Leipheimer bars Omega Pharma from riding his granfondo.

Omaga Pharma shut out of Levi's GranFondo.

Hours after Omega-Pharma Quickstep terminated his contract over his doping admission, Leipheimer has fired back, barring anyone associated with the squad from ever riding his popular granfondo.

“They want to play hardball, then let’s play,” said Leipheimer from his home in Santa Rosa. “We had over 7500 cyclists this year and they had a fabulous time but Patrick Lefevere and those guys can forget it.”

Held annually in late September, Levi’s King Ridge Grand Fondo is the most popular granfondo in the United States. This year’s addition was attended by top pro riders such as Kristin Armstrong, Tom Danielson, Craig Lewis, Lucas Euser and others.

Lefevere hurt by fondo snub.

“I had Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey there but now there’s no chance they’ll ever get to hang with him like I do,” said Leipheimer. “I was gonna invite the Omega folks but screw them. They could be riding the wine country and coastal roads of Sonoma county but instead next year they’ll be in flat, ugly, rain-soaked Belgium.”

The US Anti-Doping Agency gave Leipheimer a six month suspension for his admissions to using performance enhancing drugs in the past, including blood transfusions as recently as 2007. Within days, his Omega Pharma Quickstep team reacted by sacking him.

“I could take the high road, maybe bar them from the Gran and Medio routes but let them join in on the 35 mile Piccolo option. But I’m in no mood to be generous,” said Leipheimer. “I told Hincapie not to let them in his GranFondo, either.”

Leipheimer is also in talks with former RadioShack teammate Chris Horner about closing his granfondo to any participation by Omega Pharma Quickstep staff and personnel. “We’re in discussions — Chris and I don’t always see eye to eye but solidarity is important,” said Leipheimer. “I’m optimistic we’ll shut the door on them.”

Reached for comment, the team board represented by Mr Bessel Kok and team manager Mr Patrick Lefevere issued a short statement to the press. “We are disappointed in Mr. Leipheimer’s actions in not letting us ride his GranFondo. We are investigating our legal options on gaining entry and will reserve further comment until then.”

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  • Ken

    I bet a Spanish team will pick him up. There is no ethics in Spain. 7500 people …. Interesting. Is Leipheimer German???

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      I don’t know what Levi will do. Not a lot of options, I think. A Spainish team would look really bad post USADA. think he’s going to retire now. Matt

  • http://www.facebook.com/pinkygrip Garóg Holohan

    I find it ironic that OPQS have mad love for a guy who was caught with his hand in the powder jar and see fit to steamroll someone for past doping violations. Obviously coke and EPO are different things but it does seem a little biased.

    That said, amid all the Cavendish rumours, it does seem like a convenient loss for the team if it frees up a rider spot and the (presumably) high salary Leipheimer was commanding. Surely not.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      More than convenient. It wasn’t a case of ethics and morals, it’s was, hey, now we have the money to sign Cav! Matt

  • http://twitter.com/jamesaub7 james aubuchon

    I RECENTLY VIEWED THE DOCUMENTARY THE LEVI EFFECT, LEVI REPEATEDLY SAID THE FONDO WAS NOT ABOUT HIM, WELL I GUESS IT’S ALL ABOUT HIM !!!!!!

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      James, this is Twisted SPoke, baby. The Onion of CYcling News. That was just a joke story we concocted. But I do love the Levi GranFondo. Rode it this year again and it’s an awesome event. Matt

  • http://twitter.com/TeaWitch Elysia

    So he doesn’t have any problem feeding Lance to the wolves but when they take a bite out of him he cries fowl, stomps his foot, and gets even. Now there’s some sportsmanship of which to be proud. What an ass.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      Girl, as I said to James, this story was a hoax we concocted for our amusement and that of others. We just go for comedy. Matt

    • Matt

      Levi has a very very dry very sarcastic sense of humor. Sometimes its hard to tell that hes joking

      • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

        I hope to interview Levi in depth sometime and then we’ll see just how dry he is. Matt

  • Vitaly Gashpar

    Hahahaha! Hilarious, thanks for the laugh! Great satire.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      Vitaly — glad to knew it was satire. SOme didn’t. Matt