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Back home again in Temecula: Floyd Landis interview

By Tim Maloney

Cyclingnews sat down with USPS rider Floyd Landis on the eve of the San Francisco Grand Prix for a brief chat, where the talented, outspoken young rider told CN that he would be back at USPS for the next two seasons.

Photo: © Frank Wong
Click for larger image

Cyclingnews: Floyd, now that you are back in the US, have you been listening to much ZZ Top?

Floyd Landis: No, in fact not only am I burned out on ZZ Top. Not that I don't like it anymore, but I actually left the CD on the (USPS team) bus. Hopefully we'll have the same bus next year so I don't have to go out and buy a new ZZ Top disc! I have been listening to the new Bruce Springsteen and just the radio. I don't care what they play; I just like to hear people, as long as they're speaking English, I'm as happy as can be! That's good for me. I watched the Osbournes, that was a wasted half-hour of my life. It was entertaining but I certainly wouldn't watch it for years. It was funny; I had a couple of good laughs but there haven't been any big revelations on the TV side since I've been away.

CN: So you are enjoying being home?

FL: For sure. I've been home a few weeks now and it's good to be back with my family. My daughters in kindergarten now so I can walk down the street with her to school in the morning. It's nice, she loves it!

CN: Most daddys can't do that.

FL: Yeah, you're right, I have the luxury of that now, but on the other hand, most daddys don't have go away for 8 months either. Hopefully next year, my wife Amber and my daughter Ryan will spend more time in Spain. That's the plan anyway.

Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

CN: How are you feeling now?

FL: Still feeling pretty fit; I've been riding last week but before that when I came home from Spain (after the GP Eddy Merckx) I needed some rest. When you go home, it sort of gives you a new lease on the season. No more stress, I'm happy. Riding's fun 'cuz it's your hometown roads and people you haven't seen in a while and you have other things to think about besides racing so it ends up better for your fitness. I still feel good on my bike.

CN: How is your new place? (in Temecula, California)

FL: We've been in there since January so it isn't new exactly, but I've only been there a couple of weeks. It's new and it's nice! In Girona (Spain), I can't ride up to my garage and just hit the button and ride straight in. In Spain I have an apartment on the 2nd floor so it's just not the same. I have to take an elevator, so it's just nice to be home where everything is so big and there is so much space!

CN: How have your training rides changed in Temecula?

FL: Not that much; it's not that far from where I lived before in San Diego, so a lot of the roads are the same. I used to ride east (towards Temecula) because I lived by the coast before. Now I just ride the other direction and most of the roads I know really well.

Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

CN: Are you going to be practising your wheelies in the off-season?

FL: (Laughs) I'm trying to cut back on that! The last thing I need at this point in my life is to get injured, so every once in a while, when somebody asks I might do one, but...

CN: Now that you are back in the USA, have you noticed that people recognise you more since the Tour de France? What's the effect of being part of the NY Yankees of Cycling?

FL: Yeah, at the races I've been to, like coming here (to SF), I notice that more people know 'Floyd Landis, Bike Racer'; it's hard to say I've been gone for a long time. It may be people I haven't seen for a long time or some of them maybe I just forgot who they were! (laughs). My life hasn't changed, there are no paparazzi at my house like Lance, thankfully!

CN: What does the rest of your season look like, Floyd?

FL: Next week, I am going to go to the Univest Grand Prix in Soudertown, Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia. I can't race but I will lead a public ride. My family is from around there so that will be great. Then I'll race the following week in Miami for the PCT final race and that will be that for the season. I'll still ride my bike; I like to ride my bike and stay in shape in the off season. That way I can eat more burritos! I have no desire to eat any pasta, just burritos and enchiladas and the occasional In & Out Burger and ice cream. American food, it's Mexican style but it is really American.

CN: What's coming up for you next season?

FL: I'm working on finalising the details, but I'll be staying at US Postal Service for the next two years. For me, for my career, USPS is the best thing and I'm really looking forward to working with Lance more. It's been good for me. I really don't know what my 2003 program will be, but it's safe to assume that it will be similar to this season. Johan (Bruyneel) probably hasn't had much time to sit down and work on next years program.

Floyd departed our interview with words to his fans, saying "take a break with me and hang in there," heading off to some public relations function for the USPS team in SF, where he finished a respectable 14th.