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How long can Levi keep it in his pants?

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Dec 18, 2009
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Four Winds said:
That said, I've never seen anyone so pumped up for the start of a race. he was literally shaking with adrenaline on the ramp.

Perhaps this is because it's one of his few chances to be off the leash this year (California possibly another?), but I don't think any Shack rider will be under any illusions as to their role come July.

Maybe, or maybe it was the fact that he was standing on an elevated platform in nothing but a millimeter thick skinsuit, in weather that had every non-rider wearing big coats, gloves and hats for warmth. Think the tv announcer I followed mentioned it was just a couple of degrees above freezing, and rather windy - not pleasent when you're standing still and aren't pumping those legs. Just a thought.
 
Jan 13, 2010
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Four Winds said:
That said, I've never seen anyone so pumped up for the start of a race. he was literally shaking with adrenaline on the ramp.
They were shaking from the cold--4 degress Celsius (that's about 38 Fahrenheit for us Yanks).

Armstrong would like Radioshack to beat Contador, period. Whatever it takes, even if it has to be Leipheimer. That said, Radioshack has no one who can respond to Contador's attacks in the mountains and the odds stil favor Contador in an individual time trial. I don't think so.
 

flicker

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Aug 17, 2009
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I think Lance would pass the torch to Levi if he had to. US victory is essential for the Shack. On the downside in an article In the SR Press Democrat 3 years ago Levi had his wife carry the groceries upstairs from the car so that Levi would not build too much upper body bulk/strength. Hilarious.

Levi has a great chance of winning LeTour if lightening strikes the first 6 riders ahead of him.

It all comes down to who carries the groceries.
 
Clemson Cycling said:
A mute point, but Levi did tie Alberto's time in the 2008 Vuelta. Contador won with the time bonuses.

You are right. That's pretty mute.

Levi and the team had a tough day, today.
More crashes and a lot of chasing to get him back to the group.
Most of the team ended up tailed off in the historical "Spanish" territory.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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python said:
i neither dislike levi nor have a soft spot for him but plenty of athletic respect because it's well deserved.

that said, i have tried to follow his career objectively for years.

long story short - he is not a gt winning material.

one can try to compile a scenario thats favourable to ll (like inner peace did in another post). fine. it can happen. but the fortune goddess is rarely biased one way. she already gave ll plenty of chances and he blew them all.

it is arguable, but my reckoning there are two main reasons:
(i) he has a pussy character (i dont mean grit or ability to suffer)
(ii) he has no kick.

Yes, this.

Levi is a steady professional guy but he does not have the intangibles that allow him to win. He does not have "it". No need for cynical comments and lateral reference to what "it" is. I am speaking solely of mentality.
 
thehog said:
Looks like Levi could be coming into the form of his life. TT’ing is better than solid and will be interesting to see how he climbs come the mountain stages at Paris-Nice.

He’d be on a nice salary but this may be his last chance to take a real crack at the Tour.

How long can he go on willing to stuff up that chance to support Armstrong. One mountain stage hanging back to help the old man is going to kill off his chances… is he willing to breakfree?

I don´t think Levi has much of a choice. His job discription (if he has one) is to help LA at the Tour. Period. In return he´s free to try for California, Paris-Nice and some other crumbs, but when they hit the Tour, it´ll be all about Lance. Nothing new. If he had really wanted to be a leader he would of joined any other team than Shack when LA pulled them all out of Astana.

My guess is Levi knows he´s better off racing as a part time leader in races he has won before and for more money, than as a full time leader for less money. Not that the offers from other teams were banging down his door.

Also he probably knows his limits in that he´d never be able to go with either AC or AS´s mtn attacks. So better safe working for LA than the risks of a leadership role on his own.
 
Ferminal said:
Levi would have beat Contador in 2007 if they weren't teammates? Levi had some average days in the mountains but maybe that minute wouldn't be there if he was more willing to chase down a teammate.

Or if Chicken got kicked out earlier.

IMO it didn't really matter that they were teammates. Levi was the team leader. He had a good track record in the Tour (I would consider multiple top-10 finishes a good track record) while Contador was unproven in GTs at the time. If I recall correctly (my memory and perception of the 07 Tour might be a bit vague I didn't get any commentary on the 07 Tour because I only got feeds in Irish), it wasn't so much of Levi not chasing a teammate, but that he couldn't keep up with the pace when you have two exposive climbers. He, like Cadel, simply didn't have the kick to stay with the Chicken while Contador did.

