"Big thing" for Leipheimer

Levi Leipheimer of German team Gerolsteiner has finally triumphed in the 58th Dauphiné Libéré by...

Levi Leipheimer of German team Gerolsteiner has finally triumphed in the 58th Dauphiné Libéré by taking the overall victory of the French ProTour race just weeks ahead of the Tour de France. Although the American did not win a stage in the Alpine race, his consistency over the week was enough to keep other contenders distanced.

"I'm very happy, my form is just right," said Leipheimer in Grenoble. "I think I'm stronger than at the same time last year, especially in the mountains." The 32 year-old scored the 18th win for Gerolsteiner so far this season, as well as their third stage race victory.

"Levi was really strong," commented team directeur sportif Christian Henn. "This victory gives him self confidence and morale. Everybody wanted to show something here, and Levi wins. It's a really big thing." Henn also thought that Leipheimer had progressed as a rider. "His performance was impressive. For me, this victory has more value on a sporting level than the one in the Deutschland tour in 2005. This last test for the Tour de France was really successful for us."

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