Levi Retires- “it’s about sharing the love of the bike.”

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Levi Leiphemimer announced on the last day of the Tour of California Sunday, that he was officially retired.

Just forget about the doping stuff for a second. With his statement that he “sort of” misses the racing, he picked, as if he picked it, but whatever the reasons, the time was right and he shouldn’t be racing if he doesn’t yearn for it.

Levi never really interested me as a bicycle racer. He was positive for doping back in his amateur days. It was completely obvious to everyone in the sport, at least anyone racing against him, that he doped seriously, very early on. Winning the National time trial in 1999 and then finishing 3rd in the Tour of Spain a couple years later, Levi fast tracked his way to the top of a polluted field. Levi, who admitted using drugs, was a boring guy to watch race. A follower on the climb and then just time trialed. That makes him even less interesting. I know that sounds weird, but is one of the reasons that Marco Pantani is so deary worshiped and missed.

I guess Dave Towle, a great announcer and friend of mine, called Leipheimer to the announcing stage Sunday morning in Santa Rosa, calling Levi “The King of the Amgen Tour of California.” which he won three times. Dave finished with “A huge, huge thank you for all you have done.” I know Dave has to fill time, but this wasn’t the way.

All his results are suspect and should have been thrown in the trash. Oh, I forgot, he admitted doping from June of 1999 to July of 2006, then won an Olympic Bronze medal clean, then the Tour of California clean in 2007, only to go back to his old ways of doping in July of 2007. His more proud moments of his career. I’m sure another one is when he smashed the Leadville 100 record set by Lance, stealing a super result from JHK.

When Floyd Landis called Levi out, Levi responded by denying it and say it was “jealousy,” “bitterness” and a “vendetta.” More truthfulness there.

Here’s a link to the article from his local newspaper.

Toward the end of the article above, Levi says he’s going to concentrate on his GrandFondo. He says he doesn’t have to be a professional cyclist for that. “It’s not about professional cycling, it’s about sharing the love of the bike.” “That’s what it’s always been about.” he said.

He sure had a perverted way of showing that. He must of never heard the phrase, Action speak louder than words.

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37 thoughts on “Levi Retires- “it’s about sharing the love of the bike.”

  1. channel_zero

    Well said.

    Not banned for his second doping violation, and still has fans and an apparently popular gran fondo. Cycling enthusiasts have a doping problem!

    Thanks USAC for not enforcing the rules. Again. Doping is totally okay for USACDF leaders Steve Johnson and Thom Wiesel.

  2. PackFill

    Head of the Nor Cal & Santa Rosa Mafia says goodbye to cycling.
    Gerlach, Gagg, Levi and Dylan Casey
    whats next?

  3. Jack Sparks III

    mr tilford

    you never worry about someone who has doped reading your page then running into you on a training ride or whatever when you are out if town?

    I’m just saying, with the PT I dont know how strong your right hook is right now . . .

    Jack

    1. Jeff

      All the more reason to appreciate Steve. You won’t get this stuff at velonews. http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/05/news/road/armstrong-vaughters-talking-about-moving-cycling-forward_287358
      Or Road Bike Action, where Chris Carmichael just got a new column, and Ivan Basso is pictured snuggling with Zap at the Liquicamp. Zap won’t miss a chance to defend Lance with the ol’ ‘they ALL cheated’ logic.
      BTW Jack, have you ever seen Levi? Steve could put his hand on top of his head and hold back while Levi tried to bike him.

      1. Jeff

        Oh, I meant “bite” him, but I did try to hit a pit bull with my bike once when it attacked me in a park. Look out Tilford!

  4. scott

    seriously, why does anyone give this guy any credibility? and what’s wrong with these people psychologically that they actually have the balls to keep showing up after they’ve been outed as frauds? please just go away.

  5. Seis_pendejos

    Jack Sparks III, cycling is not like hockey. Cyclists generally have arms like Tyrannosaurus Rex. The only times I have ever seen or heard or cyclists actually getting hurt in a fight were Meathead on the receiving end of Paulin’s punch (who also hurt his hand) and Myerson’s skull fracture when Scott Mercer punched him in the gead after a crit

    1. Jack Sparks III

      plus all that labor Mr Tilford does besides cycling almost guarantees he can bob and weave

    1. trounder

      Careful owen, some women might take offense to that. Wiggo said something similar about descending like a girl. But I doubt anyone who reads this would be offended by the midget bit, so no problem there. Randy Newman said it best, “Short people got no reason…”

  6. Trey H.

    I remember Levi riding for NutraFig or Co. Cyclist at the Natural State Stage Race in AR, putting 30+ seconds into Steve, the Bastard, and me in a 5 min. uphill time trial. It seemed super-human at the time. Now I see that Bottle is entered in the Crusher in the Tushar. Wonder if he’ll go back on the sauce, now that he won’t ever be tested again.

    1. Carl Sundquist

      Steve must have had a bad ride that morning. I either tied or was within 5 seconds of Levi in that TT and I was a fat pig at the time. Later that afternoon, after hammering down sushi for lunch, I was coughing so violently from allergies during the crit at the state capital parking lot that I spewed all over myself.

      1. Trey H.

        I wonder if Levi rode it twice (a different year). We all rode right at 5:00, give or take a couple of seconds, and Bottle was ~4:30.