IMO the situation was almost reversed at the 09 Vuelta. I think Levi might have had a chance of winning if he wasn't on Contador's team. Contador was the designated team leader (as shown by Contador's complaining of Levi placing too close for comfort). That being said, I don't think Levi would have won that one because of the same reasons already stated: he lacks a kick and he doesn't have the "it" factor (aka rides like a pu$$y)
 
thehog said:
Never.

For Lance there'd be one thing worse than Alberto winning.... Levi finishing ahead of him.

I don't know about that, since Levi, hung fron Lance's nut last year.

Lance also used Levi in his attempt to keep Contador from having control of Astana at last year's tour. I can't find the quote right now, but I think it was after the 1st Stage when Lance argued they need to keep the lead leadership open, because "Levi could win"
 
El Oso said:
I don't know about that, since Levi, hung fron Lance's nut last year.

Lance also used Levi in his attempt to keep Contador from having control of Astana at last year's tour. I can't find the quote right now, but I think it was after the 1st Stage when Lance argued they need to keep the lead leadership open, because "Levi could win"

I must have missed that quote. I really never recall hearing or reading that one anywhere. I recall Levi responding to a question regarding his chances of winning the overall and his response being that if he gets in a break and gains enough time then it's a possibility. Also Armstrong being quite surprised and upset when he found out that Bruyneel had awarded the teams #1 bib to Contador.
 
Angliru said:
I must have missed that quote. I really never recall hearing or reading that one anywhere. I recall Levi responding to a question regarding his chances of winning the overall and his response being that if he gets in a break and gains enough time then it's a possibility. Also Armstrong being quite surprised and upset when he found out that Bruyneel had awarded the teams #1 bib to Contador.

Armstrong definitely made reference to Levi's potential leadership after Stage 1. Of course all pretense of that was dropped after Stage 3. :p
 
Oct 29, 2009
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El Oso said:
I don't know about that, since Levi, hung fron Lance's nut last year.

Lance also used Levi in his attempt to keep Contador from having control of Astana at last year's tour. I can't find the quote right now, but I think it was after the 1st Stage when Lance argued they need to keep the lead leadership open, because "Levi could win"

Angliru said:
I must have missed that quote. I really never recall hearing or reading that one anywhere. I recall Levi responding to a question regarding his chances of winning the overall and his response being that if he gets in a break and gains enough time then it's a possibility. Also Armstrong being quite surprised and upset when he found out that Bruyneel had awarded the teams #1 bib to Contador.

Publicus said:
Armstrong definitely made reference to Levi's potential leadership after Stage 1. Of course all pretense of that was dropped after Stage 3. :p

I'm not sure if it's the same quote you're referring to, but Lance did say something to (I believe) Versus that, "Levi is just as strong as Contador."
 
Jul 23, 2009
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thehog said:
Looks like Levi could be coming into the form of his life. TT’ing is better than solid and will be interesting to see how he climbs come the mountain stages at Paris-Nice.

He’d be on a nice salary but this may be his last chance to take a real crack at the Tour.

How long can he go on willing to stuff up that chance to support Armstrong. One mountain stage hanging back to help the old man is going to kill off his chances… is he willing to breakfree?

My guess is that Levi plays loyal lapdog for 2010 for the promise of being sole leader in 2011 (and to avoid the dreaded flush). Is he dumb enough to believe a LA/JB promise? Yes.

Publicus said:
Armstrong definitely made reference to Levi's potential leadership after Stage 1.

I remember a few references to "any one of four Astana riders could win this" for the first few days.

flicker said:
I think Lance would pass the torch to Levi if he had to. US victory is essential for the Shack.

I think that would be Lance's worst nightmare. It's hard to blame the evil European conspirators if an American boy beats him.
 
pedaling squares said:
My guess is that Levi plays loyal lapdog for 2010 for the promise of being sole leader in 2011 (and to avoid the dreaded flush). Is he dumb enough to believe a LA/JB promise? Yes.



I remember a few references to "any one of four Astana riders could win this" for the first few days.



I think that would be Lance's worst nightmare. It's hard to blame the evil European conspirators if an American boy beats him.

I think this is the quote everyone is thinking about and imputing broader/narrower meanings to it:

"It would be better to be open and honest. If you say that there's a leader, that's it, then everyobody works for him. But this discussion never took place... Most people consider Alberto as the favourite and I think that he is the best stage race rider. But you shouldn't forget Leipheimer."

