Ilnur Zakarin has retired from professional cycling at the age of 32. The Russian was effectively without a team already, after Gazprom-RusVelo ceased activities in the wake of the UCI’s ban on Russian squads .
He spent most of his career at Russian teams, including Gazprom and Katusha, but also spent a year at the now-defunct CCC after Katusha ended their time in the sport.
“I officially announce my retirement from [my] cycle sport career,” Zakarin wrote in a post on Instagram this week.
“I’ve had more than 20 years of different competitions, success and obstacles, achievements and failures,” he continued. “Now I’m ready to move on. This is a new stage and a new start.”
It was during his time at Katusha, then Katusha-Alpecin, that he had his greatest successes. His third place at the 2017 Vuelta a España was the high-water mark of his career, as he finished behind Chris Froome and Vincenzon Nibali.
The Russian won two stages of the Giro d’Italia , at Imola in 2015, and then Ceresole Reale in 2019, proving himself as one of the pre-eminent climbers in the peloton. He also finished fifth overall at the Italian Grand Tour in 2017.
In 2016, he was on his way to another top ten finish in Italy when he crashed horrifically on the descent of the Colle dell’Agnello, on the same day as then race leader Steven Kruijswijk. Zakarin fractured his collarbone and shoulder blade. He was fortunate to escape with such light injuries, considering how bleak the images […]