Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Tour de France Update: Floyd Landis Goes Postal on Peloton

By nostalgiphile in Culture
Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: Tour de France, cycling, yankee go home (all tags)

As an American and a long-time fan of professional cycling, it's damned exciting for me to watch this year's Tour de France (to download Google Earth Tour tracking tool). At first, everyone was like "Lance has finally retired, now finally a European can win the Tour!" After seven years of Armstrong and the US Postal Service's dominance in their backyard, their hopes were perhaps understandable. France invented the race 103 years ago, the most difficult and excruciating of its kind (and perhaps of any kind) in the world; but the Americans appeared to have mastered it after Armstrong's stunning string of 7 consecutive victories which began in 1999.

Enter Californian Floyd Landis, the 30 year old former member of the US Postal Service team who now rides for the Swiss Cycling Team Phonak, and who is poised to win this year's Tour de France. Landis was doing well in this year's Tour despite a crumbling hip-bone which constantly causes him to live in a state of excruciating pain, but not that well. Not 'that well' until yesterday, that is.


First, let me explain that this year's Tour has been unusually close, with less than a minute separating all the top riders. This is quite unlike the Armstrong Era, when Lance would charge far ahead of his competitors and let them try to catch up (in vain) to his pace. Landis is not that kind of rider. Because of his pain, Landis is much more human.

On Wedenesday, heading into the penultimate stage of the Alps (Stage #16), Landis was only 10 seconds ahead of his nearest challenger, the Spaniard Oscar Pereiro. He was doing good, but he clearly was not Armstrong, some unstoppable force of nature that no one (or at least no one in their right mind) believed they could beat. Besides, everyone knew that Landis was in terrible pain from the hip joint that'd been nearly worn away to nothing.

Then, just as the more nationalistic cycling fans throughout Europe seemed poised to watch Landis crack from the pain and strain, he did. On Wednesday afternoon, near the alpine village of La Toussuire, Landis collapsed on the penultimate stage of the Alps. Going into this, the last climb of the day, Landis fell apart in heat, exhaustion, and what one imagines was some terrible pain. At the end of the day he'd fallen to 11th place overall--8 minutes behind the new leader, Pereiro.

The 30 year old Californian was written off as "finished." After Wednesday's race, Jean-Paul Couret, writing for Reuters, claimed that "American Floyd Landis lost the Tour de France on Wednesday when he cracked on the last ascent of Wednesday's mountain stage, won by Michael Rasmussen of Denmark." The sheer presumptuousness of the reporter's words notwithstanding, it did appear that Landis had cracked for good.

Then, Wedenesday night Armstrong, the old Master of the Tour himself, called Landis up and told him announced that he simply must win the Tour for the future of American cycling as a sport. Sounds weird and slightly cultish, I know, but apparently it did the trick and Landis listened to his old captain.

Understand that when he got on his bike Thursday morning, Floyd faced an "uphill battle" of what commentators are calling epic proportions--an 8 minute deficit and five grueling climbs across 130 kms of small Alpine roads were looking him square in the face. What's more, after Wednesday's they were considered the 2nd most difficult on this year's Tour.

And then there was the pain. Floyd's doctor recently told him that if he could, he should try to "wear a groove into the bone" to make it hurt less and work properly. This idea appears to have taken root in Landis's head because he says he now believes that he can overcome the pain by riding his bike differently, and finding his "groove." So, on Thursday morning Landis did what any rider with the nearly godlike power to endure excruciating pain on a bicycle for three weeks would do--he found his groove and attacked.

The day would begin and end with Landis challenging himself against all of his competitors. With a burst of speed that showed no signs of dissipating all day, Landis kept himself in a full throttle lead all day long. Not only was he in the lead, he was trouncing his competitors by vast margins: by the end of the first climb he'd passed the peloton (= leading pack) and racked up a nine minute lead on it before it could react or think of what to do. And that was all she wrote for the next 130 kilometers. Landis was attacking with the speed and agression that called forth the reporters' purplest prose and most gushing praise: "Floyd Fists of Fury Landis" was riding like a "wounded lion" who couldn't be stopped.

