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Leipheimer expects time change

USA Champion Levi Leipheimer (Astana), 34, rides along in the Giro d'Italia's stage three

USA Champion Levi Leipheimer (Astana), 34, rides along in the Giro d'Italia's stage three (Image credit: AFP)

By Shane Stokes in Vasto

Levi Leipheimer (Astana) was one of many riders who was held up on stage six after a police motorbike crashed. It happed in the closing stages of the race and as a result, he hit the line 23 seconds behind the other race favourites. He nevertheless expected that deficit to be annulled.

"They said they were going to change that today," he told Cyclingnews before the start of stage seven on Friday morning. "I know a couple of teams brought it up, then they said they had to look at the tape.

"I was feeling fine yesterday. I think the motorbike crashed perhaps 20 guys back, a couple of riders fell and I was behind that. I stayed upright but I had to come to a stop. There was no chance of keeping your speed up, especially with that kind of finish."

Leipheimer showed strong form this season, winning the Tour of California, but the team's late invite to the Giro meant that the riders travelled to Italy a little off top form. He was hoping to ride into his best shape as the race continues. "It has been a hard race, definitely. I can't say I am there floating around, but I think when it matters it should be good. It's hard to tell if today will be significant. If the roads are small and twisting, it could really be hard. I can't imagine there will be big time gaps," he commented about today's stage seven.

The American national champion said that Andreas Klöden's win in the Tour of Romandie showed he was the most likely to be in form at this point. "I hope to feel better as the race goes on," he said. "But if he or someone else [from the Astana team] takes the pink jersey, of course we are all going to work for them."

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