Landis’ Tour dreams over
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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Landis’ Tour dreams over

by Nick Mulder at 9:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Floyd Landis has lost all hope in returning to the Tour de France. The American won the overall classification in 2006 but saw his victory taken away after he was caught doping and consequently suspended for two years. Landis made his return to the US domestic racing scene this year with OUCH Pro cycling.

The 34 year old American had sworn to return to the Tour but even for Landis the road back seems to steep. In an interview with The New Zealand Herald, he said "I don't think it's a possibility next year, or ever, for that matter."

Landis is currently in New Zealand preparing for the Tour of Southland that starts tomorrow and ends five days later. In regards to teams, it is rumored Landis will follow fellow American Tony Cruz to Rock Racing in 2010. His chances of finding a team that rides the Tour are slim.

He told the paper, "I would need a team to invite me and they would have to be willing to take the risk that they wouldn't be used as some sort of... The UCI and Tour de France don't get on well at the moment and they like to use whatever they can, whatever pawns are in the middle, to try to make a point. Most teams are afraid of giving them any reason to make them the pawn."

Whether Landis will again defy the odds, like his legendary solo win on stage 17, is a question only he can answer. He endured two hard years that saw him undergo another surgery. "There were a lot of things that went on in those two years. One of them was my hip injury. [The surgery I had in October 2006 was] similar to a hip replacement and if it hadn't gone well, that would have been the main thing preventing me returning.”

But Landis drew on his motivation to pull him through the tough times. "I knew there would be a time when I would be allowed to race again. There were times when I wasn't particularly motivated to do so. There were other times when I enjoyed riding my bike again. At no time did I feel I needed to come back for some kind of redemption. My motivation in bike racing is never of that nature anyway. I like to compete and set goals. That's still the same.”

Landis has had a up and down career, much like an Alpine stage, but the most important thing is that he remains happy on his bike. "Sometimes now riding is a place where I spend time thinking," he explained, "and sometimes now it's riding as hard as I can so I don't have the energy to think. It is kind of addictive, riding a bicycle. I suppose it's like a drug."

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