July 14, 2004
Leipheimer gets Armstrong's Olympic slot
USA Cycling will send Levi Leipheimer to next month's Athens Olympics, replacing Lance Armstrong, who last week said he would skip the Olympics to spend time with his family.
"Levi's addition to the team is an obvious testament to the depth of American cycling talent," USA Cycling CEO Gerard Bisceglia said. "Lance's departure is understandable and we certainly respect his decision to withdraw himself from the Olympics. Having the luxury to replace him with someone of Levi's caliber allows us to maintain a powerful team with a proven veteran."
Floyd Landis was next in line in the selection process, and Fred Rodriguez is the USPRO champion, but the unusual circumstances left the selection to the team's coaching staff. Leipheimer, 30, is riding for Rabobank in the Tour de France.
The full squad will be Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Bobby Julich, Jason McCartney, and Leipheimer.
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I don't know what the Athens Olympic circuit is like but the sort of race these events turn into become sort of Amstel Gold like, ie not so lumpy that roulers get spat out by the climbers but not pan flat either. Your Zabel, Boogerd or Friere are likely to do well and in the USA's case that means Hincapie is probably their best chance.
Posted by: Mark Holland at Jul 15, 2004 4:20:40 AM