What an amazing performance. Truly, this is one for the ages. And now Floyd Landis is set to cruise into Paris tomorrow with his first Tour de France win.
Not that the press seems to have noticed.
If you haven’t been following things, Landis seemed to be in cruise control up until Wednesday, when he turned in one of the legendary bonks in race history. For whatever reason, he just didn’t have it, and wound up with one of the most colossal collapses we’ve ever seen. After the race, nobody gave him a chance to win. Unanimous. It was over.
All of which seemed to make him mad. So one day after his monumental choke, he sacked up and produced what may be the greatest single comeback effort ever, making up something like eight minutes to pull within 30 seconds of the lead. If you don’t follow cycling (and I’m not really an expert here) I don’t quite know what to compare it to. Maybe it’s like making up two miles with three to go in a marathon or something. It’s just not done. Cycling is a team sport and you need the cooperation of others to be successful. On Thursday Landis just took off on his own, very early in the race, and turned a team stage into a grueling individual mountain time trial.
Today, in the final meaningful stage of the race, he beat the former race leader by a minute and a half, giving him an insurmountable 59 second lead going into tomorrow’s final stage.
Stunning. Just stunning.
By the way, what is it with American Tour de France winners and medical issues, anyway?
- As we all know, Lance Armstrong was on the verge of death from testicular cancer and came back to win seven Tours in a row.
- Greg Lemond won in 1986, then survived a life-threatening hunting accident to come back and win in 1989 and 1990.
- Landis is going to have to have his hip replaced after the Tour.
Feck. Don’t we have any healthy guys who can win a race?