13 October 2010

Chechu Rubiera retiring

Sometimes a person is just so gosh darn likable

That is Chechu Rubiera. He is retiring from cycling this weekend after riding the Tour of Lombardy for Team Radio Shack. There is just something about this guy that makes me want to squeeze him. It is much more than the flutter on Twitter today wishing him well and saying thanks. People seem to light up in his presence. He makes fans smile, friends offer hugs, Soigneurs give respect, Director Sportif's feel grateful, and teammates feel supported. It is so nice to see a cyclist retire and not be embroiled in controversy. Here is a man that came, did his job with integrity, lived his life with class, and is leaving with honor. Yeah Chechu. Aplausos!

You can read Chechu Rubiera's farewell letter 
Rubiera signs off at the Tour of Lombardy; Article on CyclingNews.com, By: Stephen Farrand
Chechu on Twitter
Chechu Rubiera's personal website

Rider Profile: Chechu Rubiera:
Name: José Luis Rubiera Vigíl 
Born: 27 January 1973 
Nationality: Spanish 
Lives: Asturias, north Spain 
Status: Married Laura, 2000 
Professional since: 1995 
Artiach 1995-96
Kelme 1997-98
Kelme Costa Blanca 1999-2000
US Postal Service 2001-04
Discovery Channel 2005-07
Astana 2008-09
Radioshack 2010
Chechu hanging out in the morning with teammates outside the Bulldog Cafe (with the owner) before the ITT in Solvang, CA at the 2008 Tour of California. Photo by PedalDancer.com
  • His nickname:  Everyone calls him Chechu. He was given the nickname by his mom when he was a little boy and she got it from a character in a Spanish soap opera.  
  • His retirement: Chechu will join his wife, who is a lawyer, in Gijon. He has a degree in industrial engineering which he received in 2004 while racing as a professional.
  • His cycling history: Started in 22 Grand Tours and won two stages in the Tour of Italy. Rode on five of Lance Armstrong’s seven winning Tour de France teams. He won 2 stages of the Giro d'Italia in 1997 and 2000, and was part of three 1st place Team Time Trials in the Tour de France. He was elected as deputy to the cyclists' representative council of the UCI ProTour.
  • His restaurant: Chechu Rubiera is part owner of restaurant Barlata in Oakland, California (across the bay from San Francisco) with his friend and chef Daniel Olivella. Chechu's Father and family have owned and operated a bar in Asturias for a long time. His Father, also named José Luis Rubiera, has visited Chechu's restaurant in California, which offers some Asturian dishes on the menu.
  • His climb: there is a climb in Spain named after Chechu Rubiera that was featured in the 2010 Vuelta a Espana.  The climb is located 70kms from his house. Rubiera said in an interview with The Melting Pot, "I don’t think I deserve such a big honor, but it’s nice.  It’s a beautiful climb and now lots of people go there to train and to see it. It’s consistently between 7 and 9% and it’s 10kms long. There are no really steep, steep parts and no false flats so it’s always going up.  And there is a nice view all around the area – nice forests.  The road has been opened up because there was a gold mine on the top and now the mine is closed.  The roads are all paved nicely and in very good shape.  It’s a good place for training.  We can work on our cadence or our power, fast or slow.  You can work on everything for 10kms.  It’s perfect."
  • His favorites: From the Amgen Tour of California website, Chechu Rubiera said, "The Giro was special because I was young and got my victories. The Lance Tour years were nice. Both are different but are in my heart."
  • His plans: "I want to work in my hometown. I would like to help the young riders in my region. It would be nice to get sponsors to help these young riders in the Nationals. I want to stay at home with my family for a few years."
 Photos by PedalDancer.com, Tour of California May 2010