Miguel Martinez, Olympic gold medallist and mountain bike world champion in 2000, has decided to return to racing after more than one year spent out of competition. The Frenchman has signed a one-year deal with the Italian Continental Pro team Amore&Vita and will be racing on the road as well as on his mountain bike during next season.
"I still love the bike too much to give up my career altogether," said Martinez to L'Equipe on Wednesday. The 31 year-old also spent two years in pro road cycling, 2002 with Mapei and 2003 with Phonak, without being very successful. "I was being told that I had nothing to do in that scene," he added. "I always did the best I could in my profession, without doping, and they quickly made me understand that I didn't perform as they wanted. But today, I really think that things have changed. I'm convinced that cycling evolves in the right direction and I want a second chance at top level."
Besides road racing, Martinez will target the World Marathon Championships on July 6 in Italy next season.