Bobby & Jens: Levi Leipheimer’s journey from teenager in Montana to the Tour de France
One of the best GC riders of Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt’s era joins the show.
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This week is a trip down memory lane for Bobby & Jens co-hosts Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt who were both teammates and competitors with this week’s guest, Levi Leipheimer.
He joins this week from his home in Lake Tahoe where he has just weathered the second biggest winter of snowfall in recorded history. While still a cyclist, he traded in his bike for nordic skis for the season and put in over 100 days, along with 20 or 30 days of downhill skiing.
Also read: Bobby & Jens: How do you pronounce Toms Skujiņš?
It goes without saying that endurance sports have been important to his life. But how did someone growing up in Montana in the 1970s and ‘80s land a career as a pro cyclist?
“Looking back, it’s definitely meant to be because how do you find the road bike in Butte, Montana amongst a culture of wrestling and football and drinking and fighting? And you find yourself in the Tour de France one day. I mean it was meant to happen. It was out of my hands.”
Learn his story of making it to the top stage of road cycling from an unlikely start as a kid.
Later he takes us through his first results in pro cycling, from a Vuelta podium to beating Fabian Cancellara in a time trial, a discipline where he found much success. He takes us through how he developed his breakthrough time trial position that resulted in top time trial results that bolstered his general classification results throughout his career.
Later, he tells us about his Levi’s Gran Fondo, a beloved event in Sonoma County, California. How did he think of it and what did it take to make it happen?
Levi also dives into his philosophy on training and what has kept him in good shape even in retirement. And we learn his thoughts on the new peloton and what he thinks racing against them would be like. “It’s completely different from when we were racing,” he says.
Listen to the episode for the complete conversation with Levi Leipheimer.