A bad joke...

July 6, 2005

Life on the road is so sweet. This diary is for the Tour organisers…

Let me just tell you about my relaxing post race experience today. After we finished another crazy fast stage we hopped into the car and moved five inches. Then we sat there for 25 minutes in gridlock traffic, or for our Australian readers, chock-a-block traffic.

You see, the tour failed to think about the riders and what happens to us after we race. There should be an evacuation in place for the entertainment so we can come back the following day rested and ready to entertain again. So after a frustrating hour and a half in the car we arrive at our MOTEL. Yep, you read that right, a motel. They have them in Europe but they're not as nice as the ones in America. I must have lucked out tonight because my room has a fresh coat of paint. Of course it was painted either today or yesterday.

It's good to breath toxic fumes after 183 kilometres of racing. I shouldn't complain because I can always just open my door and listen to the soothing sounds of the freeway and breath it's fresh exhaust fumes. To add insult to injury, our gracious hosts at the motel would not let our chefs into their kitchen. So not only do we get to sleep with the fleas but we probably ate some for dinner.

Again, I shouldn't complain. We only have to race 199 kilometres tomorrow. We don't need comfortable accommodation and quick transfers. No actually, I'm not finished yet.

I mean, we're in a big city. It's not like we're in a little village in the Pyrenees and the locals are doing their best to accommodate the entire tour and its massive posse.

We're in a city where surely they have HOTELS with dry paint. On the bright side I can always just step two feet out to the team cars and sleep in one of them if I start to get high from dying braincells!

I wonder if they rent these rooms by the hour and I also wonder why they had to paint my room. Did they do it today because the crime scene investigators were late in finishing up? The mystery of a life on the road.

Sure this is all laughable, but if I get bitten by some strange bug tonight I'm going to be seriously upset. Here's something else funny. I was watching tv on the sticky 40-year-old tv in my MOTEL room and CNN was talking about the Tour and how fast it is this year. I was happy they were talking about the Tour so I put another euro in the TV.

The average so far for the entire race is 48.3km/h which is indeed fast but they said it was probably due to the "favourable headwind." Huh? I'm confused. I thought it was funny but if you don't it's OK, I'm sniffing paint.

I should try to get some sleep now. I hope I don't end up on COPS tonight.

Talk to you tomorrow,

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Levi Leipheimer shot to prominence when he made the podium at the 2001 Vuelta while riding for US Postal. He spent three years at Rabobank before joining the German Gerolsteiner team for 2005, where he is one of the team's main men for stage race general classifications. Leipheimer has twice finished in the top ten at the Tour de France, and this year will aim higher if his form allows. "We'll have to wait and see," he says. Follow Levi's progress to the Tour and beyond on Cyclingnews.