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Why Levi Wanted Out?

Today Gerolsteiner's Hans-Michael Holczer is crowing about their success at the D-Tour... from CN:

German team Gerolsteiner can be satisfied with the outcome of the Deutschland Tour. Certainly, last year's winner Levi Leipheimer could not repeat his feat this year as an almighty Jens Voigt (CSC) stood in the way, but the American finished second. His teammate Sebastian Lang conquered the mountains jersey, and also the team classification went to the German squad.

"We have achieved more than we had hoped for," said team manager Hans-Michael Holczer in Karlsruhe after the ultimate stage. "This was maybe the best Deutschland Tour that we have ever raced." In 2005, both Leipheimer and Georg Totschnig were on the final podium, but "this year also everything was in place. We have made a great performance."

The Gerolsteiner director was especially pleased with Lang securing the mountains jersey. "That's really a great story," he continued. "Sebastian has shown that he can do more than just being a very fast time triallist."

So, let me see if I have this straight: Last year we won the overall title -- snatched away from our main rivals -- and 3rd place as well. But this year was better because we finished second, and won the mountain points as well as the team classification.

Maybe I have an overly dismissive attitude of lesser jerseys -- something about non-climbers winning KOM competitions with uncontested breakaways over early climbs, while getting crushed on the ones that matter. And maybe I should start to recognize the value of the team competition, one so prized that the Tour actually issues the leaders different color numbers to wear!

But if Holczer actually thinks these prizes are worth trading in the overall win and another podium for a mere second place... you can understand why Leipheimer might want to work for a more serious outfit. Actually, what it really says is that they didn't value Leipheimer's win last year very much, which is insulting.