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Marta Bastianelli cancels retirement plans, extends through 2023

The Italian former world champion had planned to retire this season but will ride on for at least one more year.

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Marta Bastianelli has decided not to retire at the end of this season and has extended her contract with UAE Team ADQ through 2023.

Bastianelli had initially planned on retiring at the end of this season but changed her mind following a strong year that saw her take six victories.

Her signing closes out the UAE Team ADQ roster for 2023 with a string of new talent, including Silvia Persico, Chiara Consonni, and Canadian Oliva Baril, set to join next year.

“I am really happy to continue with the team, we decided together that I can contribute with my experience to the young and new riders for an additional season,” she said. “I would like to end my career with another grand tour, and a victory, then we will decide with the team the final step of my career.

“In the meantime, I’m proud and excited to be part of the overall UAE Team ADQ project again. The philosophy of the UAE Team ADQ is more aligned with my values of sharing knowledge and always go further. For the last chapter of my career, I will as always give my best and to win again.”

Also read: World championship bronze medalist Silvia Persico signs for UAE ADQ

The 35-year-old Bastianelli has been a professional rider since 2006 and has raced almost exclusively on Italian teams, except for a season at Virtu Cycling in 2019 and her move to UAE Team ADQ for this year.

She won the world title aged 20 in 2007, beating Marianne Vos and Giorgia Bronzini. Her season in the rainbow stripes was cut short after she tested positive for stimulant flenfluramine twice in July 2008. She blamed it on contaminated diet pills and it was deemed that she had taken the stimulant due to negligence, but she was handed a two-year ban as a result.

Bastianelli returned to racing following the ban but she took time out during the 2013 and 2014 seasons to give birth to her first child. She has been consistently racing again since 2015 and has racked up wins at the Giro d’Italia Donne, the Tour of Flanders, Emakumeen Bira, and the European road race championships.

This season saw her get off to a blistering start with wins at the Vuelta CV Feminas, the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, and Omloop van het Hageland.

“In this last season, Marta proved to be a unique rider with strong skills and expertise,” team manager Rubens Bertogliati said. “She has been a multi-winner for our team, and we are very glad that she has decided to race with UAE Team ADQ for another year. For us, she is a pillar of the squad, and her behavior and experience are priceless for the youngest riders of the team.”