Read it here: nytimes.com
We all know the story. At least the high points.
Or low points. Kinda depends on your point of view.
…Landis came from behind to win one of the hardest stages of the 2,272-mile race. He brazenly dumped the rest of the peloton and then rode ferociously for hours, mostly uphill, leaving everyone behind. Landis, who started his career racing mountain bikes, was heralded as a gritty rider with a superhuman ability to endure. His Tour victory was deemed to be the most exciting in years, if not decades.
And then he fell. Or maybe he’d already fallen. With Landis, it’s virtually impossible to know whether he earned his way into hell or was thrown there without a lick of fairness.
Fell, fallen, tripped, thrown. What’s the difference? He’s down either way. The question is how does he get back up.
Four days after his Tour victory, race officials announced that the urine sample he’d given following his mighty comeback showed a suspicious imbalance in his body’s testosterone. He became the first Tour winner to be hit with charges that he had doped during the race. And though he denied it immediately, Landis went from being lauded as the next great American cycling hero, heir to Lance Armstrong’s lordly throne, to an international subject of scorn, the butt of late-night television jokes and an example of everything that is wrong with cycling, with sports and maybe with humanity in general.
Yeah, it was a fucking train wreck. Still is. Don’t even get me starting on what is now apparently called “the Will thing”. In a word: Shameful. In two words: Fucking stupid.
He’s well screwed, even if the arbitration panel clears him. He’s been out a year, missed all the lucrative post-Tour victory endorsement and appearance contracts. I’ll bet they flowed him the $220 entry for Leadville, but come the fuck on – that guy missed out on a boatload of money. He’ll never get it back.
What’s next for our boy Floyd? Fall on you sword and sign with Vaughter’s squad? Race various ultra-endurance events around the US for a pittance? Motivational speaker? Home Depot’s tile department?
One thing I might need to clarify in this little ditty: When they refer to Landis back “in 1999, when he was a nobody bike racer making $30,000…”
A domestic pro making 30k is well ahead of the field. I know guys that raced pro domestically for a $1,000 a month and some running around money. Or less. You want to talk about “nobody” racers… Shit. I’ve heard stories about guys who represented this country in the Olympics who are so fucking broke they hit convenience stores on their training rides to drink the little cups of coffee creamer and eat sugar packets. Guys who have won big domestic races who eat an apple for lunch because they have nothing. Guys who need to win at least one prime to get gas money for the drive home.
Seriously. Rep’n Low Cash to the fullest.
30k does not a nobody racer make.by