By Gregor Brown in Al Khor, Qatar
Noemi Cantele looks forward to the next four years leading to the 2012 Olympics. The Italian of Team Bigla explained Tuesday at the Tour of Qatar that retirement could come immediately after the Games in London.
"I think for a woman who wants to have a family, it is better to not go too far beyond a certain age. The age of 31 or 32 would be great," Cantele, 27, said to Cyclingnews.
Cantele had a competitive 2008 season that included a win in the GP Costa Etrusca (Castellina) and the Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen. However, several key races ended in near misses, like the Trophée d'Or Féminin and the GP Brissago Lago Maggiore.
"I changed a few things this winter. I changed my personal trainer; plus, I am more relaxed now. I needed to change after the Olympic year; to close a period of four years and to begin a new four years."
Cantele finished 15th in the Olympic road race. Briton Nicole Cooke won and Italian teammate Tatiana Guderzo took bronze.
"My first goals of the new season will be in the World Cups – Cittiglio, Flanders and Flèche Wallonne. It would be great to win the Tour of Flanders; it is a race that really intrigues me. Then, the final big goal is the Worlds in Mendrisio [Switzerland], which is near my home in Varese."
Cantele finished 10th overall in her first race of the year, the Tour of Qatar. Her teammate, Veronica Andreasson, place second on stage two to Al Shahaniyah.