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Nicola Bagioli hangs up his bike at 26

Nicola Bagioli (Nippo Vini Fantini) in the mountain jersey at stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico
Nicola Bagioli (Nippo Vini Fantini) in the mountain jersey at stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Nicola Bagioli (B&B Hotels-KTM) announced that he will end his career as a professional cyclist at the age of 26 in order to focus on his business making soapstone pottery with his partner Arianna.

The winner of the mountains classification at Tirreno-Adriatico in 2018, Bagioli raced with Nippo-Vini Fantini from 2016-2019 before moving across first to Androni Giocattoli in 2020 and then B&B Hotels this year.

"I arrived at a time in my life when I have to choose, when I have to make an important decision and so I decided to choose with my heart, to make a choice that many may consider crazy, but that for me represents following a dream, my passion," Bagioli wrote on Instagram.

"I decided to get off the bike, end my career as a professional cyclist and terminate the contract I had with my team and dedicate myself 100% to [Lavéc - his company]."

Lavéc makes cooking pots and pans out of soapstone with copper binding and handles, claiming the material distributes heat better and is non-stick without the use of chemicals or glazes.

"From now on I will be an artisan and I will live of that, continuing to grow this reality together with Arianna, to make sure to make known more and more this wonderful world of soapstone working and to enhance an ancient tradition," Bagioli wrote.

"I want to thank all those who have supported me over the years, the teams who have believed in me, all the people on the roadside who have cheered me on (and maybe even given me a push on some tough climbs), all the teammates I've had and all the people who have shared with me the joys and hardships of cycling."

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