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.

Gerolsteiner teammates yet? Do you know many of the guys?

 

LL:  I haven?t met with the team yet. I do know some of the guys. I was teammates with the Zberg brothers on Rabobank and I have spoken to Georg Totschnig about coming to the team.

 

RC:  When do you see yourself making the trip back over the pond?

 

LL:  We have our first training camp in
Mallorca in the middle of January.

 

RC:  Last year (2003), your Tour was cut short after fracturing your hip in Stage 1. (The same wreck that Tyler Hamilton fractured his collar bone in.) How do you feel about your Tour performance this year?

 

LL:  I finished my Tour knowing that I could have done better. The first year I finished, I was overwhelmed. This year I threw time away in the
Pyrenees when I bonked. It was a stupid mistake but easily fixed. That mistake actually helps motivate me for the future. I know I can do better.

 

RC:  What were your best moments in the race?

 

LL:  My best moments in the Tour were in the
Alps during the 3rd week. I prefer a difficult 3rd week when the others are slowing down.

 

 

RC:  Any really bad ones?

 

LL:  The stage to Plateau de Beille when I did the last 10 km on fumes. I was so broken at the finish, it was the worst I have ever felt.

 

RC:  How did you like the cobbles and what did you think of L?Alpe d? Huez?

 

LL:  I think the cobbles in the Tour was a bad idea. Of course, it created a selection that ended up working in my favor but it could have created problems for anyone. It makes a volatile situation. Alpe D?Huez was crazy. The fans were out of their minds. It was like being in a cage while thousands of these crazed fans scraped and clawed at you.

 

RC:  Following the 2002 Tour, you had to undergo some emergency stomach and intestinal surgery caused from an injury as a child when you were kicked by a horse. How have you recovered from all of that? Is that an injury that continues to cause you problems?

 

LL:  I was kicked by a horse in the stomach when I was 2 years old. It split my large intestine and created a lot of scar tissue due to the surgery. During the Tour of
Holland
in 2002 I suffered an intestinal blockage due to the scar tissue. It was also caused by something else that I have come to learn from the whole ordeal. I don?t digest fruit well unless I eat it at breakfast. Basically, my digestive system needs to be clear to process fruit. During the Tour of
Holland
I had eaten a large bowl of fruit following the TT, I was dehydrated and all these factors created a bowel obstruction. Now I only eat

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