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An interview with Floyd Landis, January 27, 2005
Floyd Landis has just returned from his new team Phonak's training camp in Majorca, Spain where, according to Landis, the team showed its confidence and commitment to the coming season. Although feeling the stress of uncertainty throughout the off-season, Floyd says he is now looking forward to the season and feeling good on the bike. In the coming week the team will learn whether or not it will be accepted to this years Tour de France and once that has been determined the team's and Landis's schedule will be finalized.
Since returning to the states Landis has been busy with a side project, the Floyd Landis Power Camp. The camp is a chance for weekend racers or recreational cyclists to ride with Floyd and with the Saris Powertap, while information gathered by the Powertap is analyzed by Dr. Allen Lim. Dr. Lim is a leading expert on training with power and has coached many professional cyclist and national team members. The camp is based in Temecula, California, which provided some great weather and even better country roads. After the second day of camp Cyclingnews' Jonathan Devich had a chance to sit down with Floyd to catch up on his recent happenings.
Cyclingnews: How was the Phonak camp?
Floyd Landis: It was good, team morale was good considering all the BS that's gone on.
CN: So the attitude was good?
FL:: I think everyone was really motivated, probably more than normal. They want to show them that they made the wrong decision but that's no reflection on the strength of the team. Obviously the team is good and the organization is good.
CN: The team hired a new director sportif this year, Juan Fernandez. Had you met him before?
FL: No I didn't know him before, this was the first time. He speaks Spanish and doesn't speak English so we are limited to what I know but it's enough, we can function. He's good, a lot of experience, he's open to whatever comes along just to make the most of it. Obviously the beginning was stressful but everyone is resolved to make it work now, all the new guys too.
CN: Knowing that everybody is committed to this year what is the team going to focus on? You don't what is going to happen yet with the Tour so…..?
FL: We'll know what's going to happen in a week though so it will be a lot easier to plan after that, we can't assume anything yet. At least we'll know by the end of January and we can plan everything after that.
CN: What about your season ahead? Are you planning ahead for anything yet?
FL: You can't arrange things around the Tour until you know you're in but assuming we do we'll focus on that 100%. If not then I don't know yet, we're just hoping we do and if not we'll come up with a plan B at that point.
CN: If you do go to the Tour do you have any idea what your schedule will be like?
FL: I'll probably do Murcia, Criterium International and then I'll come home for a couple weeks before going to the Tour de Georgia. That's the plan so far. I think when doing the Tour it's best to ease into the season. Last year I tried racing hard all year and it worked out, but it's too hard, too much stress to do it again. Yeah I'm excited about the Tour de Georgia. I did it two years ago when I was getting ready for the Tour and had a good time.
CN: So Phonak will send a good squad with you for that [TDG]?
FL: Yeah we'll have a good team there.
CN: How about winter preparations so far, has everything being going all right?
FL: It was stressful in November and December because I didn't know what was going on with the team but other than that my training is fine. I raced up until the Vuelta so I didn't do a lot heading into winter but know it's time to start doing more.
CN: So how did the Powertap camp come about?
FL: Well it's partly a promotion for me and partly for Saris and Powertap. We didn't know what the interest might be and we thought we might have to bail on the whole thing because we didn't know how many people would sign up. But it seemed like something fun to do so far it's been fun and hopefully at the end we can get some good feedback from people.
CN: Do you train regularly with the Powertap?
FL: Yeah I've used it for the past three years and they've been refining it a lot. They have made it reliable and it's practical too for people who have more than one bike and want to switch wheels between bikes. It's something you have to use a lot for the numbers to have any value. It's not something you can look at once and have it tell you what kind of shape your in.
CN: So you can come into the camp with the experience of having used the Powertap and give advice.
FL: I can tell these guys what I've learned from it and Allen Lim knows the science behind it. I think it's good for them.
CN: David [Cathcart] was telling me a little about you and the wind tunnel, what's going on with that?
FL: We spent some time there on the time trial bike because it's a new team now and new bike so I want to make sure the fit is right. It's take a lot of time in there to get information because the small changes are such minute things that I'm working on but we changed my position, not a whole lot. We still have to make it functional so I can pedal, you can't just find the best position because that probably isn't very practical. But it was good and I think we learned some things. We'll do it again once I ride the bike a little and get used to it.
CN: You haven't done this before?
FL: No I never have. It was my idea; I took it into my own hands. I want to make sure it's right. We'll learn what we can from the wind tunnel and the turn it into real life application so it's going to take some time. It's fun to do though; it's fun to see all the numbers.
Campers at the Floyd Landis Power Camp were also having fun seeing the numbers. After each ride Dr. Lim conducted an evaluation of the ride and sat down individually with campers to see where they might make improvements. Max heart rate, lactate thresholds and power outputs are a few things fully documented and analyzed. Campers came from all over the US and Canada to see just these facts and figures.
After the camp Landis hopes to spend a little more time in the wind tunnel before starting his European campaign. The Tour de France is definitely a priority but if that doesn't happen both Floyd and Phonak will keep their chin up and set other goals for the season.
See also: The camp, Floyd Landis: making the best it, Floyd: Worried but optimistic, Landis: More than the Tour, On track for 2004,