage four

Tour de France; points classification



2009


Giro d’Italia; stage two

Giro d’Italia; stage three

Tirenno Adriatico; stage two

Settimana Ciclista Lombarda; stage two

Settimana Ciclista Lombarda; stage four

Settimana Ciclista Lombarda; points classification

Giro di Sardegna; stage five

Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen

Gran Premio della Costa Etruschi

2008

Tour of Britain; stage one

Tour of Britain; stage six

Tour of Britain; stage eight

GP Beghelli

Memorial Viviana Manservisi

2007

Vuelta a Espana; stage 11

Vuelta a Espana; 12

Tour of the Algarve; overall

Tour of the Algarve; stage

Tour of the Algarve; stage

Tour of the Algarve; stage

Vuelta Valenciana; stage

Regio Tour; stage

Internationale Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt; overall

Internationale Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt; stage

Internationale Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt; stage

Internationale Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt; stage

Paris-Tours

2006

Tirreno Adriatico; stage seven

Tirreno Adriatico; points classification

Ruta del Sol; stage

Ruta del Sol; stage

Vuelta Valenciana; stage

Vuelta Valenciana; stage

Internationale Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt; overall

Internationale Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt; stage

Internationale Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt; stage

Internationale Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt; stage

Internationale Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt; stage

Internationale Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt; stage

GP Costa Degli Etruschi

Giro della Provincia di Lucca

2005

Giro d’Italia; stage 10

Giro d’Italia; stage 13

Giro d’Italia; stage 16

Giro d’Italia; stage 21

Vuelta a Espana; stage three

Vuelta a Espana; stage four

Vuelta a Espana; stage eight

Vuelta a Espana; stage 12

Vuelta a Espana; stage 21

Tour de Romandie; stage one

Tour de Romandie; stage two

Tirreno Adriatico; stage one

Tirreno Adriatico; stage six

Tirreno Adriatico; stage seven

Vuelta a Aragon; stage

Vuelta a Aragon; stage

Vuelta a Andalucia; stage

Vuelta a Andalucia; stage

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana; overall

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana; stage

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana; stage

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana; stage

Milan-San Remo

GP Costa Degli Etruschi

Trofeo Luis Puig

2004

Giro d’Italia; stage two

Giro d’Italia; stage five

Giro d’Italia; stage seven

Giro d’Italia; stage nine

Giro d’Italia; stage 11

Giro d’Italia; stage 13

Giro d’Italia; stage 15

Giro d’Italia; stage 16

Giro d’Italia; stage 21

Giro d’Italia; points classification

Giro d’Italia; most combative rider

Giro d’Italia; Azzurri d’Italia classification

Vuelta a Espana; stage two

Vuelta a Espana; stage four

Vuelta a Espana; stage seven

Vuelta a Espana; stage 13

Tirreno Adriatico; stage one

Tirreno Adriatico; stage two

Tirreno Adriatico; stage seven

Giro della Provincia di Lucca; stage

Giro della Provincia di Lucca; stage

Tour of Aragon; stage

Tour of Aragon; stage

Tour of Holland; stage

2003

Tour de France; stage two

Tour de France; stage four

Tour de France; stage six

Tour de France; stage seven

Giro d’Italia; stage one

Giro d’Italia; stage five

Giro d’Italia; stage six

Giro d’Italia; stage 13

Giro d’Italia; stage 16

Giro d’Italia; stage 17

Vuelta a Espana; stage three

Vuelta a Espana; stage five

Vuelta a Espana; stage 12

Vuelta a Espana; stage 14

Vuelta a Espana; stage 21

Paris-Nice; stage one

Vuelta Valenciana; stage

Tour of Aragon; stage

Tour of Aragon; stage

Tour of Aragon; stage

Tour of Holland; stage

Tour of Holland; stage

Trofeo Luis Puig

2002

Vuelta a Espana; stage 12

Paris-Nice; stage one

Paris-Nice; stage five

Settimana Coppi & Bartali; stage

Settimana Coppi & Bartali; stage

Settimana Coppi & Bartali; stage

Tour of the Mediterranean; stage

Vuelta Valenciana; stage

Vuelta Valenciana; stage

Vuelta Valenciana; stage

Regio Tour; stage

Tour of Holland; stage

2001

Settimana Coppi & Bartali; stage

Settimana Lombarda; stage

Settimana Lombarda; stage

Euskal Bizikleta; stage

Tour of Poland; stage

2000

Vuelta a Espana; stage eight

Vuelta a Espana; stage 12

Giro della Provincia di Lucca; overall

Giro della Provincia di Lucca; stage

Giro della Provincia di Lucca; stage

Tour de Luxembourg; stage

Tour de Luxembourg; stage

Route du Sud; stage

Route du Sud; stage

Regio Tour; stage

1998

Tour de Langkawi; stage

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