With the announcement of Lance Armstrong's newly formed RadioShack team, speculation is running rampant on who will join the Texan on his squad next year. Levi Leipheimer, with his success in Grand Tours and major stage races, is clearly a desirable rider for any ProTour team. Will he be riding alongside Lance in 2010?
"There's not really anything I can say about that," said Leipheimer. "It isn't always up to me."
But, the winner of this year's Tour of California and Vuelta a Castilla y León adds that he would certainly consider being part of the RadioShack squad. "I have had a great time with Lance this year. As you know, I have been with Johan for three years and I have had the best years of my career. I am not saying that I would definitely not go there."
While Levi Leipheimer's premature exit from the Tour de France with a broken scaphoid bone in his wrist was a huge disappointment, the three-time winner of the Tour of California is trying his best to maintain his fitness and end the season on a high note. He got on the trainer right away, and even elevated the front wheel to reduce the pressure on his wrist. "Of course, you can't train like normal when you are inside. I am basically trying to relax and realize that I am going to lose some fitness," said Leipheimer.
Levi's doctor, Karen Heiden, wife of speed skating gold medalist and inaugural USPRO road champion Eric, is satisfied that the bone is healing normally. This type of injury usually takes six weeks to fully heal so a special clam shell cast was made to replace Levi's original cast. "Now I can train a little easier and can take it off to shower. That's going to make life a lot easier," said Leipheimer.
For now, Leipheimer is focusing on his comeback to racing. "Before this happened I had the idea that I would try to win the [USPRO] Time Trial Championship," said Leipheimer. "But it is questionable whether I will be able to race in Greenville or not. It is right at the six week mark so we'll see. I don't know if I will be there or not. Most likely I will be at [Tour of] Missouri."
One event that Levi will certainly be attending is his King's Ridge Gran Fondo (www.levisgranfondo.com) October 3rd in his Santa Rosa hometown. "We have the best roads in the country here," said Leipheimer. "It is a great opportunity to show them off to anyone who wants to come and to raise money for some great causes. This ride is going to be a total red carpet for everyone."
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