A lot of comment seems to think that Landis is acting in reaction to Armstrong in some way, which is preposterous, when you think about it. Lance's choice is pretty much a bolt from the blue, where Landis has been training and planning what he'd be able to do ever since the case at CAS was concluded.
The IHT/AP confirms rumors that Floyd Landis is in negotiations with Health Net-Maxxis . Landis himself did not return calls or emails to reporters, but team director Mike Tamayo confirmed negotiations are ongoing:
"We are in negotiations with Floyd Landis to ride for the team in 2009, but we do not as of yet have a signed contract," team director Mike Tamayo said at the Tour of Missouri on Wednesday.
Landis' suspension ends Jan. 30, 2009, and it's no surprise that the 32-year-old cyclist intends to come back. Since his positive test rocked the cycling world in 2006, he has been on the sideline, fighting and losing the case at every level, trying to make ends meet and seeking a return.
Floyd Landis' hometown newspaper,Lancaster Online, also writes about his possible return to competitive road cycling. Attempts to get comment from Landis and/or his parents have thus far been unsuccessful.
Even though the rumors have not been confirmed by Health Net or anyone connected with Landis, The CyclingNews this morning says that Floyd Landis has signed with them for next year:
USA's Floyd Landis, 32, will make his return to professional cycling after a two-year suspension with the team currently sponsored by Health Net-Maxxis, under a new title sponsor for 2009, sources confirmed with Cyclingnews. The team, run by Momentum Sports Group, has also re-signed many of its current riders, including two-time NRC champion Rory Sutherland, current USA cyclo-cross champion Tim Johnson and Karl Menzies.The Smith and Nephew connection to this possible signing remains speculative:
"I cannot confirm or deny it," said Momentum's sponsorship director, Thierry Attias, regarding Landis' signing. However numerous other sources familiar with the team confirmed that the agreement is in place, with the new title sponsor's agreement forthcoming. Sources have said the new sponsor is from the health care industry. This aligns with current speculation that Smith & Nephew, makers of Landis' artificial hip and sponsor of his mountain bike endurance racing, is a possible title sponsor.
PEZ says it is a two-year contract, which is something of a surprise to us. Necessary to secure sponsorship?
Potholes and Roadapples comments on the Landis to Health Net-Maxxis story published in the CyclingNews this AM.
Shut Up and Go Ride also writes about the possible Landis to Health Net story.
Biking Bis is over the alleged signing of Floyd Landis to the Health Net-Maxxis cycling team. Thanks for the blurb.
Powered By Poptarts says, "Welcome Back, Floyd!"
Simply Palaver, on the other hand, says, "who cares?" Well, there's readers here, for a few.
The Unofficial Jens Voight Fanclub says, "good for him, he'll get to test out that bionic hip "
Scott Bergen says of the Tour:
Floyd Landis will be eligible to ride in it after his two year ban will have expired. I still feel that Landis was innocent of the charges levied against him but a dramatic storyline will be if a team will take a shot at hiring him, if he was able to keep his form and competitive edge, and if his replacement hip will allow him to ride on form.
More likely he'll prove himself on the domestic circuit before the Euro-centric teams take a chance.
Sightline Daily ref's Landis's 232w average at the tour in an article that explains why riding on the road instead of in a car is "greener" than trying to coax electricity out of stationary bikes at a gym.
Ride Hard Keep the Wheels down (good advice we shoulda remembered), heard about Lance and looked into the other "L" Landis and remains dubious, having come upon the Berry article.
For the record, Landis has never been quoted as uttering the phrase "one armed man" in the context of his case.
Being the armchair cyclist unfortunately provides the position of judge, jury & executioner. As such probably alot of people have already dropped their hammer in a way the doesn't favor Floyd.
[J]ust read it for what it's worth ..... and as I read in another article you might wonder if Floyd got Richard Kimbled (reference... Harrision Ford, The Fugitive) in this one.
Bicycle.net, now rarely putting out the tastelessly funny illustrations, has its own confirmations of Landis to HealthNet, and starts referring to the team in the sponsor-less form of Momentum. For old times' sake, it shows us Stage 17 video. It also runs a piece on L and L, saying of Floyd:
So apparently he’s coming back to team Healthnet-Maxxis, which will be called something else by the time he arrives. The team apparently has a new title-sponsor but has yet to unwrap the name for us. Rumors are that it is the company that built Floyd’s artificial hip. Whatever.
The main curiosity, perhaps, will be whether this team remains a domestic Pro team, racing primarily in U.S. events (ala Tyler Hamilton with Rock Racing), or whether they will use Landis as the launchpad to compete in major European races.
To gain an early view as to how this might play out, we’ll watch carefully which riders announce in coming weeks and months that they’re signing on with the team temporarily known as Healthnet-Maxxis.
It’s safe to say his return will not have the repercussions for the sport that Lance’s return will have. It has more of a return-of-Tyler Hamilton feel to it. The sport will have back another of its black-hats, but one we can’t help but like. He’s done his time, so we can quit debating whether he did the crime. We wish him all the best luck back in the peloton.
We might hope for that general reception, but there are a lot of people who do carry a grudge...
For example, the Smack Caster talks smack about Landis' possible return. Odds and Sods too. And the Money Sack looks back and says:
The low point in my blogging career happened a few months back when I spent an entire day on Floyd Landis. I hated myself for it and you all hated me even more.
(That would be July 1st, where he gave Landis the middle finger. The feeling is probably mutual.)
Racejunkie, master of the run-on sentence, thanks us for passing the news (which we didn't break, and remain cautious) about Landis, and says,
[T]he likely post-ban return of kangaroo-courted lab-chimp victim Floyd Landis with American squad HealthNet Maxxis, while, if not quite his old gig at Phonak, sure gives us broke-!@# US-bound saps a chance to see some riders worth watching.
So, that's what it all was -- a cunning plan to beef up the talent on the domestic schedule for the benefit of us Pabst drinking spectators. Thanks!
Connexions isn't for Armstrong, and thinks all doping bans should be for life, and so isn't pleased about Landis.
EverymanTri is having a poll asking who will win if both Landis and Lance show up at the '09 Tour. We'll take "this is a silly question."
The IOL (South Africa) turns the routine AFP wire reports into something extra with a headline that speculates whethere Landis will join Armstrong's team. The Telegraph (UK) does the same thing. (Look for joint ownership). Don't hold your breath on that one, unless someone offers Landis a boatload of money.
Bicycle World writes,
Landis on the other hand has everything to lose. He has a family to feed, a reputation to rebuild and demons to exercise. Win and Floyd gets the opportunity to prove the system wrong. The system that took what should have been the best year of his life and brought it to a skidding halt. Lose and he will forever hear “I told you so”.