Levi Racing Tour of California? Who Gives a Shit?

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The articles have already started about where or where is Levi going to end up and will that enable him to race “his” race, the Tour of California. I can hardly wait until May is over so I don’t have to read the saga anymore.

My question is why would anyone care if Levi races in the Tour of California? I can see the point of the people who’s opinions are that he shouldn’t race The Tour of California, but why would there be anyone out there who is such a Levi fan that they want him to to be in this year’s race?

I know that the race is finishing in Levi’s hometown and that he has been a spokesman for the event in the past, but it seems like his confession to doping most of his professional career would be enough to change super fans opinion of him.

But, I think it is pretty widely accepted that many think that Levi deserves a slot on this year’s race. I wonder why that it? I have no idea how good of a bicycle racer Levi ever could have been, but he started using doping to climb the ladder of bike racing success back in the 90′s, so I’m pretty sure that it is impossible to ever know if he could have ever been a good bicycle racer.

The 16 team have already been picked for the race. I can’t really see a way that he is going to be picked up by any of these teams, but you never know about teams like Champion System and such. I am sort of surprised that Specialized didn’t just go buy a team for Levi, it seems they are so in love with the dude. (Man, seems their moral sponsorship compass has changed since I raced for them over a decade ago.)

If Levi doesn’t get on a team that is in the race, maybe Levi can just “ride” along in the races, like he did when he was suspended and just turn off before the finish. Or maybe he could just pull a Rock Racing where he’d just ride all the courses on his own, before or after each stage. Just something to show his presence and support of the event.

Seriously, do we care if a guy that admittedly doped for nearly a decade races one of our more prestigious stage races? Actually, I care. It would be nice if he never renews a bicycle racing license again, but that’s just me.

Back when life was good for Levi.

Back when life was good for Levi.

38 thoughts on “Levi Racing Tour of California? Who Gives a Shit?

  1. andy

    What I want to know – is why he got away with a six month suspension. His admission should have constituted a second offense – which carries a suggested/standard penalty of 8 years. In the spirit of cooperation, I am sure that would be negotiated down, but down to six months? The same as the other Posties who had no prior offenses?

  2. Steve Wathke

    You know you’re right. I don’t care if he races. I don’t like cheaters either. He got $$$$$$$ and he robbed somebody who really earned it. We should be pissed. If he stole your car would you say it’s ok because he’s so good at it? No. Why do we look the other way when it’s sports?

  3. Bri

    The six month suspension was a joke. All of those riders should have had the same penalty as anyone else that dopes. In my opinion they didn’t come forward with information, what they did was run the risk of perjury under oath in a Federal Court so they presented the information that was already evident. If they really want to create “Change” in the peleton then they need to address the issues properly. Attending Gran Fondos for Bicycling Magazine or for your own charity also seems kind of “fuzzy logic” to me during a suspension. I would test all of those riders daily if they are allowed to race and then we can see what they are really capable of producing.

  4. Bernd Faust

    Arnold Schwarzenegger has trained Levi over the past 6 month. Levi is no longer a climber , he is now a sprinter, he put on 16.6 pounds of muscle which allows him to sprint like a bull and still TT as a freak of nature. He will drop back on every climb by a large margin. His wifes likes his new look, she calls him “Mini-Arnie” and that’s all what counts. Now Levi needs a second chance as a sprinter..that’s what USA is all about, 2nd chances.
    So much is talked about the “Pros’…you look at local races…75% of guys walk around inhaling Asthmastuff, swollow pills and strange drinks..what’s up with that? I always think they are ill and I ask what is wrong with you, what you need that for? Since I never take any artifial stuff or medicine, I am not up to date. The guys always say the same: it’s the pollen in the air…I laugh..about it, but for the last 35 years I have to admit that amateurs and weekend warriors are more strange or creepy than Pros. And by the way who really cares about Pros in any Sport. Really ??????
    mit freundlichen Gruessen
    Bernd

    1. Trey H.

      As someone who has landed in the hospital due to acute asthmatic episodes, I get a little riled at the insinuation that my rescue inhaler is a PED. I guess it is a PED in the sense that it potentially keeps me from dying when I’m exercising. Because I have asthma, I suppose I should quit racing bikes, huh?

