Former T-Mobile rider Rolf Aldag has officially ended his career as a pro cyclist in his home town of Ahlen, Germany, on Saturday, April 29. After a 63km-long circuit race, which of course Aldag won, the man who participated ten times in the Tour de France for his T-Mobile team said goodbye to racing.
Many of his long-time colleagues came to escort the 37 year-old to the finish line: Jens Voigt (CSC), Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Marcus Burghardt and Sergej Ivanov (T-Mobile), three Milram riders and last but not least Aldag's friend Erik Zabel, who led out the sprint for his long-time companion. "He deserved it," said Zabel, adding with a grin that he wouldn't have dreamed to lead out a sprint again for a T-Mobile rider.
Aldag's palmarès includes stage wins in the Tour de Suisse, Tour de Romandie and Deutschland Tour, as well as a seventh placing in the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Aldag also wore the mountains jersey at the Tour de France 2003 for one day: He held on to Richard Virenque in a mountain points' collecting breakaway which got the Frenchman the stage win, the yellow and the polkadot jersey - which the 1,77m tall German wore on the next stage to L'Alpe d'Huez.