With all the current admissions and accusations of doping during the 1990’s and early years of this century, I am slightly saddened that one of my favourite riders, and one of the few universally acknowledged to have ridden clean during those years, has decided to retire. After fifteen years in the pro peleton (all spent with the Cofidis team) David Moncoutié will retire on Sunday at the end of this years Vuelta.
In his early years many pundits thought that he was a potential Tour de France winner and although he won a couple of stages that potential was never fulfilled, largely, in my opinion, because he was a clean rider in the Lance Armstrong/Jan Ulrich era. The latter part of his career in many ways has been more succesful than the early part. He has won the climbers jersey and stages in The Vuelta for the past four years as well as other smaller races. This could be seen as a sign that cycling is actually getting cleaner. I hoped that he could take the Polka-dot jersey in this years Tour de France, but a crash on Stage 12 forced him out of the race.
He says that he has no ambition to stay in cycling, but will carry on riding his bike. That was the thing I liked most about him, he always seemed to enjoy the riding as much if not more than the winning.