|Full name||Levi Leipheimer|
|Date of birth||October 24, 1973|
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||62 kg (136.7 lb; 9.8 st)|
|Current team||Team RadioShack|
|Tour de France, 2 stages
Vuelta a España, 2 stages
Tour of California (2007, 2008 & 2009)
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (2006)
Deutschland Tour (2005)
Route du Sud (2002)
Vuelta a Castilla y León (2009)
National Road Race Champion (2007)
National Time Trial Champion (1999)
|Infobox last updated on:|
|December 29, 2007
1 Team names given are those prevailing
Levi Leipheimer (born Butte, Montana October 24, 1973) is an American professional road bicycle racer for UCI ProTour team Team RadioShack. His major results are winning the 2009 Tour of California, the 2008 Tour of California, the 2007 Tour of California, the 2006 Dauphiné Libéré and the 2005 Deutschland Tour, coming in second in the 2008 Vuelta a España, third in the 2001 Vuelta a España, and having four top-ten finishes in the Tour de France, including third overall in 2007. He lives in Santa Rosa, California with his wife Odessa Gunn, though during the cycling season he primarily lives in Gerona, Spain. Leipheimer won the 2007 USA road championship, 1m 11s ahead of Discovery teammate and defending champion George Hincapie.
In 2009, he founded and led the King Ridge Gran Fondo, a recreational benefit bicycle ride based in Santa Rosa, California. Thousands of cyclists showed up for this inaugural event.
Leipheimer, a competitive skier from age 12-19, began cycling in 1987 to train for downhill ski racing. He turned pro in 1997, and rode for Saturn in 1998 and 1999. He won the U.S. time trial championship in 1999, then joined the US Postal team.
Leipheimer's breakthrough came in the 2001 Vuelta a España, his first Grand Tour. He was riding well in support of team leader Roberto Heras. Going into the final stage, an individual time trial in Madrid, Leipheimer was fifth, trailing his leader, who was third, by about a minute. During that time trial, Leipheimer vaulted over two riders, including Heras, to finish third overall, the first American ever to reach the podium in the Vuelta. The Dutch team Rabobank then recruited him as leader. In 2002, his first year with the new team, he finished eighth in his first Tour de France. In 2003 he crashed in the first week and abandoned the race.
On August 23, 2005 Leipheimer won the Deutschland Tour by 31 seconds ahead of T-Mobile Team's Jan Ullrich and Gerolsteiner teammate Georg Totschnig. He solidified his lead by defeating Ullrich in stage four on the Rettenbachferner, the highest climb in European racing that year at 8,760 feet (2,670m).
In February 2006, Leipheimer was favorite to win the Tour of California. He took the leader's golden jersey on the first day by winning the prologue to San Francisco's Coit Tower, but George Hincapie took it after stage two thanks to a 10-second bonus in the sprint in San José. Leipheimer won the competition for best climber.
Leipheimer returned in June at the Dauphiné Libéré, took third place in the individual time trial and then took the overall lead with a dominant performance on the stage to Mont Ventoux . He was the first American to win since Armstrong in 2003 .
Having placed sixth in 2005, Leipheimer was considered a contender in the 2006 Tour de France when the favorites (including Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich) were suspended after the Operación Puerto doping case. Because of this and Armstrong's retirement, none of the top five riders from 2005 competed in 2006. However, a stage 7 time trial described as the worst of Leipheimer's career, put him five minutes behind the leader, in the middle of the pack, making a top 10 finish a challenge. Further losses in the first mountain stage hurt further, and made a top 20 finish questionable. But in the Stage 11, with five difficult climbs, Leipheimer produced a strong second place with the same time as stage winner, Denis Menchov, and the new race leader, Floyd Landis. This took Leipheimer from 58th to 13th, 5:39 behind Landis. His final position was 12th, 18 and half minutes behind winner Óscar Pereiro.
Leipheimer re-signed with Tailwind Sports Corp. and Capital Sports & Entertainment, managing companies for the U.S. Postal and later the Discovery Channel cycling team.  Leipheimer was team leader in the 2007 Tour of California. He repeated his prologue win on the same course, won the stage 5 time trial, and led from start to finish. In the Paris-Nice race, he supported teammate Alberto Contador, who won. He placed third in the 2007 Tour de France, 31 seconds behind the winner, his teammate Alberto Contador. Leipheimer won stage 19, the last individual time trial. Discovery Channel disbanded at the end of the season.
Leipheimer joined Astana, managed by Johan Bruyneel, former manager of U.S. Postal and Discovery Channel. Astana was banned from the 2008 Tour de France on 13 February 2008 because of doping scandals in the 2007 Tour, although all involved in those scandals had been replaced. Leipheimer created a website to petition for admittance to the 2008 Tour.
Leipheimer won the 2008 Tour of California. At the last minute, Astana was admitted to the Giro di Italia, and Leipheimer finished 18th, helping teammate Contador to victory. Leipheimer won both time trials of the 2008 Vuelta a España, leading the race after the first stage, and placing second overall behind Contador. He then won the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the road time trial.
Leipheimer began 2009 by winning the Tour of California for the third consecutive year. He broke away during the final climb of stage 2 and led after the stage. Leipheimer won stage 6, the Solvang individual time trial. Astana teammate Lance Armstrong, in his second race after retirement, rode for Leipheimer. Leipheimer won the 2009 SRAM Tour of the Gila. He completed with Astana teammates Chris Horner and Armstrong, who finished second. UCI regulations meant the three rode as team Mellow Johnny's, the name of Armstrong's bike shop, instead of Astana. Leipheimer finished sixth.
Leipheimer met Canadian professional cyclist Odessa Gunn at a World Cup event in Philadelphia in 1997. Leipheimer sent her a plane ticket to visit him in California, and, as Gunn put it, "I never left." They married in 2000 and live in Santa Rosa, California. She joined Team Timex-Cannondale but back injuries ended her career.