Levi Leipheimer won the 2008 Amgen Tour of California with a very impressive performance in the stage 5 Solvang Time Trial, and the support of a strong Astana team. We wanted to know a bit more about the 2 time Tour of California champion.
ST: Levi, congrats on a great Tour of California. Did you feel confident all along?
Levi: I was confident that I had prepared well and of course it helped build my confidence that I won the race last year. It seemed easier for me this year, especially the TT in Solvang.
ST: How were you fit to your TT bike? And can you share how your changed arm position has impacted you?
Levi: My fit to my TT bike is from years of trial and error and experience in numerous TTs. I am most aero with my arms angled slightly upward, something that works for only very few people, but the UCI decided you shouldn’t have your arms angled up.
ST: Is your crank length different on your TT bike versus your road bike?
Levi: No, they are both 172.5. Longer cranks on the TT bike make it harder to get into an aero position and it’s another bio-mechanical change I don't need.
ST: During the 2007 you seemed to have used an SRM system during the complete race. Can you tell us how you used it within the race and if changed the way you approached the race?
Levi: The SRM in a race is purely for reviewing after the race. I don't think it should or will influence how you race.
ST: Can you tell us what else is on schedule for you for 2008?
Levi: I have many races to do but some of the more important ones are Tour de Georgia, Dauphine Libere, Olympics and the Vuelta.
ST: Would you describe a typical mid season training week for you?
Levi: I do a lot of intensity with all different levels and lengths. My normal weekly hours are somewhere between 20-30 hours. I usually have 1 or 2 day on the TT bike around 2-2.5 hours with intense intervals.
ST: What sports did you take part in when you grew up?
Levi: I started off as a downhill ski racer from the age of 3 until 19. I'm looking forward to skiing again when I retire.
ST: Do you do any cross training such as running and swimming?
Levi: I focus on core strength in the off-season, I do a lot of Pilates. It's very effective.
ST: Would you consider doing a triathlon, not today but down the road?
Levi: I doubt it, I've never particularly liked running. Maybe I could do a relay?
ST: Is there anything else we should know about you?
Levi: My wife and I have a passion for animals, Odessa does a lot of rescue work and fostering animals in need. Our recent addition to our menagerie is 3 goats. We had a small barn built for them.
Levi with team Astana during camp
Levi's ride during the Tour of California TT