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Photo ©: Gerolsteiner

Clear blue water: The Levi Leipheimer diary 2005

Levi Leipheimer shot to prominence when he made the podium at the 2001 Vuelta while riding for US Postal. He spent three years at Rabobank before joining the German Gerolsteiner team for 2005, where he is one of the team's main men for stage race general classifications.

Leipheimer has twice finished in the top ten at the Tour de France, and this year will aim higher if his form allows. "We'll have to wait and see," he says. Follow Levi's progress to the Tour and beyond on Cyclingnews.

Georgia, April 18, 2005

Tour de Georgia: Back in the USA

Hello cycling fans!

I didn't expect to be writing to you from the US but here I am. Thanks to a flexible schedule I'm enjoying a trip home for the tour of Georgia. Well, it's not exactly home but it's always nice to return to the United States during the season. Normally I try to squeeze in a trip home between races but thanks to the tour of Georgia, my work is taking me back this time.

I'm really excited about this race. I've heard so many great things about the courses and the organization. Clearly this is my first time racing Georgia and I knew the rumors were true the moment we landed in Atlanta. The race arranged for buses to pick us up on the tarmac and take us straight to the hotel. This is good organization. Dodge is sponsoring the race so each team is supplied with cars. It's a really professional race. Kevin Livingston has been instrumental in making the race rider friendly. No one knows how to take care of the riders like a former pro.

The weather is great so far, especially coming from Spain where it's been cold and rainy most days. I've heard it's usually sunny and warm here which is a great break from spring racing in Europe. As for the racing itself, I'll let you know tomorrow. There are a lot of great riders here and it's cool to have many of the top Americans together on home soil. I feel really good about my form right now and the training I've been doing but of course I'm not in top condition just yet.

Until tomorrow I'll enjoy the posh American hotels and catch up with friends. The soigneur we're working with here happens to be a good friend of ours from Santa Rosa, Brenda Phelps. The cycling world in the US is quite small so you see a lot of familiar faces both in and out of the peloton.

So if you're interested in the inside scoop on the tour de Georgia meet me back here tomorrow.

Until then, bye y'all! (that's southern for goodbye)