Indeed, Astana has more than 'just' two riders able to contend for the top honours in Paris. There is also Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Klöden. "I wonder why everybody is focusing everything on Lance and Alberto," continued Bruyneel. "Let's not forget that there are other riders in other teams, and that we even have other riders in our own team.

"Everybody always asks about a rivalry between Alberto and Lance, but why does no-one ever ask 'is there going to be a rivalry between him and Levi?' Because Levi was always close to him. In 2007, he was third in the Tour, I think he was only 30-something seconds behind [Contador]. That's not a whole lot over three weeks. And at the Tour of Spain last year, he was second and only 41 seconds behind him."
 
Sep 25, 2009
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ImmaculateKadence said:
<snip>>Lance did say something
here is my long held (and well researched) opinion about ‘armstrong said something’.

in earlier years it could be all at once (i)interesting, (ii)penetrating, (iii)polished), (iv)smoke-and-mirrors (v) manipulative.

examples: he made a number of very accurate predictions about different riders and himself, he played the psyops very well and lets be fair, hes got a special gift for leadership thru communication.

after unretirement - we see much less of (i), (ii), (iii) and mostly (iv) and (v).

i don’t know why and i doubt anyone knows but i suspect he is simply confused due to being caught up in his own ego trip.

another point.

if you want to analyze armstrongs words, rely on rare candid interviews of his former teammates (both disgruntled and not in non-english media ) rather than las own words.

It is one clear line - everything eventually comes to armstrongs grace.

when ‘his’ team goes to the tour popo tells us all roles are defined well in advance because “we know lance will be the strongest no matter what”. Some roles may be defined more loosely than others (like levi’s). most are cast in concrete.

an example of levi/armstrong pact could be this: ‘you ride your own race until johan tells you otherwise‘. we know who tells johan what to do and how contador took johan‘s what to do. it take a special pussy or stupidity not to know.

people drop your blinders. armstrong is a control freak. there is just too much evidence.
 
Mellow Velo said:
Clemson Cycling said:
A mute point, but Levi did tie Alberto's time in the 2008 Vuelta. Contador won with the time bonuses.
You are right. That's pretty mute.
Pet peeve alert.

mute : unable to speak : lacking the power of speech
moot : deprived of practical significance : made abstract or purely academic

Mute or moot? You make the call.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
Pet peeve alert.

mute : unable to speak : lacking the power of speech
moot : deprived of practical significance : made abstract or purely academic

Mute or moot? You make the call.

In this case, moot is the way I'd go.
But then again, English is my second language.
 
Come July if Levi is stronger than Lance, I'm almost certain Lance will work for Levi. If you read between the tweets, he's already paving the way for this possibility, with all his references to his age etc. When push comes to shove, Lance is ultimately human like everyone else. He wants to save face. He can save face by playing the age card, and everyone, including himself, will respect him for that. If the watts aren't there, they aren't there. But if he can be a factor at his age, that's nothing to be ashamed of.

That said, I agree with the pussy character and lack of kick hypothesis, but assuming Contador doesn't crash or get ill, a podium finish for Levi, supported by Lance, is in the cards.
 
knewcleardaze said:
In this case, moot is the way I'd go.
But then again, English is my second language.
Me too. But having English as a first language does not establish the expertise in the language one might expect, at least for an American educated in public schools.

Even though I didn't learn English until kindergarten, I was already the best speller in the class by 1st grade. It's bizarre.
 
Feb 4, 2010
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I'd guess if LA doesn't have the stuff to contend for the podium, He'll work for the team and if Levi is the strongest on the team, that's who he'll work for. If LA is in competitive form, The team will work for him. I think LA is an astute enough businessman to know that getting the best possible result for the team is the most important thing. I also think he's coming to grips, albeit slowing and grudgingly, that he is well enough past his prime that there's no way in hell he can stay with Contador. (FWIW, I don't think anybody can).

Levi has had a very successful career, one that just about any professional cyclist would be thrilled to have. I think he's made the very best of his gifts at the very elite level of the sport. (something that I'm guessing the folks here who are calling him a pussy can't say). While I have no problem saying he isn't in the league of GT winners Merckx, Hinault, Lemond, Induran, LA, et al, and now Contador, I have utmost respect for him. he might not be at the level with those guys, but he's pretty damn close.

All that said, I won't be surprised - even if LA works for him - if he doesn't make the podium, or even win a stage. OTOH, you never know, the man could surprise.