Chris Louis' racing days may be over
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches speedway ace Chris Louis today admitted that his racing days may be over.The 39-year-old has served the Witches brilliantly for 20 years, but he may have ridden his last race.
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches speedway ace Chris Louis today admitted that his racing days may be over.
The 39-year-old has served the Witches brilliantly for 20 years, but he may have ridden his last race.
Louis suffered a broken upper arm in April and unless the injury makes rapid improvement over the next few weeks the former world number three and Witches stalwart is set to hang up his kevlars.
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If he does call it a day it will be the end of an era at Foxhall Stadium.
But Louis revealed he plans to stay with the Elite League club whether riding or not.
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“My arm has recovered from the operation to repair it, but it is taking time to heal,” said Louis. “Blood circulation around injury is reduced, which is delaying the recovery process.
“I have set myself a target of Christmas to make my decision, and if I decide not to ride in 2009 it will signal the end of my riding career. I will not ride again.
“But I will stay with Ipswich and there will be a shift around in the way the club is run.”
Louis' father John is the Witches promoter and has been since 1989. At the age of 67 he could well be looking to ease down his duties, and gradually handing over to his son would be his ideal scenario.
Louis junior is already the club's rider/manager and will be accompanying his father to next Thursday's British Speedway Promoters' Association annual conference in Spain.
Twice the victim of crashes that have not been of his doing - firstly in Poland resulting in a serious head injury, and then in Sweden resulting in a severe back injury - Louis has spent a lot of time on the sidelines in recent seasons.
And it is looking as though his third major knock, when again he was an innocent party this time in a meeting against Eastbourne at Foxhall, could prove too much to recover from.
He could well undergo a second operation on his arm, and it is increasingly unlikely that he will ride again.
Louis has given wonderful service to Ipswich and is due a second fully deserved testimonial, which if he does retire is pencilled in for next year.
Another Ipswich rider, Mark Loram, has received encouraging news with confirmation that the second operation he underwent on the thigh he broke in March 2007 was a complete success.
“This is great news, but they will not be taking the metalwork out until April,” said the Stowmarket-based 2000 world champion.
“And I have an appointment to see my original surgeon to find out why I am still experiencing pain from my knee.
“In a couple of months I will weigh everything up and make a decision on whether I can ride in 2009 or not.”