Floyd theories

Super Floyd Photo by Eric ReaganThe reaction to Floyd Landis' mid-Tour annoucement of his dead hip seems to be mixed between awe and questioning Floyd's timing? Is this superhero Floyd unmasking his secret powers, i.e. Super Floyd? Or is Floyd preparing for a fall? Or is he preparing the Floyd Mythos in advance of joining the ranks of Greg Lemond (shotgun shot to back) and Lance Armstrong (cancer) that is required of American cyclists that win the Tour?

There would probably be less opinionating if Landis' stated reason did ring so false, which was that he wanted to get the information out there before it came out in other ways -- his hip didn't die yesterday. The worst-spirited speculation states that Phonak is just pre-excusing Landis prior to any poor performance in the mountains. I don't think it's Landis' intention to suck in the mountains, so that reasoning doesn't hold much water with me, even if Floyd does end up sucking in the mountain.

What rings more true with me are two reasons:

  • Screwing with his opponents
  • Raising awareness of his Floyd Landis Foundation while the spotlight is bright on the Tour.

Can you just imagine Floyd pulling along side another rider on a climb, taking his bad leg out of the pedal, and saying, "Look: I'm beating you with one leg."

The litlte psychological messing-with-their-heads scenario works for me because of this 2006 Paris-Nice anecdote from Landis' Outside Magazine interview:

The crux moment arrived in Stage 6, on the way to Cannes. Halfway into the race, a group of 19 broke away, and none of the other teams were willing to help Phonak chase them down. With the gap widening and the race becoming dangerously unstable, Landis decided to send a message.

At the base of a climb, he ordered his team to the front and told them to go full throttle. They blasted for three, five, ten minutes, and when everyone behind was gasping and hurting, Landis turned to address the peloton.

"You want more of that, motherfuckers?" he asked loudly. "Because if you do, we've got plenty."

The race went smoothly the rest of the way. After it ended, I asked Chechu Rubiera, a former teammate of Landis at U.S. Postal, if Floyd had reminded him of anyone in particular at that moment. Rubiera just smiled.

Super Floyd Photo by Eric Reagan, http://cyclingshots.blogspot.com

related articles: Tour de France 2006
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