Wed 27 May 2020
In light of the racing calendar impacts due to COVID-19, Suisse veteran Michael Albasini will delay his original retirement plans and race with Mitchelton-SCOTT until the end of the revised 2020 season.
Albasini was due to retire in June at the Tour de Suisse in what would have been his 16th appearance at his home race. The 39-year-old will now work with head sport director Matt White to design a new race program in order to have a fitting send out to his successful career, which has included 18 wins in his last eight seasons with Mitchelton-SCOTT.
Despite the cancellation of the 2020 Tour de Suisse, Albasini will still honour the race that has provided him so much success, riding the planned eight-stage Tour de Suisse on its original dates, with his family travelling in a campervan to support.
Dependant on government regulations in June, Albasini will be joined on various stages by former Suisse cycling teammates, career influencers and other Suisse elite sportspeople.
“I still want to finish my career with a number on my back, so I will continue after summer when the season restarts.
“This pandemic cancelled all of my plans; the retirement plan but also the holiday plans I had with my family, so because of that, if I cannot have the holidays, I want to at least finish my career with a real race.
“There was a step-by-step process to get to this point. When it first started to happen I thought that was it, that it wasn’t nice but it was going to be how my career finished and it is how it is. Then I started realising that everything couldn’t happen – I couldn’t finish my career in Switzerland, I couldn’t have the holiday and it wouldn’t make sense to have a half a year doing nothing.
“I also had to get the motivation back, because it was a whole preparation for nothing and I have to do this again now. That was something I struggled at first to think about and it took me a while to get through it. Now, I am motivated to do all the preparation again so I can at least have one of the things I planned at the start of the year.
“First of all, I just want to have the chance to enjoy my last races, knowing they are my last races. I want to enjoy the company and the feeling of being in the race and to have these memories from my last races that I can keep with me, if not, I have even forgotten the name of the last race I had.
“I really looked forward to racing this season; to make all the training camps and all of the other things around race like the feeling when you come from the massage, or when you go to dinner and talk with the boys at the table. I just want to really enjoy it the last times and now I have the possibility to still do it.
“I will still do the Tour de Suisse. It’s not a race anymore, but I am still going to see all of the stages and it’s still a lot of riding. It’ll be like a good bike trip with friends that change day-by day.
“I will have company every stage, which makes it even more fun. I will have friends, other sportspeople from all different sports, and will have a stage with some former Swiss pro cyclists.
“It’s going to be a really nice time to have six or seven hours a day to be out there talking. If you’re in a race you have less time to enjoy, so this way I can really enjoy it with a lot of people who have been part of my career.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“Alba has been a foundation member of the GreenEDGE family. He still offers so much to our organisation on and off the bike and he epitomises what we want from our athletes in commitment, character and respect.
“It’s great to give Alba a chance to finish off the season with some world class races in an area where he has had an incredible amount of success over the years, the Ardennes.”
Michael Albasini’s Tour de Suisse Celebration:
Sunday, 7 June: Stage 1, Frauenfeld to Fraunfeld, 10.9km
Monday, 8 June: Stage 2, Neuhausen am Rhainfall to Lachen, 179km
Tuesday, 9 June: Stage 3, Lachen to Pfaffnau, 186.6km
Wednesday, 10 June: Stage 4, St. Urban to Moudon, 180.6km
Thursday, 11 June: Stage 5, Moudon to Leukerbad, 205.1km
Friday, 12 June: Stage 6, Fiesch to Disentis/Sedrun, 162.1km
Saturday, 13 June: Stage 7, Disentis/Sedrun to Andermatt, 23.2km
Sunday, 14 June: Stage 8, Andermatt to Andermatt, 118.4km
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.