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The Italian, who is racing his final Giro d’Italia, confirmed the news at the end of stage 5 after crossing the line in his hometown of Messina.
The Giro d’Italia has spent the last two days in Nibali’s native Sicily, and the two-time winner of the race confirmed his retirement a day after losing time on the stage 4 finish to Mount Etna.
“There was a lot of emotion riding here into Messina, my home, my family, my friends,” Nibali said on RAI.
“It’s a difficult day for me and for my family. I’ve been waiting for this stage for a long time. It’s my city and it’s where it all started for me. This will be my last Giro and I want to share that with everyone.”
Now 37, Nibali has been at the forefront of Italian cycling during a career that has spanned three decades. He has won all three of cycling’s grand tours; first winning the Vuelta a España in 2010, before adding a Tour de France crown to his palmarès in 2014. His two Giro d’Italia wins came in 2013 and 2016.
He turned professional back in 2005 as part of Giancarlo Ferretti’s Fassa Bortolo team. He then moved to the Liquigas team a year later and began to establish himself as a grand tour star in the making with a string of promising results. His breakthrough came in the 2009 Tour de France, where he was sixth overall, and a year later he finished third in the Giro d’Italia and won the Vuelta.
He made a name for himself as the complete all-rounder, winning further grand tours, but also picking off monument success in both Il Lombardia (2015 and 2017) as well as Milan-San Remo in 2018, after a memorable solo attack on the Poggio.
In later years, his powers in grand tours began to fade, and he struggled to match the best riders over three weeks. He has ridden for a string of other teams, including Astana (twice), Trek-Segafredo, and Bahrain-Merida.
Nibali still has some grand tour racing to come and is on course to race the Tour de France later this summer. His GC hopes for the Giro d’Italia this year faded, however, on the slopes of Etna and he will target stage wins for the rest of the race.