By Antonio J. Salmerón
Ag2r rider Iñigo Chaurreau has announced that, at the age of 33, he has made the "difficult decision" of leaving the professional cycling. Motivated by the desire "to try another life style" outside of elite competition, the Basque rider made the decision to leave the sport, "which has been a significative stage in his life," reported the Spanish news source Efe. Chaurreau began the 2006 season with the idea that it would be his last as a professional, but "good results made him think seriously about continuing." Chaurreau recognised that, "I feel very well physically, but have arrived at the moment to say good-bye".
The Basque rider was the national time trial champion in 2003, and participated eight times in the Vuelta, four times in the Tour de France, once in the Giro d'Italia, and once in the World Championship. He made debut in with the Italian Polti squad, with which he rode three seasons. He continued four years with the Euskaltel-Euskadi team, and finished the last five seasons with the French Ag2r team.
Another Spanish rider announced his resignation from the sport for very different reasons. After only five seasons as a professional, the 27-year-old former Comunidad Valenciana rider, José Luis Martínez, announced that he has given up the sport with resignation and sadness. He attributed his retirement to the crisis that has plagued the Spanish cycling market, and his troubles since Operación Puerto marked the end of his Comunidad Valenciana team.
"I am not about to continue at any price," Martínez said to Cyclingnews. He said that he could probably have found another team to continue, but not at a level that would "compensate for the enormous effort that cycling demands of you." Martínez made his debut in 2001 with the Jazztel-Costa Almeria team. Three years later, he signed by the Comunidad Valenciana, after achieving good performances during the 2004 season.
Finally, José Rodríguez has decided to resign his position as president of the Spanish Professional Cyclists Association (ACP) for personal reasons. Rodriguez, according to Europe Press, considered the situation of cycling to be "very difficult" with the continual doping scandals. The vacant position will be occupied by the ex professional rider José Javier Gómez until a new election can be carried out in 2007.