Levi Leipheimer Interview

News & Results

11/19/2004| 0 comments
by Tommy W. Murphy
Levi Leipheimer. Photo copyright Paul Sampara/Roadcycling.com.
Levi Leipheimer. Photo copyright Paul Sampara/Roadcycling.com.

Levi Leipheimer Interview

Levi recounts his Tour, the Olympics and looks ahead to 2005.

Levi Leipheimer: <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

DOB: <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>24 October, 1973

Height: 5'7"/170 cm
Weight: 135 lbs.
Pro since: 1997

2005 Team: Gerolsteiner

Team Website: www.gerolsteiner.de/cycling/

Previous Teams:

2002-2004 ? Rabobank

2000-2001 ?
US
Postal Service

1998-1999 ? Saturn

Career Highlights:

9th Place, 2004 Tour de France

2004
Member, US Olympic Cycling Team

8th Place, 2002 Tour de France

3rd Place, 2001 Vuelta a Espana


4th Place

, 2001 World Championships, Individual Time Trial

1999, US National Time Trial Champion

 

 

Recently RoadCycling.com caught up with American Levi Leipheimer...

 

Levi was born in
Montana
, and like many professional cyclists comes from a ski racing background. While competing in downhill, super- g, slalom and giant slalom, Levi turned to cycling for his off-season training. At the age of 17, Levi crashed heavily in a downhill race at
Jackson Hole , Wyoming compressing his vertebrae. Following his accident, Leipheimer became more and more involved in cycling and made his move to
Belgium
when he was 20 years old to race professionally.

 

Levi's career took a major step forward in 2001 when riding for the US Postal Service; he finished third in the Vuelta a Espa?a. Following his podium finish at the Vuelta, Levi went on to take fourth in the individual time trial at World's. In 2002 and after a change to Rabobank, Levi rode to an eighth place finish in the Tour de France in his first attempt at the Grand Daddy of Grand Tours.

 

In 2003, Leipheimer designed his entire season at arriving at the Tour de France in top form with his eyes fixed on finishing in the top 5 overall. But Levi's Tour was quickly cut short when he went crashing down in the finish-line pile-up coming into Meaux in the Tour's first stage. The highly-criticized finish, spelled doom for Rabobank losing both Leipheimer and fellow teammate Mark Lotz to the pile-up. Levi fractured his pelvis and badly damaged the muscles in his left leg, leaving him hospitalized as the Tour continued.

 

2004 saw the return of a rejuvenated Levi Leipheimer with a stage win at Semana Catalana, his selection for the US Olympic Team, and his second top ten finish at the Tour de France. Just recently turning 31, Levi recounts his Tour, the Olympics and looks ahead to 2005.

 

Congratulations on a great season and Happy Birthday Levi. Any big presents this year?

 

LL:  My wife (
Odessa
) got me a very nice black wool jacket.

 

RC:  You?ve had quite the season with your 9 th Place Tour de France finish, the Olympics and now the recent change to Gerolsteiner. Looking back at your season, what do you consider the highlights of your year? Any lows?

 

LL:  The highlights of my year are winning the big mountain stage at Semana Catalana in March and finishing 9 th in the Tour. The experience of the Olympics was also a highlight. There weren?t any low points to mention.

 

RC:  Have you had the chance to meet your new

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