First Edition Cycling News for July 25, 2006
Edited by John Stevenson & John Kenny
Landis on Landis: "I'm just an ordinary guy"
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
Floyd Landis celebrates on the
Champs Elysees with team-mate Koos Moerenhout
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Phonak's Floyd Landis talked with reporters yesterday afternoon via a
teleconference from his happily undisclosed location in a hotel room in
Paris. One of the most popular topics was that of his upcoming hip surgery,
and how he thinks it will affect next year. "What I am trying to do is
not fix the mechanical problem, it is trying to fix the pain," Landis
explained. "Mechanically it works now, it is just that the pain can be
Landis said that he is confident he will be able to return to racing
in time for next season, and that the thought of this ending his racing
career has entered his mind. "What is going to take time is that I will
have to stop riding for a while, and whatever fitness or muscle loss will
be what I will have to overcome. Yeah, I would be sad if it was over now.
I love racing my bike. I can say that having won the Tour I am a little
more calm about it."
here for the full interview.
T-Mobile meets fans in Bonn
Mazzoleni, Rogers and Sinkewitz
Photo ©: Susan Westemeyer
German team T-Mobile returned to its home base in Bonn for a post-Tour
fans and media reception on Monday. Susan Westemeyer was there
for Cyclingnews to report on what was generally a successful Tour
for the magenta team.
It could have been better ... but it could have been a lot worse, too.
The Tour de France got off to what might politely be called a rocky start
for Team T-Mobile, what with its captain, another rider and the directeur
sportif being not only thrown out of the race but suspended from the team.
But it ended up with three stage wins, three days wearing the leader's
yellow jersey, the overall team ranking and, oh yes, the third place in
That third place seems to be a sticking point. Andreas Klöden ended
up on the podium in a race he initially expected to be a super-domestique
in, but despite that achievement he is left with a feeling of 'what if?'
"With a little luck, I could have done more," he said Monday at T-Mobile's
corporate headquarters in Bonn, Germany, at a reception for the Tour team.
The gathered fans didn't seem to care - they were happy to celebrate their
heroes. The crowd was perhaps a bit smaller than in past years, but just
here for the full story
Phonak manager proud
Phonak team manager Andy Rihs has written of his pride in his team's
and Floyd Landis' achievement in winning the Tour de France. The mood
among the team as Landis crossed the line in Paris was "indescribable,"
Rihs wrote in a team newsletter.
Landis, Rihs wrote, "knows how to work a spell on people, and he won
their hearts with his uncomplicated and very approachable style. I'm proud
of Floyd Landis and the entire team. What they did during the past three
weeks is enormous."
This year's Tour was only Phonak's third and Rihs charted the team's
increasing ambition and achievement over its brief career. "The first
year we were happy just to be a part of it," he wrote. "The next year,
we celebrated our first stage win, and this year, after taking another
stage win, we were also able to cheer together after achieving the biggest
goal, the overall win."
Despite having an American team leader and Tour winner and, next year,
an American sponsor in iShares, Rihs says the team "will remain a Swiss
team. For that reason, I not only hope that we'll be able to defend the
Tour de France title next year. I also hope that a top Swiss rider will
soon emerge from our team."
Bush congratulates Landis
United States President George W. Bush has congratulated Floyd Landis
on his Tour de France victory. Reuters reports that President Bush spoke
to Landis on Sunday evening and told him, "Everybody's proud of you. You
showed amazing strength and character."
Bush, himself a keen mountain bike rider, invited Landis and his family
to visit the White House.
Vandevelde's final impressions
By Hedwig Kröner in Paris
Christian Vandevelde (CSC) in stage
Photo ©: Jon Devich
A few minutes after Thor Hushovd achieved his victory on the Champs-Elysées,
coming full circle with his first win in the prologue three weeks ago,
a glowing Christian Vandevelde rode back across the finish line to search
for his team bus, looking very happy indeed.
"Every time is special; it always feels great," the CSC rider said about
finishing the Tour de France on the 'most beautiful boulevard in the world',
as the French call it. "Every Tour has its meaning to myself, and this
one has just been great as there's been so much adversity from the beginning.
First, with Ivan, then with Stuey's broken back, then Bobby... but then
Jens and Fränk won, and Carlos almost got on the podium. And now, things
that happened in the beginning seem like years ago. I can barely remember
the stage in Valkenburg; or when I crashed… ."
Considering the circumstances before and in the first week of the race,
Team CSC can be satisfied with this year's result in Le Tour: two stage
wins and Sastre's fourth placing. Nevertheless, said Vandevelde, his teammate
Jens Voigt would have wanted to be elected most combative rider - a title
that was finally was awarded to Saunier Duval's David de la Fuente. On
the final kilometres of the 'Grande Boucle', Voigt attacked over and over
again. "I think he was trying to make the point that he should be the
most combative rider... he feels robbed. I can understand it: he's done
a lot of work, and he deserved it," Vandevelde explained.
The last Sunday of the 2006 Tour started out at the leisurely pace of
30 km/h. But as the final circuit race approached, the bunch gradually
found its competitive spirit again, "Even though it's a parade, it's still
hard racing on the cobblestones of the Champs-Elysées," Vandevelde continued.
