Tour Down Under 2009
Liz Kreutz interview
The woman who is photographing the comeback to racing of Lance Armstrong
Liz Kreutz was in Adelaide for the first race at the Tour Down Under, in Lance Armstrong's comeback year. She was easy to pick whilst out on the road, wearing a bright pink moto helmet for protection whilst riding pillion and capturing images of the racing. Kreutz is amiable and entertaining, she's also a Texan and has known Lance Armstrong for about 15 years.
The first race of the season was a shock to the system for everyone involved. The riders 'found' their legs and the photographers rediscovered the 'joy' of processing and uploading pictures until late in the evening. Kreutz was there too, amongst it, processing, posting, having a chat with fellow photographers and journalists in the oasis of calm which was the media centre once the frenzy of meeting initial post-stage deadlines had passed.
Check out her documentary of the comeback on www.LizKreutz.com
is a independent photojournalist, specialising in sports photograph based
WCN: Can you give us some back ground on you, the personal side?
“I am from
WCN: Do you specialise in any particular sport?
“I cover all sports and it is
primarily what I do but I also do documentaries too. I try to show the
personality of the sport with my own flavour on it.”
WCN: How did you get involved with Lance and the Foundation?
“Lance and I were friends
before he had cancer and then when he was diagnosed in October 1996, all
his friends and his good friend John Korioth, had a Race for the Roses to
raise money. I volunteered and really enjoyed being involved so when Lance
formed the Foundation, his good friend John Korioth was the Director and
CEO and they asked me to be the second employee. I did PR, fund raising, I
was in charge of the Peloton project which kind of morphasised into the
whole Livestrong big fund raising event. Now there are 80+ employees and I
am still involved in the photography and it is special to be involved in
WCN: What will the photographs that you re taking be used for?
“First of all I am documenting
the year, we are good friends, I used to be the Discovery Team
photographer. I have travelled the world shot four Tour de France races,
have a sports photography business in
I a capturing is the personal side, the human side, he is just like me and
you. He communicates with his kids on ‘I chat’. I took some shots of
him doing that and cutting his hair. So just random stuff. I shot him
working out in the gym, really showing the focus and the dedication he is
putting in to this year. I want to show people that may have some doubts
about how serious he is that he is really back. After this race too,
people are seeing he is back and he is serious.”
WCN: Will you follow Lance when he is at home as well as racing?
“I am basically on his
schedule, where he goes I do, and luckily he is going back to see his
kids, I can get back to see my husband, it works out good for both of us.
I was happy to hear that in between the training camp and the Tour of
WCN: As one of the few women photographers in the world doing this full time, in what is a very male dominated job, how do you find the working environment?
“Well, we are definitely the
minority here, I feel the respect is there, you put in your time and you
are out there just doing the job like the men, it is just like anything
else. We are women and you just have to fight a bit, most of the
photojournalists are great and respect the job we are doing and see the
product we are putting out. They are very respectful and we are all
friends that’s what makes it a great place to be. We are here to do a
job and we help each other out, we are friendly and we see each other all
over the world, it is a little community. The cycling world has it’s own
community, the photographers are the same, it is fun to make friends and
get to know people. It isn’t so glamorous when you are in the trenches,
you have good days and bad days and it is nice to have people who
understand what you are going through the same. I call it the circus.”
WCN: Do you see a different reaction to you in different countries around the world?
“I am in a very special situation, I think people know that I am
Lance Armstrong’s photographer and I do get other access. Some people
might say ‘why is Liz behind the ropes,’ well I am Lance’s
photographer. It makes sense, I respect everybody and I respect the
position out on the road. I am doing a job and I have the same guidelines
to live by that everyone else does. I respect that and we are all
professional. At the same time I am with him before and after the races
too. I am getting images that other people are not getting. I am getting
exclusive access. Most people get it, it is what it is.”
WCN: When this year is done, are you going to take some time out for yourself?
“I thought I was going to take
some time off after the Olympics. I told my husband after the four weeks
Despite the demands on his time, Lance Armstrong was happy to give WCN an exclusive few moments to talk about the work that Liz is doing for him and the Livestrong organisation.
Armstrong: “I don’t want to talk about her,” Lance joked. “First of all she is like a sister to me, on a lot of levels she is
a personal friend, a trusted ally and I think the key word there is right
there, I trust her. She is not with me 24 hours a day but she is with me a
lot. She is with my kids a lot and the team a lot and so I think it is
cool to show, to give people an inside look into what it is like. In the
past people have had this perception that I am this robotic athlete that
didn’t do anything else and she brings that out of me and at the end of
the day, when nobody is paying attention I am one of the biggest
goofballers in the world and she is able to capture that better than most
you to Liz and Lance for their time.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
Want to contact WomensCycling.net?
The WomensCycling.net email address is
To contact the webmaster, the address is :
Type this address into the "To" line of a new email message in your email programme.
The WomensCycling.net email address is displayed as a graphic in order to reduce the amount of 'spam' email received from programmes which 'crawl' the internet for sites with addresses displayed in text and then overwhelm that address with junk, or even forge the address in junk messages that they generate and send to others. Sorry for any inconvenience this approach causes you.
WomensCycling.net 2004 - 2009©