BAGUIO CITY — Santy Barnachea, winner of four Tour titles including two in the LBC Ronda Pilipinas, is retiring for good.

“After 25 years in cycling, I’m retiring and focusing on coaching,” said the 47-year-old Barnachea during yesterday’s 10th and final Ronda stage at the Burnham Park here.

Riding for Excellent Noodles, Mr. Barnachea, who ruled Ronda’s maiden edition in 2011 and repeated in 2015, had actually retired two years ago when he raced for Scratch It in Ronda but came out of it for one final shot at glory.

And the Umingan, Pangasinan native came out swinging as he finished 20th overall of the 57 survivors out of the original 104 cyclists and was even fourth in the Individual Time Trial Stage One in Sorsogon where he edged younger riders almost half his age.

“I call him the heart and soul of the team, he will be our coach,” said Excellent Noodles team owner Alex Billan referring to his legendary skipper. — Joey Villar