The last two years of my career were the covid years. 2020 started well in my new team, Israel Start- Up Nation, with good results before a strong training block that I was just winding up when lockdown hit. I maintained focus and motivation, strangely enjoying the lockdown, but broke my sacrum at the Dauphiné. I managed to take the Tour’s start line and infiltrate­d some breaks but the race was mainly a training exercise. The Ardennes were better, and I entered the Vuelta in good shape, with a stage win and fourth on GC, my best result ever. I limped to Madrid, but I made it, just missing the podium. In 2021 we chose a different path with a run at the Giro. In hindsight, attempting four grand tours in 11 months was always going to be tough, but winning the Giro stage was a special moment. The whole race I rode consistent­ly, I just made some mistakes on the strade bianche stage which cost me, but that stage probably subconscio­usly started the thoughts of retirement. A fairytale win in Lombardia would have been special but that final race highlighte­d for me that it was time. Still competitiv­e but I enjoyed my moment rolling across the line in relative anonymity.

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