Lopez looks back

03 Dec 2018

Lopez looks back

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David Lopez has chosen to stop at a ‘good moment’ after enjoying a fruitful 16-year career as a professional.

The popular Spaniard turned pro in 2003 and spent the final six years of his cycling journey here at Team Sky.
 
After weighing up his options for 2019 Lopez, 37, decided to bring his time in the peloton to an end and is looking forward to a life after racing.
 
“I decided to stop at 37 after 16 years racing as a pro,” he told TeamSky.com. “It's a good moment. I had started to look at other options for next year but it's a difficult period, with teams cutting down on riders because there's less riders in every race.
 
“I had some options to continue on smaller teams in Spain but I worried it would be difficult to drop down. The desire might not have been the same and I preferred to stop and try something different rather than ride on with doubts about my motivation for training and racing.”
 
Lopez, who joined the team from Movistar in 2013, has enjoyed six strong years here and when asked for his highlight he answers in a flash: “When we won the Tour in 2013. That was a nice moment. It was my first year in the team, everything was new, and I had the chance to ride the Tour in my first year - that was very big for me.
 
“I’d always been with Spanish teams then I took the big decision to move to Sky and in my first year I went straight to the Tour, where we won with Froomey. It was a special time for me.”
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With the Tour in his legs Lopez went on to enjoy a fine end to his first campaign in black and blue, picking up his sole win in Team Sky colours.
 
“The team asked if I wanted to race the Vuelta as I’m a Spanish rider but I decided to try some different races. I rested a little bit after the Tour then went to the Eneco Tour and it was really nice, this win. I didn't expect any wins here at Team Sky because I joined knowing I would be working for others, so it was a big surprise for me! It was special to get a victory with Sky.”
David Lopez

David Lopez

Lots of guys have picked up the phone to congratulate me on my career, saying they will miss me. It’s made me really happy.
After featuring in Froome's first Tour de France victory Lopez was alongside him again for his first Vuelta a Espana title in 2017 - another of Lopez's career highlights.
 
“The Vuelta was also nice. It was more relaxed than the Tour. I’d been in the team for five years, I knew how we worked, and it was enjoyable for me. My level was higher than in 2013 too. It was a brilliant race for me and the team.
 
“I’m really happy with all the people I’ve met at Team Sky. I will keep in contact with them and lots of guys have picked up the phone to congratulate me on my career, saying they will miss me. It’s made me really happy.”
David cites the 2017 Vuelta as one of his best races with the team

David cites the 2017 Vuelta as one of his best races with the team

The Spaniard has lots of options open to him now he's hung up his wheels but he plans on taking his time while plotting his next move.
 
“At this moment I don’t know what I'll do. I’ve spoken to a few people about working for a bike brand, or maybe running rides with amateurs. But I only finished racing one month ago and I go on holiday next week, so I’m resting a little bit and then I will start looking when I get back.
 
“If I wait two or three years everyone will forget me!” he laughs. “I suddenly have a lot of free time - I don’t need to train, worry about the weather, keep an eye on the racing. I’m really relaxed, but it’s important for the head to have something to do.
 
“I’ve enjoyed training and racing but you spend a lot of time thinking about it. What’s the weather tomorrow? What training session am I doing? What’s my level at the moment? It’s not just the time on the bike training, it’s the time you’re thinking about all of these other things. It’s strange for me now, but it’s nice.”
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