José Enrique Gutiérrez has announced that he is retiring from competition following the failure of his Rock Racing team to obtain a racing licence from the UCI. Now 35, the powerful Spaniard, nicknamed “El Búfalo”, is best known for taking second place behind Ivan Basso in the 2006 Giro d’Italia.
Following that result, Gutiérrez’s name surfaced in the Puerto investigation and he was put on the non-active list by Phonak, with whom he spent three seasons. No action was taken against Gutiérrez, who then spent two years with the Italian LPR team before switching to Rock Racing last season.
“After 12 years as a professional and after being dedicated to cycling since I was 12 the moment for my retirement has arrived,” Gutiérrez said in a statement. “At this point in the season it would be very hard to find a team that could offer me the minimum financial conditions and a good enough calendar of racing for me to keep training at the level needed to be a professional. So I have decided to draw my sporting career to an end.”
Winner of a stage at the Vuelta and two stages at the Dauphiné Libéré, Gutiérrez added: “Cycling has been everything to me and all I have achieved up to now I owe to cycling. In addition, I’ve had the chance to see a lot of the world and meet all kinds of people, and I will have some great memories and friends that will be with me forever.”
Gutiérrez indicated he will be considering new projects within the cycling and sporting worlds.