Finally it seemed the gadfly journalists had caught on, and begun to realize the level of cycling fanaticism that once reigned inside the US Postal Service Team, I thought to myself. Of course, only a lunatic follower of Armstrong could achieve something like this. But no matter how you characterize it, it's still gonna be History. On Wednesday, July 19th, 2006, Landis pulled off not one of the greatest alpine climbing charges in history, but THE most impressive comeback attack in the hundred year history of mountain biking; all in what must have been a truly maddening prism of agony and joy.

Now let us praise great men.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
I bike
o Never, and not at all. 19%
o All over creation 42%
o No air in the back tire 33%
o WIPO 4%

Votes: 21
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Google
o Tour de France
o Team Phonak
o Tour de France [2]
o collapsed
o claimed that
o announced that
o epic proportions
o recently told him
o "Floyd Fists of Fury Landis"
o "wounded lion"
o Also by nostalgiphile


Display: Sort:
Tour de France Update: Floyd Landis Goes Postal on Peloton | 58 comments (45 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
First soccer, now cycling? (1.11 / 9) (#1)
by The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 08:52:21 AM EST

I get it, I have been trolled, I have lost.

___
I'm a pompous windbag, I take myself far too seriously, and I single-handedly messed up K5 by causing the fiction section to be created. --localroger

cycling is now an American sport! (none / 0) (#9)
by nostalgiphile on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 01:28:26 PM EST

If there's a point to this steaming pile of doodoo I guess that's kinda it.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
Got into his groove? (1.58 / 17) (#3)
by hulver on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 11:26:51 AM EST

Got a massive shot of drugs more like, just like Lance.

--
HuSi!
Doping (2.16 / 6) (#6)
by marx on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 12:48:37 PM EST

I prefer to perform/watch sports which are not dominated by doping. Track and field, cycling and cross-country skiing have a terrible record of doping, with top names having been caught doping, and who knows how many haven't been caught.

Football is about teamwork, and you can't dope your way to that. Training your body to its limits and overcoming pain is a perfect setting for doping/drugs, so I don't really see the beauty.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.

Actually, you know that (3.00 / 2) (#10)
by nostalgiphile on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 01:32:23 PM EST

They do random drug testing on these guys. Lance never failed any of his and neither has Landis, which is pretty amazing considering the amount of pain the latter must be in and how badly he must need medication.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
Landis gets cortisone shots... (none / 1) (#15)
by CanSpice on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 04:09:50 PM EST

...while not drugs, they still help him cycle through the pain.

[ Parent ]
How quaint. (none / 0) (#33)
by partialpeople on Sun Jul 23, 2006 at 01:50:23 AM EST



[ Parent ]
I dunno (none / 1) (#34)
by FizZle on Sun Jul 23, 2006 at 07:01:47 AM EST

Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso, two very bigs cycling stars, did not race this year due to doping allegations. So the sport is not exactly "dominated by doping." However, it seems to me that, even if it were, it only makes feats like Armstrong's 7 wins all the more venerable, being that he beat all those guys that were doping.

---
"Leave a tip if you're datin' a girl from Eaton, or vice versa." - tip jar at B&D
[ Parent ]
Kuro5hin (none / 1) (#35)
by marx on Sun Jul 23, 2006 at 08:33:47 AM EST

Sometimes here on kuro5hin it feels like I'm talking to people of a different species. If two of the favorites in a sport are suspended for doping, doesn't that imply that the sport is dominated by doping? If not, what is your criterion? Or is this going to be one of those arguments where torture is defined as only occuring when someone dies?

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

sorry (none / 0) (#37)
by FizZle on Sun Jul 23, 2006 at 05:03:03 PM EST

I was trying to say that this year's race is less, albeit slightly, "dominated by doping" because Ullrich and Basso dropped out.

