Still recovering from broken wrist, Leipheimer returns his teammate’s heckling
By Ben Delaney
Back in June, Levi Leipheimer and his Astana teammate Lance Armstrong were joking about using the Tour de France as training for the Leadville 100. But things got sideways when Leipheimer crashed and broke his wrist on stage 12. Still in a cast, Leipheimer will not be racing the 100-mile mountain bike race high in the Colorado mountains Saturday. But that hasn’t stopped him from talking some friendly smack.
VeloNews asked Leipheimer how he would have expected the race to play out if he had been able to compete.
“If I was racing, I’m sure that I would have been told to wait numerous times,” Leipheimer said, referring to Armstrong. “And once or twice I could wait, but after a while, you just gotta go. You gotta do your own race. That’s the way I saw it happening.”
While not able to mountain bike, Leipheimer is getting back out on the road bikes. He is wearing a removable, hardshell cast for another two weeks, and is favoring the time trial bike, as he can rest his weight on his elbows.
“It’s getting better. But it’s a bone that takes a long time to heal,” he said. “I went to Utah and saw Dr. Karen Heiden, Eric’s wife. They sent me to a place that made this removable cast that’s formed to my arm. I can take it off to shower, and ice my arm. That works out well.”
Asked why he felt confident in his mountain biking abilities over Armstrong’s, Leipheimer cracked, “I come from NorCal, the birthplace of mountain biking. I ride Mt. Tam all the time. What’s there in Texas, a freeway overpass?”
On Thursday, Armstrong joked to VeloNews that Leipheimer faked his broken wrist so he wouldn’t have to face Armstrong in Leadville.
VeloNews.com and Singletrack.com will have a big crew at Leadville Saturday – reporting, shooting pictures and video and, in a few cases, racing. Follow along at twitter.com/singletrack_com.