When David Moncoutie fronts this year's Vuelta a Espana it will be for the last time. The Frenchman has all but officially confirmed his retirement to French website Velochrono.fr, flagging the end to an illustrious 16 year career.
I'm going to the Vuelta to have fun, to show the Cofidis jersey, and in mind these are my last three weeks.
With one of the most natural positions on the bike, and technically gifted, Moncoutie is arguably one of France's most successful cyclists of his generation.
Known for his penchant for hiding at the back of the peloton out of the wind on the Tour's flatter stages, and popping up at the front of the race when the road tilts up, he's respected for his panache and flair, as well as his loyalty to his team and team-mates.
Notably he's ridden with Cofidis for his entire professional career, a rarity in a sport that is blighted by instability, and perhaps that's fostered the consistency that Moncoutie has achieved.
In 2004, he escaped with Juan Antonio Flecha and Egoi Martinez on the Tour de France's 11th Stage from Saint-Flour to Figeac, riding a tactically astute race, before leaving the duo behind inside the final 10 kilometres to take a brilliant solo victory.
A year later he backed up with another stage win in the Tour in Digne-Les-Bains, attacking on the Col du Corobin to distance Sandy Casar, Stuart O'Grady and Thor Hushovd, again solo.
By the latter half of the decade Moncoutie made a switch in focus to La Vuelta, riding the race for the first time in 2008, and beginning a love affair with Spain. He won his first of four king of the mountains titles on the way to finishing 8th overall, surprisingly the first time he'd ever entered the top 10 on GC at a Grand Tour.
Since he's gone back to the Vuelta each and every year, and fittingly, perhaps considering his success in Spain, it will be the Spanish Grand Tour that will wish the Frenchman adieu.
"It's funny, I was 33 when I first went to La Vuelta," said Moncoutie to Velochrono. "I went there after an unsuccessful Tour to chase a few results, and it just clicked really well. I just loved racing there, and so I kept going back."
It's at the Vuelta that Moncoutie rates one of his biggest career results as well. Another, unsurprisingly solo win, atop the legendary mountain, Sierra Nevada.
"It was one of the best memories of my career for sure," reflected Moncoutie. "I was wearing the mountain jersey, and I had (Rein) Taaramae help me out. To win solo was a brilliant experience, and one I will not forget."
The Frenchman says he's happy to hang up the bike, the decision is 'muy tranquillo' to borrow a phrase from his Spanish neighbours. After such a long career he wants only to be able to enjoy his last race, but a final win, would of course be nice.
"This decision has taken a long time to come to," says the Frenchman. "But it's one I'm happy with for sure. I'm going to the Vuelta to have fun, to show the Cofidis jersey, and in mind these are my last three weeks.
"The wish is to finish with a stage victory. I did not win this year and to relive that feeling of victory one last time before leaving, it would be finish in style!"
Moncoutie will join contemporary Alexandre Vinokourov on the sidelines, who raced his final event, the Clasica San Sebastian, on Tuesday.