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Bettini heads into final year

Paolo Bettini shares a laugh

Paolo Bettini shares a laugh (Image credit: Shane Stokes)

Paolo Bettini announced that 2008 will be his final year as a professional cyclist. It will be another big year for the little Italian, who wants to not only defend his Olympic title in Beijing, but also is eyeing a third consecutive rainbow jersey at home soil, in Varese. And to finish off his career with a win in the race of the falling leaves, in Lombardia, would be a good end to an illustrious career. He had won in Lombardia in 2005 and 2006.

"That will be it," confirmed Quick.Step-Innergetic's Press Officer Alessandro Tegner to Cyclingnews.

Press agency sid had reported that Bettini declined a two-million dollar offer to ride for two more years. "I will start for the last time at Lombardia in 2008. One has to find the right moment to quit. It would be nice to finish with a success," said Bettini.