July 11, 2006
Watching the OLN recap (also noting that Trautwig is no longer annoying), they were all confused as to why Floyd announced his bad hip now. So am I. What's the angle to do it now?
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» Floyd Landis -- What is hip? from Biking Bis - Bicycle Touring and More
The news reports that Tour de France cyclist Floyd Landis had a deteriorated hip joint that would require hip replacement surgery intially drew a reaction of shock and awe.[Read More]
Tracked on Jul 11, 2006 2:45:04 PM
Great question about why now on the Landis hip replacement leak. Doesn't seem to make sense that the comment would be intended to excuse a tdf performance that didn't meet expectations.
Seems more likely to this cynic that the leak is intended to create uncertainty to any pro teams that may be trying to sign Landis away. But a leak like this wouldn't come from a DT or team staff...it would more likely come from a detached proxy. Interesting stuff.
Posted by: Jeff at Jul 11, 2006 7:09:24 AM
Just a wild guess - perhaps it's a fall back plan, that is, if something goes wrong, there's always that hip problem he can refer to :-) Why not just keep your mouth shut and keep racing?
Posted by: Nikolai at Jul 11, 2006 7:37:43 AM
clearly he's hoping to be this tour's tyler hamilton - but a busted hip doesn't show up as well as a busted collarbone when you unzip your jersey to show the bandage in the mountains. maybe he's just going to have to whip his shorts off?
hopefully he won't follow tyler the rest of the route ...
Posted by: fmk at Jul 11, 2006 8:01:08 AM
From what I gathered from the New York Times article, he was going to use the TDF this year as a platform to launch the "Floyd Landis Foundation" - apparently centered around hip (or maybe joint) replacement awareness/research. Think about it, what better time to start a charitable organization than when you're in the limelight. Sure, he could wait until after the Tour is over to announce it and he'd still be at the top of the cycling news stories, but he'll garner more time in the mainstream spotlight by doing it the second week of the tour. Then all of America catches the mainstream news story and says "holy cow" this guy is doing that race in France on bicycles that Lance Armstrong did. That's cool. Maybe we'll get green wristbands too?
Posted by: Eric at Jul 11, 2006 8:57:46 AM
i agree with eric's statement. i think it's to help capitalize the launch of his foundation. the coyle article is a good one. daniel coyle is one of the people that seems to get the sport right (thanks).
Posted by: frank at Jul 11, 2006 9:03:36 AM
Floyd doesn't strike me as one to think about "angles" on this kind of thing. He knew it was getting worse, and the operation was coming, so he did the NYT interview. The rest day seems a logical time to tell everyone else, not distract from a race day. And at this point, when he's looking good to win, but doesn't know how things will go in the mountains, it's just a statement of fact - not an excuse if things go bad, not an embellishment if he goes on to victory. And, as he said, he wanted the press to get the story right from the start. If he continues to shine, the microscope gets more intense, and it would've likely come out in one way or another, so why not take the initiative, get it out on a rest day, and concentrate on racing from here on out.
Posted by: Julie at Jul 11, 2006 9:04:12 AM
I speculated re this on my blog as the timing seems odd. The NYT Mag piece isn't scheduled to appear in print for some time but is now available online - that seems unusual to me.
Posted by: Marianne at Jul 11, 2006 9:23:51 AM
didn't see the oln bit.
floyd's clearly a tough guy. i don't know why now.
but i'm more confused by the fact that trautwig was perceived as not annoying.
Posted by: anon at Jul 11, 2006 9:28:56 AM
I'm going to have to go with anon on the Trautwig observation. Never seen him on TV (even on things other than TDF) when he wasn't annoying.
Posted by: Eric at Jul 11, 2006 9:33:17 AM
I think you're comment is right on. My wife's comment is that American viewers need an underdog, damaged hero to latch onto and Floyd's story about his hip and upbringing is one they'll get. The NYTimes article is very well written, as is the backgrounder I found from the LA times.