      1. Bernd Faust

        Trey, if you have asthma you need that inhaler. So did my youngest son when he was an infant until 4 o5 years old. he is 15 now and don’t need an inhaler anymore. i talk about those guys who do not have asthma and they take it like it is a casual thing which it is not. It can cause healthproblems but they may get a benefit. racing more air to the lungs etc….People are crazy that’s what I am saying. I do not talk about people like you!

  5. Mark

    Can’t wait till more of his shady past with Rabobank comes out. That might happen sooner than he’d like it to. I’m still doing his Gran Fondo. Not registering though, just jumping in for some training. I’ll peel off before the finish.

  6. spice

    Remember when Rock Racing wasn’t invited to TOC because of their doping pass, if Levi does find a team for TOC, will the organizers do the same to his team?

  7. SalRuibal

    Yes, Levi and most of the U.S. doping contingent were “nice guys” who showed up at the fondos and such, but until we know the full extent of their confessions and what the real story is, they shouldn’t be in races or any cycling events, especially those where young cyclists will attend. The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) is banning all dopers from its events, even as spectators. Seems like the UCI and maybe even WADA/USADA are losing momentum in the fight. Now is not the time to be complacent and let these guys act like nothing happened. I can’t speak specifically about Specialized, but I am disappointed that many bike companies have not been more proactive in the anti-doping movement. That should a consideration in which cycling products we buy.

    1. channel_zero

      Mmmm, where to begin… NICA is *STILL TRAINING KIDS INTO THOM and HEIN’s DOPING SHOW****

      Thom Wiesel and his assistant Steve Johnson are a bigger part of the problem than another athlete.
      Levi and the rest of the doped athletes are the distraction. As long as everyone believes the “bad athlete” story, it’s more of the same.

      Big-money competitive cycling is a closed loop. Thom Wiesel was apparently a primary actor in taking Amgen public. A little later on, Thom buys USA Cycling. Sometime later while still owning USA Cycling, Thom owns an aggressively doped team.

  8. Daniel Russell

    It’s a good sign that teams are passing on an EPO era rider. But it is ironic that Amgen does not get another chance to showcase what Epogen can do for your cycling by having Levi win. ToC should have two title sponsers, an bread maker and a water bottler. Paniagua.

  9. ifjeff

    Levi, Lance, George, Dave, JV, Tyler, Tom, Floyd, and on and on and on…please just go away; the collective is not interested in your stories, your comeback, your passion for change, your products, your contributions, your fondos or any other exception to your past doping behavior that we are being asked to make. You stole fame and position through cheating and made money from it, be lucky you are not in prison for it. Your run must end in shame.

  10. Jack Sparks III

    If they handed out time in jail, say 6 months for each rider that doped, the game would change. Til then, its crooked sport to be in . . . .

  11. Jay Tegeder

    Agreed Steve! I’m sick of the doping pukes. They robbed a lot of riders of a lot of money over the years. Besides, I’m more impressed by guys in my age group like you and Ned who are still kicking ass! Say high to Trudy. I was hanging with Dennis Kruse at the Birkie…