"There's usually a headwind, too. But seeing the Eiffel tower, and the
millions of people cheering you on make it easier; you don't feel too
As the overall winner Floyd Landis stepped on the final podium with the
Arc de Triomphe at his back, Vandevelde added, "Floyd impressed me with
the way he transformed his mind and physical abilities. When he started
out on the road, he was covered in bandages every day, crashing. He pushed
it very far then, and he's almost doing the same thing now, but at a different
Lemond comments on Landis win
by Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
The American media have been desperately flipping through their Rolodexes
to find expert analysis on the Tour win by Floyd Landis. ESPN's Cold
Pizza tracked down the first American Tour winner, Greg Lemond, while
he was vacationing with his family. When asked if the number of wins by
Americans in the last twenty years is a trend, Lemond replied, "It's pure
coincidence. We just had some talented individuals come into racing. But
what Floyd did was amazing."
Lemond was also asked why it seems that the Americans that win seem to
have to overcome great hurdles, with Lemond's hunting accident, Armstrong's
cancer and now Landis' hip, "I think anybody who has had a setback...
it shows your character," Lemond said. Lemond is also confident that Landis
will be able to come back from his upcoming surgery, citing a colleague
who had a hip replacement using a new technique, "He has the physiology
to be a Tour de France winner, he did it, and I think he will win many
more. I am optimistic he will be able to defend his title next year."
Lemond has certainly not hidden his feelings on Armstrong, and when asked
who would win today between Landis, him and Armstrong, Lemond at first
chuckled, "I am biased! I can't answer that, [laughs.]" But then Lemond
got a little more serious. "Every race is different. The race changed
dramatically this year. For me I am a strong anti-doping advocate. I think
we are seeing a true Tour de France winner, someone who might have otherwise
been cheated out of a win."
When asked if he was saying Lance's wins were tainted, Lemond said, "I
am not saying that. It goes back to the historical norms, where people
got tired and had bad days. It was common to have a bad day when I was
racing. I have been waiting for this period since 1998… The French riders
are competitive since 1998. They have a much harder dope testing in their
country. Watching a race that shows the human drama. I believe you can
do the TdF without drugs, you get tired, and the strongest win."
Kristen Armstrong Tour de Toona favourite
The second race in the Women's Prestige cycling series continues today
with the International Tour de Toona. The standings at the end of this
race will also determine the teams that will receive travel grants for
the CD&P Bermuda Grand Prix, the final race of the series.
Kristin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton) is the favourite to defend the Series
individual leader's jersey that she won at the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
Armstrong is having a strong Summer, winning two stages and the overall
at June's Nature Valley GP and the two US National Championships in July.
Second place is currently held by Armstrong's teammate Kori Seehafer
while third is held by last year's Series Champion, Christine Thorburn
(Webcor-Platinum), who is not racing this week. Thorburn's team-mate Erinne
Wilcock, currently in fourth, would need some help to challenge Armstrong's
lead, but her strong performance in winning the Joe Martin Stage Race
demonstrates that she's still a rider to watch for the overall.
Wilcock is also in a strong position win the best young rider award.
She secured the lead in this category with an impressive fifth place at
the Nature Valley GP. Her most likely competitor will be Katherine Carroll
(Victory Brewing), currently sitting in second place. Alex Wrubleski may
also move up the young rider standings. The newly crowned Canadian National
Champion won the BMC best young rider competition at Nature Valley.
Brooke Miller (PABW Powered by TIBCO) works to defend the sprinter's
jersey that she won at Nature Valley. Her competition should come from
the TEAm Lipton trio of Kristin Armstrong, Kori Seehafer and Laura Van
Gilder, currently holding second through fourth in this competition.
The lead in the team competition is currently held by TEAm Lipton with
Webcor-Platinum close behind. Without Thorburn, Webcor-Platinum will be
hard pressed to challenge Lipton, however, the team has two U26 riders,
Wilcock and Amber Rais, while Lipton has none. The Series team competition
offers bonus points to young riders, so Webcor-Platinum may be competitive
if both Wilcock and Rais ride well.
Tour of Britain Yorkshire stage announced
The Yorkshire stage of the Tour of Britain was announced yesterday, with
Bradford to host the start before the riders head up toward the Southern
Dales. The stage will take in the foothills of the Yorkshire Dales before
going through Pool and Harrogate and finish in Sheffield.
Bradford's Lord Mayor,Choudhary Rangzeb, said, "It is a great honour
for Bradford to be hosting the start of the Yorkshire stage of such a
prestigious race. The Tour of Britain is a thrilling spectacle and for
the people of the Bradford district this is the chance to be a part of
it and see the cyclists on their way to Sheffield. Bradford and the district
has a wonderful cycling heritage with many professional riders coming
from the area."
Jan Wilson, Sheffield City Councillor said, "Sheffield has a great track
record of hosting major sporting events and we are very pleased to be
staging the finish for the Yorkshire leg of the prestigious Tour of Britain
Cycle Race for the third year running.
Stage 1 - August 29: Scotland, Glasgow to Castle Douglas
Stage 2 - August 30: Northwest, Blackpool to Liverpool
Stage 3 - August 31: Yorkshire, Bradford to Sheffield
Stage 4 - September 1: West Midlands, (final route to be confirmed)
Stage 5 - September 2: Southeast, Rochester to Canterbury
Stage 6 - September 3: London, Greenwich to The Mall
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)