It was his first real race of any kind since last July and Floyd Landis finished an unofficial 49th, nearly 25 minutes behind the first-place finisher in a two-hour grind through the mountains of Vail.
The San Francisco Chronicle prints a piece from one of the hardest working reporters in sports the AP's Eddie Pells, who spoke to Floyd Landis about his tentative return to racing today at the Teva Mountain Games. Though upbeat, Landis still seemed to understand the reality of his life since the end of his USADA hearing two weeks ago. Keeping what has transpired in his life in perspective though, Landis realizes that his participation in the race this weekend is about prostate cancer which is a devastating disease. When asked about his plans for the immediate future Landis wryly answered:
"If I don't get a job soon, I'm going to lose my house," Landis said.
Later, he retreats a bit. He says he's still got enough money to live for a year and support his wife and daughter.
"But in no way am I going to go retire," said the 31-year-old cyclist. "I have to get a job if I want to keep my house. I don't know. That's the thing, I don't know."
He wants to work. He wants to make a living. He wants to do something he loves. He knows it will never be as easy as it once seemed.
"I'd imagine for the rest of my life, that's going to be the subject, so you might as well get used to it," Landis said. "I'm not going to let that change the decisions I make. It's going to be there whatever I do, unless I move to the middle of Mexico where nobody knows who I am."
"Which," he said with a laugh, "is also a possibility."
The VeloNews provides plenty of bad news for American cycling and its ever more difficult search for sponsorship in the wake of the Landis doping scandal and the other muck that is now the world of the pro peloton. Mainstream big newspaper writers like Phil Hersh and George Vescey loved cycling when Lance Armstrong was winning the Tour de France, but they now eschew it. Many companies who are potential sponsors are reading what they write, and like Discovery and CSC are leaving in droves.
The Star Tribune (registration may be required) posts a Gail Rosenblum story about secrets juxtaposed against the LeMond testimony and fallout during the Landis USADA hearings. In it she asks several therapists and life coaches on how, why, and when to reveal our deepest secrets. She specifically asks at least one of the experts, John Prin, a Minneapolis-based licensed alcohol and drug counselor, about the Landis case:
"There's a huge difference between Greg LeMond's secret and the secret Floyd Landis is accused of. LeMond is a victim, Landis a so-called perpetrator; one happened a long time ago, one is happening right now. One is low-stakes [LeMond]; one (Landis) is high-stakes because he's in danger of losing his reputation. One is secondary shame [LeMond]; one is primary shame, if proven to be true.
"LeMond has much less to lose. Floyd has everything to lose: the Tour title, his reputation as a cyclist. Professionally, I'm always going to encourage people to tell the truth. I think he should come clean . But from a personal point of view, I understand that the stakes are so high for him and I empathize with him. If I were him, I would do anything to cover this up."
Outside Blog gives us the scoop on Friday night's Everest Awards held as part of the Teva Mountain Games. Plenty of Red Bull and vodka was to be had, and Floyd Landis introduced the nominees for mountain biker of the year. Now that his hip is healed Floyd says he has no excuses if he fares badly in the 21-mile Nature Valley XC Mountain Bike Championships Saturday afternoon. In an update from this morning Tao Berman has finished the kayaking portion of the team competition with Floyd Landis cheering him on from the river bank. Landis will be competing this afternoon in the mountain bike portion of the race.
Rant has had it with cycling's "fair weather friends", and there are many. It is truly just a load of crap that cycling has led them down a garden path giving them the impression that cycling is "pure", when it's apparent that other sports have just as much, if not more, to feel shame about. Those writers should find something else to occupy their time and leave cycling to those who understand the enormity and implications of confessions like the one Bijarne Riis recently made.
Liberalpastor read the Star Tribune article above about secrets and asks should we share or not?
Chiperoni likes Google Maps Street Views and also mentions that even with the PED scandal following Floyd Landis' win at least year's Tour de France, Landis' former sponsor Phonak increased sales of its hearing aids.
onbeingashit makes note of responsibility and consequences and what happened to Will Geoghegan because of his actions.
PeckerheadQuarters writes a snarky little piece on the fictitious Peckerhead Invitational for the fight against drug abuse and or drug abuse allegations in cycling.
AgentHolly updates the Floyd Landis "Positively False" book tour with these added dates:
7/10/07 7:00 PM at Borders Books – North Michigan Avenue. Chicago, IL.
7/17/07 7:00 PM at Borders Books – Westwood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.
7/18/07 7:00 PM at Borders Books – South Lake Avenue. Pasadena, CA.