Levi Leipheimer: "a surprise is possible"

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His very first season in the Gerolsteiner jersey became the most successful year to date in Levi Leipheimer's professional career. He himself calls his triumpfh at the 2005 Tour of Germany „the absolut highlight of all my career.“

Cyclingheroes spoke with Levi Leipheimer during the Gerolsteiner team presentation.

Copyright: Cyclingheroes
Levi Leipheimer during the Tour of Germany 2005 (picture: Cyclingheroes)

 Is there a difference between riding for Rabobank or Gerolsteiner?

It's very difficult to compare, they have their own style. I feel very well at Gerolsteiner, this team is perfect for me. I'm still getting stronger, everything goes very well.

Can you tell us something about your program for 2006?

I will start with the Tour of California and than i will start at some races to prepare for my main goals, i will probably start at the Tour de Romandie. My main goals are the Dauphiné Liberé, the Tour de France and the Tour of Germany.

Copyright: Cyclingheroes
Levi Leipheimer during the presentation of the Gerolsteiner team (picture: cyclingheroes)

In 2005 i made a lot of progression, mostly by winning the Tour of Germany. It was a very important experience for me and the team. I was very unhappy with my sixth place at the overall of the Tour de France, after it i went home for a week and came back to win the Tour of Germany.

This year i want to be on the podium in Paris, but a surprise is possible. But when Jan Ullrich is 100% fit he will win the Tour de France.

The Tour de France will be very hard this year. It will be an open race... You have the keep your eyes and ears open. I don't think that any team will be able to control the race. You are always thinking shall i go with this attack, shall i start an attack...???

Lance Armstrong said that the French hate Americans, how do you think about that?

I don't think that the French hate Americans, i never made that experience. I think the Tour (Tour de France, Cyclingheroes) is mad because Lance got bigger as them. For seven years he grew and grew, in the USA he is bigger as the Tour. And they are a bit insecure about what will happen now. The Tour also doesn't want to be a part of the Protour because they are afraid it could get bigger, but the Tour will always be the Tour.

Thanks for the interview and we wish you good luck for the 2006 season.

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