---
"Leave a tip if you're datin' a girl from Eaton, or vice versa." - tip jar at B&D
[ Parent ]
You dunno? (none / 1) (#40)
by parliboy on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 02:11:33 AM EST

Qualifier before I play devil's advocate: I don't think Armstrong doped.

On to the shit-stirring:

Were the two favorites you named doping during the seven years?  But they weren't caught, right?  Just like Lance.

----------
Eat at the Dissonance Diner.
[ Parent ]

not "caught" (none / 1) (#41)
by usr on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 03:12:25 AM EST

well, armstrong has not technically been caught, but he also has this mysterious b-test thing running against him. a conspiracy theorist might even ask why the spanish police did not find much proof against spanish riders.

winokurov, ullrich, basso and the others were not directly caught either, they just happen to be strongly linked to one drug doc that got caught. i'm not trying to imply that they are clean, but i think it's a comparable level of uncertainty as that armstrong test.

but speaking about all of them: you can't simply "drug up" an averagely talented rider to maillot jaune level, they are all exceptional athletes, it's only sad that some/most/all? have fallen to the dark side.

[ Parent ]

(v|w)inokurov (none / 1) (#44)
by bil on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 12:01:59 PM EST

Just to put the record straight winokurov hasn't been accused of doping and the spanish police aren't investigating him, however enough members of his team were accused that the whole team (including him) was forced to withdraw (you need 7 riders in the team to compete)

Vinokurov is basically an innocent victim. Or as innocent as anyone in cycling which now has such a bad reputation that its impossible to entirely trust anyone involved.

bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

-1, spectator sports, opiate of the masses /nt (1.00 / 11) (#14)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 03:58:29 PM EST


--
"My mental image of you is Wyatt's brother Chet in Weird Science."
-

Why does anyone give a shit about a bicycle race? (1.25 / 8) (#17)
by givemegmail111 on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 04:31:10 PM EST

I mean, watching sports is idiotic enough, but I can sort of understand the popularity of Nascar with rednecks who get hard-ons from big machines. I can sort of understand the popularity of sports like football, with its homoerotic overtones... But this is a frickin' bicycle race. Why would anyone sit down and watch a bunch of idiots pedal around France on bicycles? Do people really have so little in their lives that this entertains them?

Maybe someone can explain why people watch this?

--
McDonalds: i'm lovin' it
Start your day tastefully with a Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle, only at McDonalds.
Rusty fix my sig, dammit!

suffering, character, complexity, drama (3.00 / 3) (#19)
by indubitable on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 05:06:48 PM EST

it is a lot more complex than most outsiders assume.

What kind of sick fuck doesn't want to roger some dude wearing a bear suit?
[ Parent ]

Oh, right. Of course. (2.25 / 4) (#21)
by givemegmail111 on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 06:35:43 PM EST

I had forgotten about the complexity of riding a bicycle.

--
McDonalds: i'm lovin' it
Start your day tastefully with a Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle, only at McDonalds.
Rusty fix my sig, dammit!
[ Parent ]
deliberately obtuse dipshit --> (none / 0) (#23)
by indubitable on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 08:41:06 PM EST


What kind of sick fuck doesn't want to roger some dude wearing a bear suit?
[ Parent ]

quite a few don't know how (3.00 / 2) (#36)
by Rhodes on Sun Jul 23, 2006 at 02:48:50 PM EST

can you blast up a mountain going 25 mph?  I might be able to manage 10 mph; how about going back down at 60 mph?  Think it doesn't take skill, strength, and determination to be pedaling at 60 mph, trying to go faster?  and then don't forget that you'll usually be doing it about 3 inches behind someone else, if you bump tires both of you will be injured or killed.  Or you're in a peloton, with a cyclist 1 foot on either side, in front and behind.  and the crazy fan is running toward you and if you have to assess whether they are rewarding you or about to assault you.