  7. s bashakis

    While we are thanking admitted cheats, let’s thank Bernie Madoff too for the 20 years of temporarily and fraudulently making us feel richer than we really were.

  8. Niki

    I am pretty sure even I could take Levi out. Steve can speak whatever he wants on his blog whether people like it or not.

  9. Skippy

    Levi WHO ? Oh yeah that hangeron , in the Usps team , then the Gerolsteiner water & bread team , then the boonen can’t make it to the ToC Team ? Not sure why he was in any of these teams , BUT , when he was , there seemed to be plenty of controversy in relation to PED products .

    Some people have a nack for dodging testing positive , but then he got caught out on the odd occasion , seems he didn’t listen to the advice ?

    Hopefully he will be so busy in the back office of the Gran Fondo , that bears his name , that the rest of the Worldwide Cycling Community will not miss him .

    With Menchov retiring also , and sir brad & ryder bowing out of the Giro , i am still awaiting the naming of the Grand Tour Winner , that ” The Secret Pro ” has predicted will be sanctioned by the UCI, but then UCIless has been pretty clueless of late , could be they are trying to work out what other part of recent history has to be rewritten like the ” NEVER ; Never , never doped ” statement about Lance issued by nein fordruggen .

    As for phat the rat , will he be wondering if Levi has contributed to his Leaving present at the UCI Congresss in September ?

  10. Roberto

    I’m thinking of nominating Steve for Sainthood. If he suddenly claimed to be the second coming, we would all believe he was Jesus. And judging by this blog, he would have far more than 12 disciples.

  11. Spencer

    I second I read his ‘Love of the bike’ statement I knew you were going to tee off on him. Nicely done.

  12. trounder

    I agree he wasn’t a very inspiring bike racer. He seemed to me to be a shitty xerox copy of Armstrong with even less panache. That’s sort of what you mean when you compare him to Pantani, right? As far as his comments, I think he’s just trying to put a bit of lipstick on the pig since he’ll try to hang around the “cycling community” for another year or so as he transitions into whatever will occupy the next 40 years of his life.

    The cold shoulder and obscurity await! Or perhaps a career in real estate?

  13. Inga Thompson

    HEY! Stop it with the Pig reference! I have pigs….they are smart, entertaining and have great style in their antics. They would be insulted to be compared to Levi and company. Try cock roach or something, would you! :-)

    1. trounder

      I mean no disrespect to lipstick, pigs, cold shoulders, or real estate professionals.

    2. Trey H.

      Inga- I have several species of cockroach that we use in my biology classes. They are wonderful animals. Maybe tapeworm instead?

      1. Inga Thompson

        No, Tapeworms are used by high profile models to keep their weight down. Even they have a purpose. Ear Wig, maybe?

  14. Rich

    All this talk of Levi taking a swing at Steve, I doubt Levi would even swat at a Housefly. Doesn’t he eat some kind of special vegan diet or something?

    Levi could do over 6 watts per kilo for an hour while on EPO. Without epo I think he could certainly do atleast 5 which would be enough to win the cat 1 criterium he won to get a professional contract, he could have been clean for that win apart from the allergy stuff perhaps.

    The sad fact is though most cat 1-2 or masters winners are probably dopers and may be until anti doping is able to get enough funding to hit some of these guys out of competition with a bio passport or simply an EPO test.

  15. Bill K

    Another one of the “Rat Pack” retires.
    I guess that this means that Pro bike racing is “clean” now.

    Has Levi returned his winnings from the “Lance made me do it” years.
    .
    .
    .

  16. Formerly Jim

    I met a mini pig in the shoe store recently, scratched his spine, where I was told to but he really didn’t like it. He was wearing a tie-on denim cowboy hat. Stupid.

    His person was a bit of pig, natch. That’s an insult pigs.

    Levi is a pig in that way.

  17. Jim D.

    Its time that the Leadville race erases Levi and Lance from the records. JHK and Dave won clean. Man up lier and lier and give back your ore carts. Jim D.

  18. owen

    What’s the deal with a certain Garmin rider who “Crashed” out of the tour of California….rumors are floating around.

  19. Sketchy Wheel

    I have to ask, what about BMC? George, Och, history of PED use…sort of like the elephant in the room for me

    Sundquist, I loved it when you crushed all the Cat 3’s in the amateur crit at Twilight in like 91 or 92. Then to top it off you did a “Superman” across the finish line. Good times, hopefully Gene Dixon’s check cleared

  20. Michael

    Call it retirement, I call it, “no team would hire you, you had no choice, you were permanently fired”! Good riddance, never had the killer instinct or real talent even with the juice to win the big. How does a guy being paid to ride the grand tours and win, say that winning the ToCali is the goal for his season? Don’t think that is what they were paying you for. I would like that refund now.

  21. Hergules

    Levi is just trying to salvage the only thing he has left from his cycling career…. Levi’$ Gran Fundo.
    Regionalism promotes blindness. People in NorCal will continue to support Levi the same way people in Austin continue to support Lance. Everyone is always more forgiving of their “favorite son”. It doesn’t matter that the other 99% of the world could care less. Unfortunately. as much as we wish that this cadre of dopers would just quietly fade away, I’m afraid we’re stuck with them for a long time.

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