Life at Team Astana is different now that Lance Armstrong is with the team, according to Gregory Rast. A five-star resort hotel and a noticeable increase in the number of reporters and photographers on the scene are two immediate examples. Armstrong, however, is not being set apart and shares everything that his teammates have.
Rast, 28, said that instead of living alone in a suite, Armstrong shares a room with Levi Leipheimer, and the seven-time Tour de France winner has the same meals as his teammates. The Swiss rider even sat next to the American Thursday night at dinner. "He looked exhausted. The press conference wore him out," he told the Swiss magazine Blick.
Rast also observed his famous teammate when the team went surfing. "It was obviously not Lance's first time on a surfboard. But he got dumped in the water too, and that upset him! I just laughed when it happened to me."
The team was divided into two groups for training, and one day this week Rast trained with the Armstrong-Leipheimer group. "But I'm not crazy. They went too fast for me. I've only been back in training for three weeks, but Lance has been training for months." Otherwise, said Rast, he is in the "more comfortable" group with his roommate, Andreas Klöden. (SW)