To Trautwig's annoyance factor, I'd mentioned that in a post on Bike Hugger, where he's ok this year, the whole crew seems to be clicking. He must be more comfortable with the sport and anchoring the coverage.
and, while I appreciate the ads that make the coverage, some of them after you see them 10 million times, really grate. Subway theater, the Flowmax boys, and Saab is no longer made from Jets. The Michelob commercials are a dreamy, cycling collage.
Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 11, 2006 9:43:53 AM
Trautwig's not annoying? You must be on some new meds (or I need some new ones), because that joker is like fingernails on a chalkboard. "So Bob, it seems like the racers all have tires on their wheels this year. Is that a new strategy?"
After the first few days of the Al & Bob Show, I've been watching/recording the early a.m. call of Ligget and Sherwen and eschewing Al & Bob.
Posted by: Erin at Jul 11, 2006 9:47:29 AM
I don't see Floyd as a type to hedge his bets and set up convenient excuses in advance, just in case his performance sucks. Or to try to get people to say, "ooh, isn't he courageous" when he rides in chronic pain. That just doesn't seem to be his personality.
Did they finally, finally can Kristin Gum? She had annoying down in spades. Haven't seen her this year, but I haven't watched the extended coverage at all.
Posted by: Nancy Toby at Jul 11, 2006 9:55:53 AM
Anon, Eric, Erin,
Now, Frank and I aren't planning on launching "Trautwig Hugger" or anything, but maybe I'm just more zen like and appreciative of the coverage this year (compare that to the inane Cutters), especially those new graphics and studio. Worst ever was Adrian Karsten (who I just googled and found killed himself after a tax evasion conviction).
Ya know, I actually liked Gum, and thought her woman on the street gigs were ok. A friend was at the tour, 2 years ago, met her and said she was really nice, cute bubbly, and that the camera definitely added 20 pounds.
Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 11, 2006 10:03:46 AM
Perhaps I'm being too hard on Al:
While the uplifted studio was above a cow pasture this week in weather well above 100 degrees, "it was attacked by a wave of fleas. (Host) Al Trautwig was being eaten by fleas as he was roasting alive."
Posted by: Eric at Jul 11, 2006 10:19:17 AM
Floyd is all about not making excuses. I think this is a bit of an intimidation move aimed against the rest of the GC contenders (and possibly a publicity move for his foundation — if he doesn't recover well from the hip replacement this is his last Tour). He is in debilitating pain and riding strong. Sort of a don't F with Floyd.
Posted by: Grant at Jul 11, 2006 10:19:23 AM
Totally and maybe that was his, "a good time to be in dark blazer's" jacket. And, that reference to their GPS girl. Also in the article, TDF beats NHL!!! Yes!
Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 11, 2006 10:30:04 AM
My guess on the timing of Floyd's announcement is that someone found out and was going to reveal it before he had the chance.
Posted by: Chris at Jul 11, 2006 10:58:33 AM
Still not sure about the motivation for the story to get out, but clearly it was calculated. The Times story/interview was conducted well before the Tour. It was a NYT Magazine story which means the schedule for this story was known in advance. My experience with magazines is that they usually inform the interviewee of the timing for the piece. My guess is that Floyd wanted to get the story out during the Tour, but planned this weeks ago. The rest day was the perfect time to get advance notice of the story so it doesn't come as a surprise when it hits the newsstand.
Posted by: Graham at Jul 11, 2006 11:06:49 AM
I think the coverage is excellent...just glad to be able to see so much of it. Thanks to OLN for doing it because I doubt it's a big cash cow. Al & Bob mix in very well with Paul & Phil. Anyone complaining about the coverage is simply whining. I'm just worried the coverage will be dropped soon and i'll have no sports to watch between the world cup & college football.
Posted by: JB at Jul 11, 2006 11:40:05 AM
Landis isn't in it for fame and fortune, that comes with winning the tour de France. He feels confident enought that he wants to bait other riders into attacking him and his "bad hip" in the mountains. I hope he's got the legs to back up his artifically swaggering hips. He might find that Cadel Evans, by far the superior climber, might suprise him, or Andreas Kloden, or any of the T-Mobile boys. This is going to be fun.
Posted by: Nuriel at Jul 11, 2006 12:08:23 PM