Levi Leipheimer to OmegaPharma-QuickStep

Fotoreporter Sirotti

After months of speculation, it is now confirmed that Levi Leipheimer is joining Patrick Lefevere’s new super-team OmegaPharma-QuickStep. Despite a  poor performance at the Tour de France this year, Leipheimer had a solid year with wins at the Tour de Suisse, USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado, the Tour of Utah, and a stage and second-place overall at the Tour of California. 

It’s not the first time that Leipheimer expatriated himself: he rode for Rabobank and Gerolsteiner in the past, and has shown consistent top-ten performances in the Grand Tours including a third place in the 2001 Vuelta, third place in the 2007 Tour de France, and second place in the 2008 Vuelta.

On the other hand, Lefevere has vacillated between harboring Grand Tour GC ambitions and swearing off on them. Mick Rogers, Jose Rujano, and even a reluctant Stijn Devolder had all failed Lefevere’s dreams. Could it be that this is all because of his failure to recruit Lance Armstrong as a GC hope in 1998? Will Leipheimer survive the weight of expectation in the super-team?

Share your comments below.

About Julius

Educated by Dutch and Belgian priests halfway around the world from the cobbled classics that he loves, Julius' aspiration is to someday earn Belgian citizenship.
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2 Responses to Levi Leipheimer to OmegaPharma-QuickStep

  1. jeremiah says:

    I think it depends what the expectations are – Levi should be a top contender in the smaller stage races and for that I think he is a good pick up. As for grand tours I agree that Levi is consistent (and I think he will remain so) but I think Levi's greater value is the US media's interest in him (Guarantee at least 3 Bob Roll interviews on Versus, and a camera in the team car for the 2012 TdF!). Sponsors love TV time, and if Omega Pharma-Quick Step want greater exposure in the US, he is a great rider to have on your team. If the Belgium supersquad has success in the classics, if may lessen some of the expectations/pressures which should be good for Levi. As always, it comes down to the cobbles!

    • Julius says:

      You're right, Jeremiah. And to Levi, this can work out well for the later part of his career. The Schlecks have a lot more star power by comparison. Being in the same team will mean Leipheimer gets less media attention. On an opposing team however, I think he'll get more coverage. He'll be the TdF GC leader of OmegaPharma-QuickStep for sure, that's a good boost to his media profile compared to being a super-domestique.

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