  12. JT

    Let’s be sure to include:
    Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx in 1969 and 1972, Roger Legeay, Bernard Thévenet confessed after he retired, Freddy Maertens confessed after he retired, Francesco Moser record breaking hour mark was not allowed due to blood transfusions, Kim Andersen, Pedro Delgado, Laurent Fignon in 1989, Sean Yates in the first stage of Torhout-Werchter, Bo Hamburger, Marco Pantani, Rolf Aldag, Udo Bölts, Brian Holm, Bjarne Riis, Filippo Simeoni, Erik Zabel, Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, Laurent Brochard, Francesco Casagrande, Laurent Dufaux, Pascal Hervé, Luc Leblanc, Rodolfo Massi, Christophe Moreau, Didier Rous, Richard Virenque, Alex Zülle, Uwe Ampler, Frankie Andreu, Lance Armstrong, Ludo Dierckxsens, Laurent Roux, Eugeni Berzin, Tammy Thomas, Niklas Axelsson, Riccardo Forconi, Dario Frigo, Bo Hamburger, Pascal Hervé, Stefano Garzelli, David McCann, Gianpaolo Mondini, Kirk O’Bee, Juan Pineda, Piotr Przydzial, Raimondas Rumsas, Gilberto Simoni, Frank Vandenbroucke, Mario De Clercq, Igor González de Galdeano, Philippe Gaumont, Geneviève Jeanson, Jesús Manzano, Johan Museeuw, Scott Moninger, Amber Neben, Jo Planckaert, David Fuentes, Lizandro Ajcú, Joey D’Antoni, Dave Bruylandts, David Calanche, Oscar Camenzind, Yeisson Delgado, Carlos López González, Abel Jocholá, Danilo Di Luca, Tyler Hamilton, Filip Meirhaeghe, Noel Armando Vazquez Mendoza, David Millar, Janet Puiggros Miranda, Federico Muñoz, José Reynaldo Murillo, Santiago Pérez, Nery Velásquez, Jeremy Yates, Erwin Bakker, Roberto Ballestero, Marc Lotz, Ludovic Capelle, Maurizio Carta, Ferney Orlando Bello Clavijo, Barry Forde, Evgeni Petrov, Fabrizio Guidi, Nelito Hereida, Roberto Heras, Danilo Hondo, Iñigo Landaluze, Jenaro Ramos Lozano, Gabriel Pop, Jorge Coto Riviera, Sandro Rodriguez, Francisco Pérez Sanchez, Zinaida Stahurskaya, Wilmer Bravo, Garcia Quesada Adolfo, Stephen Alfred, Victor Hernandez Baeta, Ivan Basso, Pawal Bentkowski, Santos Gonzalez Capilla, Jose Balague Carvajal, Erick Castano, Luis Coehlo, Juan Cotumba, Jhon Cunto, Kamil Dominian, David Garbelli, Christoph Girschweiler, Aitor González, Oscar Grau, Jon Pena Hernaez, Christina Alcade Huertanos, Jörg Jaksche, Vladimir Koev, Rafal Kumorowski, Floyd Landis, Maxime Lefebvre, Christian Luce, Joseph M. Papp, Evandro Luis Portela, Aitar Osa, Unai Osa, Cénéric Racault, Ilaria Rinaldi, Jose Antonio Pastor Roldan, Michele Scarponi, Alvaro Tardaguila, Matteo Trentin, Jan Ullrich, Tristan Valentin, Giuseppe Muraglia, tza Peña, Patrik Sinkewitz, Christian Moreni, Alexander Vinokourov, Iban Mayo, Andrey Kashechkin, Thomas Dekker, Lorenzo Bernucci, Marco Fertonani, Serhiy Honchar, Mathias Kessler, Giuseppe Muraglia, Magno Prado Navaret, Nathan O’Neill, Leonardo Piepoli, Alessandro Petacchi, Svetlana Semchouk, Igor Astarloa, Paolo Bossoni, Moisés Dueñas, Dmitry Fofonov, Vladimir Gusev, Eddy Mazzoleni, Maria Moreno, Michael Rasmussen, Riccardo Riccò, Maximiliano Richeze, Emanuele Sella, Ondrej Sosenka, Davide Rebellin, Stefan Schumacher, Christian Pfannberger, Antonio Colom, Clément Lhotellerie, Olaf Pollack, Nuno Ribeiro, Isidro Nozal, Gabriele Bosisio, Vania Rossi, Pawel and Kacper Szczepaniak, Manuel Vazquez Hueso, Alejandro Valverde, Lorenzo Bernucci, Lucas Onesco, Jair Fernando dos Santos, Óscar Sevilla, Xacobeo-Galicia, Ezequiel Mosquera, David García Dapena, Rui Costa, Mario Costa, Marco Arriagada, Alexandr Kolobnev, Alberto Contador, David Clinger, Denis Galimzyanov, Remy di Gregorio, Fränk Schleck, Ivailo Gabrovski, Rasa Leleivytė, Michael Boogerd, Steve Houanard,

  13. rdviola

    Just another example of the hubris among professional cyclists. How can we ever trust him to ride clean – and more importantly, why is being allowed to compete in professional cycling at all? Just days after his Gran Fondo, he admits to years of drug use – of course after getting paid for attaching his name to the “fundraiser.”

