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Astana Cycling

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Levi Leipheimer Wins Vuelta Ciclista Castilla y León Bike Race 2009; Contador 2nd, Zabriskie 3rd; Alejandro Valverde Wins Stage

Levi Leipheimer won another professional stage bike race in Valladolid, Spain (España) today. He made two nice gestures that seemed to be appreciated by most. First, he took a photograph or two of the crowd with a small digital camera (not a professional photographer's TTL style one). Second, when Alberto Contador joined him on the stage for the top three photo, Levi pointed at him to give him credit. Alberto pointed back (the three facing the crowd, not each other), to which Levi raised his pointing level higher, which Contador matched.


42° 0' 10.8828" N, 5° 40' 26.6916" W
41° 39' 10.6092" N, 4° 43' 42.1968" W
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Levi Leipheimer Quietly Wins Stage 2, Takes Lead of Vuelta Ciclista Castilla y León 2009 Over Alberto Contador, David Zabriskie

Fast becoming a favorite for many USA fans of cycling, Levi Leipheimer showed the dignified way to the front today. Noted for his diligent work ethic and quiet but friendly manner, Levi is not the first to be talked about when the likes of Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador are around. While gifted, surely, many feel he has to work harder, so he's often considered an underdog even when he should get attention as the leader. Today was an example, and all I can do is repeat that I hope he's never even suspected of doping, because he sure is a fine example of dignity in victory for me.


Vuelta Ciclista Castilla y León 2009 Stage 2 Palencia, Palencia
42° 0' 44.8488" N, 4° 31' 52.23" W
Cristo del Otero
42° 1' 42.2976" N, 4° 31' 45.7356" W
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Lance Armstrong Crashes at Castilla y León; Breaks Collarbone, Abandons, Leaves in Ambulance; Sobrino Wins Stage 1

Lance Armstrong has crashed at the Vuelta Ciclista Castilla y León and retired from the race, leaving the scene by ambulance. It has been confirmed as a collarbone injury. I was unable to get video going today, so I didn't see it, but I'll post video links if I find any (not of the crash in particular). I'll update as I know more. Armstrong was there with Astana Cycling, Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer. It was the first time all three cyclists were to be racing together as a team.


Paredes de Nava
42° 9' 10.6956" N, 4° 41' 39.66" W
41° 56' 13.7976" N, 4° 14' 44.988" W
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USA Cyclist Levi Leipheimer Takes Vuelta (Tour of Spain) Fifth Stage ITT and GC Lead

Now, something to cheer about! You never know about people really, but I've seen Levi in person and on streaming video and I can tell you there were awesome performances, but nothing that seemed "unbelievable," like some other performances I've seen. I'll never know if Levi is clean, just like I thought it was certain that others were, but seeing Levi almost but not quite do it several times leads me to believe in him. Having said that, joining Astana and linking with some I've begun to doubt still makes me wonder, which is sad.


Ciudad Real
38° 59' 9.9456" N, 3° 55' 38.1468" W
timv's picture

National Champions for Slipstream-Chipotle, Another Positive for Astana

So apparently the Discovery Pro Cycling Team will be no more after the end of this season. But meanwhile things are looking pretty good for Slipstream, the US's newest international team.

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Astana Accepted into Vuelta Without 2006 Winner Alexandre Vinokourov

Astana is taking August off, they said, but that doesn't keep them from starting September in Spain, it seems. This photo is pretty impressive. Yowee that hurts. It is a shame that amazing feats are cheapened by some of the very ones who achieve them. I admire the struggle through great pain, because I've done that one, and finished way back. And if we don't quit, we get off the couch, out of the bed, and onto the road again, that's something. We beat everyone who doesn't start, at least.

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