Leipheimer says he will now concentrate on his Gran Fondo, a fund-raising ride in Northern California
Levi Leipheimer made it official on Sunday as the 2013 Amgen Tour of California concluded in his hometown of Santa Rosa — he’s no longer a professional cyclist.
Leipheimer was a witness in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s case against Lance Armstrong and detailed his use of performance-enhancing drugs in a sworn affidavit and in an op-ed for the website of The Wall Street Journal.
Last year, Omega Pharma-Quick Step fired him after he admitted using performance-enhancing drugs and methods while riding for Saturn, U.S. Postal Service, Rabobank, Gerolsteiner and Astana.
Leipheimer and four other active riders — George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie and Tom Danielson — received six-month suspensions and were stripped of results. Hincapie retired; the others resumed racing this year after serving their time.
And Leipheimer hoped to do the same when his suspension ended in March, but could not find a team.
On Sunday, he told his hometown newspaper that he had begun “transitioning into the rest of my life.”
“I’m retired,” he told The Press Democrat. “It’s just been an unceremoniously retired.”
Leipheimer told the newspaper that his focus now is promoting the GranFondo, a mass fund-raising ride that attracts thousands of cyclists.
“It’s not about professional cycling, it’s about sharing the love of the bike,” he said. “That’s what it’s always been about.”