August 15, 2006
Landis responds to Phonak shutdown
Floyd Landis has responded to the end of the Phonak team with an open letter on his website.
Landis thanks his team and praises team owner Andy Rihs for his commitment to the squad “despite the struggles you've faced in the past.”
While the recent allegations against me hurt us all, I respect the fact that the Phonak team must follow its own rules and charter under these circumstances. I just wish that all the parties involved would do the same. Despite this, I will not relent on my pursuit of the truth. I will not shy away from this fight.
Most of all, I understand that this situation impacts families and friends other than my own. It affects the businesses and sponsors that support cycling as well as the sport itself. It is for this reason that I am determined to show that I followed the rules and won fairly and cleanly. There is a greater integrity at stake here than just my own.
The signature? “Floyd Landis, 2006 Tour de France Champion.”
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Cycling is a horrible sport. Contenders who enter races are filled with arrogance and pride. I've been around many professional riders and they carry themselves with a "better than you" attitude. Floyd is not one of those. He is being setup by the evildoers in the cycling world. It's time to clean up the overblown egos from the sport.
Posted by: Roger Feenstra at Aug 16, 2006 10:23:04 AM
> It's time to clean up the overblown egos from the sport.
Does the UCI have a test for that?
Posted by: matthew at Aug 17, 2006 8:35:08 PM
This is a reply to Roger Feenstra's comment that cycling is a "horrible sport" full of riders with "arrogance and pride." (I know, he said Floyd isn't one of those...but as one who both felt the arrogance and later *had* it, I felt an explanation might help). As a former Category 1 rider in the 70s and 80s, I feel that some explanation for the arrogance and pride that Roger takes exception to might help. When I was racing there was very little professional presence in American cycling. I rode in Southern California and everyone but a few had full time jobs. I started racing as a Category 4 in 1974. In order to advance, one had to place in either the top 6 six times, or the top 3 three times, or some combination of the two. I put in 15000 miles or more a year into training. That means at least two hours on the bike everyday, and as much as five or six hours on the weekends, if there was no race. Every day. Day after day. Rain, wind, cold, heat, it didn’t matter. Ride the bike, ride the bike, ride, the bike: Coppi’s formula for success. It was a hard sport, and success came to those who worked for it. I went from Category 4 to Category 1 in two seasons. To be successful at that level required a tremendous amount of dedication. Sure, we’re all a bunch of obsessive compulsives, but we focused that on training and discipline. I felt that arrogance and pride directed at me, until, that is, I became one of them. Winning and placing in road races, typically 60 to 125 miles of hard riding. It was an elite group. I was proud to be a member of that elite group. I, too, had pride and arrogance, and I’m not ashamed to say it. Most people aren’t willing to do what we had to do to get there. We’d look at weekend riders and smile to ourselves. We knew what it took, and it wasn’t just throwing money at an expensive bike and wheeling it out of the garage on the weekend that did it. It was hard work, pure and simple. So in order to make the professional ranks, well, it would take a level of dedication and talent that went even beyond what I’ve (poorly, I’m sure) described. It’s not for everyone.
Posted by: James Morehouse at Aug 18, 2006 7:49:10 PM
I feel sorry for Floyd. I just don't see it as part of his character to be a doping participant. It just doesn't seem to fit. Also noted that after his hip replacement, he probably won't be able to compete. Could this be a case of anti-american bias due to the ongoing criminal war in Iraq? Perhaps... if this is true maybe our best athletes should join foreign teams.
Posted by: tim at Aug 21, 2006 11:17:50 PM