By Susan Westemeyer
Jörg Ludewig announced his retirement from professional cycling in August and said that he had accepted a position with a German sports equipment firm, but he has since decided that he is not quite entirely ready to turn his back on the active sport altogether. The German Continental Team Sparkasse has announced that he has signed with them for the coming year.
"That was a consideration to involve myself a little in a team, to help a sponsor to stay with our great sport, which has been so badly portrayed lately, and to keep fit. Unfortunately, I haven't been successful so far," he told Cyclingnews.
"But even if I am officially listed in a Professional Continental Team or Continental Team in 2008 – my real professional career is over. As of January 1, my new motto will be 'Lightweight by Carbonsport.'" Carbonsport is a German firm which manufactures high-end-sports equipment, such as carbon frames and wheels. Its newest line of products is called "Lightweight."
"After 15 years devoted to cycling, I think it is a good idea to wind things down slowly this way," he concluded.
Ludewig, 32, rode for EC Bayer-Worringen (1997-1998), Gerolsteiner (1999), Saeco (2000-2004), Domina Vacanze (2005) and T-Mobile (2006) before joining the Professional Continental Team Wiesenhof-Felt for 2007.
A letter he wrote in 1997 inquiring into the availability of doping products came back to haunt his later career, even though he says he never followed up on the letter. It was published while he was with T-Mobile, and the team announced during the season that he would not ride any more races for them. This year, the Wiesenhof team management did not nominate him for the Deutschland Tour, eventually saying that it was because of his "past."