With Levi Leiphimer back in the States nursing his injury from his recent accident I interviewed him for Cyclingnews.com. The main focus of the interview was of course his injury, how serious it was and what affect would it have on the season – meaning the Amgen Tour of California, the Tour de France and the Olympics. However, as you talk other topics come up that don’t fit with the article. And sometimes, like in any conversation, you make small talk to broach a subject.
With the obligatory Amgen Tour of California question answered I wanted to know about the Tour de France. With teammate Tom Boonen in great form I jokingly made a Paris-Roubaix scenario to illustrate how strong the Belgian truly was.
“Boonen breaks away with 15 kilometers to go and wins solo. Now you don’t need to wake up early and watch it on t.v.,” I told Levi.
“I got a question,” said Leipheimer quickly, “How many times has he won before?”
Shit, I didn’t know I’d have to answer questions during this interview.
“Has he ever won it solo?” he replied rhetorically.
So here I was, just trying to make small talk and now I’m getting grilled on my knowledge of Boonen’s race strategies. I say something to the effect that Boonen is so strong that he can ride away solo.
“Why would he do that when he can beat them in a sprint?” he replied.
My idle small talk strategy is circling the drain as Leipheimer has called my bluff and is making me explain the reasoning behind the solo break away.
I decide to revise my Boonen scenario to something more “realistic.”
“Ok, he breaks away with a random French dude and Sagan.” Of course this was when we still thought the Liquigas rider was still lining up for The Hell of the North.
“There’s no French dude that can hang with him!” Leipheimer replies.
Leipheimer still won’t give me any slack.
“Ok, maybe he’s on a good day and it rides by his hometown and he’s inspired,” I explain.
Leipheimer has moved on and asks about Sagan.
“Can Sagan be there at the end?”
I admit that’s a bit of a stretch but it would be interesting to write about.
“I think it’s the same three guys from Flanders,” predicts Leipheimer.
As we saw it was almost the same three Flanders guys except my Random French Dude, Sebastien Turgot, squeaked in for second place by a tire nub.
Not the most exciting Paris-Roubaix, but an edition that showed Tom Boonen is the man for the Classics. And it also showed that I might have a tiny bit of psychic abilities too.