    His participation in this event further sullies our sport and perpetuates business as usual.

  14. Benotti69

    Wish those who doped would disappear out of the sport forever.

    Either make a contribution that brings about a change, like Floyd has done, but anything less, get lost.

    Vaughters has done nothing to change it anymore than the others imo.

    1. Kurt

      I agree. Really tired of hearing Vaughters drone on. Dude is infatuated with hearing himself talk.

    2. Bernd Faust

      My rule is not the 2nd chance rule of the USA in general .
      Doping in sport : You dope you are out! Period , no return+ 6 month in prison working on bikes which are than donated to unfortunate kids.,rule applies for entire planet. Managers the same thing. Guys like Vaughters or Riis hello never could they become a coach or manager or mentor., hence they are.
      All Prosports with huge $$$$ or less are somewhat “Gangsterbusiness” the bigger the Sport the more Gangsterstyle..Look at Soccer the biggest Sport in the World….Even Tyler knows some minor little gangsterrap from soccertown….

  15. Jack Sparks III

    Or if they dope and get caught, in order to race again they can, but only with bikes from Wal Mart

  16. s bashakis

    Totally agree. Those that chose to cheat for fame and fortune and skipped the suffering and sacrifice stages of life should quietly accept their cycling retirement. Levi is famous under false pretense. Just go away Levi, or are you actually trying to teach one last thing to our junior racers? That disgust and infamy is worse than anonymity?

    1. jim Gillan

      As Groucho would say, “you got today’s magic word”, JUNIOR cyclists. Every other post has been about who deserves to win and who deserves to profit from winning. The winners are the people who pick up a bicycle and choose to use it every day. Young athletes in stick and ball sports often move on to a life of chronic obesity, painful joints and cardiopulmonary disease. A junior cyclist may fantasize about lifting his arms on the Champs Elysees – in a race that began as a crass spectacle to sell newspapers – but devotion to the sport (not sponsors and coaches) will lift their spirits for a lifetime. And don’t forget about the future lifetimes that are served by less carbon in the air, ore and energy left in the ground and arable land left unpaved.

  17. Mike Rodose

    Here’s a fun rumor from the past. Levi and Horner lost their hair from the same batch of Juice from Mejico.

    I’m sure it’s untrue, but as rumors go, that’s a cool one. Ha!

    GovernoRoid Arnie and Levi Lanceheimer…now that’s the benchmark of natural talent. No need for enhancement there, boys.

  18. I like Paris

    @ifjeff
    Great post…I laughed out loud with the “your fondo’s”

    Levi was in deep! US Postal, Rabo, Gerolsteiner. The guy has had enough juice in his body to send a rocket to the moon.

  19. H Luce

    I think an alternative Tour of California would be a good idea for Levi and riders like him. I’d do it in Humboldt County, have the start/finish in Arcata, and I’d make doping *mandatory*. The main cash crop there is dope, and in honor of that fact, each rider would have to smoke* an entire blunt before the race… The winner would be the person who could remember where the course is, and not get sucked into any of the local convenience stores after a munchies attack.

    smoke = inhale smoke from blunt, hold it in lungs for 10 seconds then exhale. Repeat until blunt is consumed.

  20. Ironic

    The irony is rich here, considering most of Tilford’s household income comes from his wife, who works for guys who Floyd has outed…ie Ochowicz, Andy Riis, John Lelange…. Guess maybe he forgot that in his elf righteous babble.

    1. Bernd Faust

      Well thats Life or something like that..Life is “ironic” sometimes
      I recommend some Ettaler Klosterbraeu Curator “DoppelbocK” and some Magic Slim. Slim just died 3 weeks ago…I am going to Mississippi if i have to ride a bike….it’s all about the destination, “Listen”

  21. Vinnie

    I agree with the idea that most, if not all of these guys got off with a slap on the wrist. I have lost any enthusiasm for them, especially knowing how far back the drugs went….would be nice if guys like Levi would retire already…..hard to believe they feel good about throwing a leg over the top tube to race the anyone at any level.

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