Instead of becoming a directeur sportif at the new Astana team managed by Johan Bruyneel, José Luis 'Chechu' Rubiera preferred to add yet another season as a professional bike rider to his already long career, according to Spanish website LNE. The 34 year-old reportedly turned down an offer to become one of the squad's new directors before he was proposed a contract as a rider, which he accepted last week.
Rubiera, who will be racing his 14th season as a pro in 2008, got the OK from the team management to continue on the bike after it was clear that Paolo Savoldelli would change teams to Italian LPR . Even though the Spaniard has always liked teaching and taking care of younger riders like Samuel Sánchez, Carlos Barredo or Daniel Navarro, the job of a directeur sportif seemed a little too stressful to him as it requires also putting pressure on the riders. What's more, Rubiera did not want to end his career through the back door - he wanted a proper farewell and to fulfil his dream of racing through his 35th year.
Courtesy of Antonio J. Salmerón