Levi Leiphemimer announced on the last day of the Tour of California Sunday, that he was officially retired.
Just forget about the doping stuff for a second. With his statement that he “sort of” misses the racing, he picked, as if he picked it, but whatever the reasons, the time was right and he shouldn’t be racing if he doesn’t yearn for it.
Levi never really interested me as a bicycle racer. He was positive for doping back in his amateur days. It was completely obvious to everyone in the sport, at least anyone racing against him, that he doped seriously, very early on. Winning the National time trial in 1999 and then finishing 3rd in the Tour of Spain a couple years later, Levi fast tracked his way to the top of a polluted field. Levi, who admitted using drugs, was a boring guy to watch race. A follower on the climb and then just time trialed. That makes him even less interesting. I know that sounds weird, but is one of the reasons that Marco Pantani is so deary worshiped and missed.
I guess Dave Towle, a great announcer and friend of mine, called Leipheimer to the announcing stage Sunday morning in Santa Rosa, calling Levi “The King of the Amgen Tour of California.” which he won three times. Dave finished with “A huge, huge thank you for all you have done.” I know Dave has to fill time, but this wasn’t the way.
All his results are suspect and should have been thrown in the trash. Oh, I forgot, he admitted doping from June of 1999 to July of 2006, then won an Olympic Bronze medal clean, then the Tour of California clean in 2007, only to go back to his old ways of doping in July of 2007. His more proud moments of his career. I’m sure another one is when he smashed the Leadville 100 record set by Lance, stealing a super result from JHK.
When Floyd Landis called Levi out, Levi responded by denying it and say it was “jealousy,” “bitterness” and a “vendetta.” More truthfulness there. - Steve Tilford
Cycling does this though. It cycles (get the pun?) Different bike disciplines have sales surges. In BMX you'll have 3-5 yrs where it's down then they'll be a surge for a couple of years. Mountain biking and road biking do the same. Keep this in mind; I'm speaking from only my experiences in Tennessee but it happens all over.
Some consumers don't care and will keep tuning in during July to NBC Sports thinking that the sport has shed all the cheaters and it's now a clean fair sport. Well let me sell ya some ocean front property in Montana if you truly believe this. Cheaters, liars and low-lifes in my opinion. But that's my opinion and I"ll respect yours if you'll respect mine... maybe. The pro peloton isn't clean and won't be until the UCI cleans itself. A nice comparison was made that it's like asking a thief to keep an eye on a thief. Oh yea, that'll work.
The Cycling championships are coming to Chattanooga......... guess what I don't care. 3 hours away and Pro Cycling spurs no interest with me at all. To tell you the truth I don't trust or wish to see any Pro Cycling event of any style. I'm just being honest. I still have an interest in BMX pros though, heaven help me if they're doping.
I guess the thing that I don't understand is how do these "losers" win a medal, a big tour, a huge stage or whatever then live with themselves KNOWING they didn't get it legitimately. Doesn't matter that most everyone else is doing it. You have to to be competitive , or any other lame excuse. I mean when does the conscience kick in?
Today I skipped my ride to do a little, no make that alot, of maintenance on Moto-Van. All new steering linkage, ball joints, Serp belt, all new pulleys and tensioners, alternator, all main radiator hoses along with a coolant flush. After getting the wheels balanced I leave the tire place and I still have a vibration at 35 and 65 mph respectively. So after returning home I check the drive shaft.... ugh. I guess tomorrow I'm installing U joints too. Watch, after I do all this maintenance it'll be some $2 dollar part that breaks me down on the side of the interstate out in the middle of nowhere USA during my summer bikeapalooza trip. Yea, I'm trying to get Moto-Van road worthy for a multi thousand mile trip sometime in June or July. I can't make my mind up on when to leave. I'll do a post of what I want to do soon. As for now It's 1am so I better hit the hay so I can get up and pull the drive shaft from the van early if I want to ride tomorrow.