Velonews: So overall, how is [sic] you feeling coming into the season?
Levi Leipheimer: Physically I am OK. Well, I lost one of my dogs a few nights ago. We think an owl took him, so I am kind of distracted. It was Trooper, the little short-haired Chihuahua, he was kind of my dog. Odessa let the dogs out before bed and the owl tried to take one of our other dogs, and we think Trooper tried to step in and the owl took him. He basically just disappeared with no trace. Other than that, I am fine.
It is a universally acknowledged fact that Levi Leipheimer is one of the least dramatic bike racers in the history of bike racing. Yet his home life involves this kind of dramatic animal-on-animal savagery:
Note "Trooper's" valiant death at the hands of the noctural winged animal, and Levi's resultant "distraction." Most would not describe their grief over the snatching of a beloved pet as causing them distraction. Levi Leipheimer, it's clear, is not "most."
He's Levi Leipheimer. The man has a private life that, when revealed to the public, inspires the same kind of shock as Tiger Woods' dalliances did.
First, his name sounds like a drinking song name ("John Levi Leipheimer Schmidt, his name is my name, too"). (La LA la LA LA LA LA...click here for the authoritative version.) His name is that of a caricature, according to its Wikipedia entry:
The mock German name celebrated in the song suggests that some English speakers still find longer northern-European names to be inherently funny words; compare the Blinkenlights faxlore in which English words are deformed to form a pseudo-German warning text.
Also unusually, when jumping into the pool, Leipheimer prefers the "cannonball" (shown below) to the "jacknife," typically of his ilk.
Leipheimer is married to a woman with the suspicious geographic name of "Odessa." Although I cannot confirm the vocation of his wife, stripper nomilologists have confirmed the tendency, among those who disrobe professionally, the tendency to assume monikers from place of origin. Or she could be a child of the Beckhams, who have named several of their brood after the location of conception.
Bald cyclists are universally known to be particularly cruelty to animals. Perhaps this is mostly due to Pantani, who was known as "the Pirate," and presumably treated animals with piratical disdain (chaining a parrot to one's shoulder is not kind, it must be said).
Then there's Chris Horner, who loves killing and EATING animals. Here he is eating what's called a "Hornerburger":
Breaking ranks with his bald brethren, Leipheimer appeared in a PETA-sponsored ad last year:
Of course, the ad urges all pet owners to castrate (literally or figuratively) their animals, a sentiment which raises the question of his intentions: on the one hand, he's working with PETA, but on the other hand he's urging castration.
It all adds to the aura of mystery that surrounds the man who allegedly lost his Chihuahua to an owl, who married a stripper child of the Beckhams conceived in Odessa, who wishes people would stop letting their damn pets getting knocked up, and who has an affinity for winning the Tour of California.
Who is this man? This de-pilated halfling with the elephant-sized heart and stripper-slaying looks, the aero position of a falcon, and the emotions of an ADHD suffer (i.e., distraction)?
It's the question on everyone's minds, the great mystery which drives the press swirl that continually presses around the Shack camp.