[ Parent ]
My wife loves it. (3.00 / 2) (#22)
by mr strange on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 06:50:53 PM EST

She tells me that it's because she loves watching the pain on the sexy men's faces.

Um. Oh.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]

She must love gay porn. (3.00 / 9) (#24)
by givemegmail111 on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 08:44:41 PM EST



--
McDonalds: i'm lovin' it
Start your day tastefully with a Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle, only at McDonalds.
Rusty fix my sig, dammit!
[ Parent ]
further proof that women r evil! (none / 1) (#27)
by nostalgiphile on Sat Jul 22, 2006 at 04:17:53 AM EST

That's the most sexosadistic thing I've ever heard...

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
well, it's kinda exciting... (none / 0) (#29)
by nostalgiphile on Sat Jul 22, 2006 at 04:23:50 AM EST

...And cycling calls up memories of my youth, out there on my bike, pedaling joyfully away. It's like even kinda pre-first car, u know--when u get that first charge of freedom...like, u could ride this damn thing all the way across the country and never come back. Remember that?

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
I am the Cheese (none / 0) (#31)
by livus on Sat Jul 22, 2006 at 08:08:32 PM EST

Robert Cormier.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
The Bumblebee Flies Away (none / 0) (#45)
by The Diary Section on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 12:06:52 PM EST

Insant trauma for our class of 12 year olds.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
race across america > tour de france (2.00 / 3) (#26)
by Saber RICO on Sat Jul 22, 2006 at 02:11:49 AM EST

"the most difficult and excruciating of its kind (and perhaps of any kind)". nope.
--
"YOU HAVE BEEN FINED by Delirium FOR GROSS MISUSE OF THE TROLL-SUMMONING MECHANISM"
links (2.75 / 4) (#30)
by Saber RICO on Sat Jul 22, 2006 at 07:24:54 PM EST

NYT: "That Which Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stranger" (requires registration)
His short-term memory vanishes, and he weeps uncontrollably. The last days are marked by hallucinations: bears, wolves and aliens prowl the roadside; asphalt cracks rearrange themselves into coded messages. Occasionally, Robic leaps from his bike to square off with shadowy figures that turn out to be mailboxes. In a 2004 race, he turned to see himself pursued by a howling band of black-bearded men on horseback. ``Mujahedeen, shooting at me,'' he explains. ``So I ride faster.''
and wikipedia of course, but it only has records.
--
"YOU HAVE BEEN FINED by Delirium FOR GROSS MISUSE OF THE TROLL-SUMMONING MECHANISM"
[ Parent ]
Landis comeback (none / 0) (#32)
by Herring on Sat Jul 22, 2006 at 10:40:54 PM EST

Hell of a thing. I only caught the last half-hour or so of Thursday's stage. Couldn't believe it. With the lead from today's time-trial, he has it - unless something extraordinary happens tomorrow (OK, today now).

This year has been a tour to remember (and yes, I did follow 1989).

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you

post-Armstrong era (2.75 / 4) (#38)
by Fuzzwah on Sun Jul 23, 2006 at 05:08:20 PM EST

The problem that Lance has left the rest of the cycling world is that it's not enough to just be an amazing bike rider. You've now also got to be fighting some terrible, horrible, painful injury / disease / demons, AND be able to ride 130km each day for two weeks.

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris

At least (none / 0) (#39)
by FizZle on Sun Jul 23, 2006 at 08:11:05 PM EST

Floyd has his hip osteonecrosis.

That's almost as bad as testicular cancer and brain tumors, right?

---
"Leave a tip if you're datin' a girl from Eaton, or vice versa." - tip jar at B&D
[ Parent ]

pain (none / 1) (#42)
by usr on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 03:32:09 AM EST

towards the end of the article the constant repeting of the word "pain" started to become relly painfull.

my hip joints are in a much better state than those of floyd landis so i am completely unable to judge how impressive riding in that condition really is. a successful comeback one day after losing nearly 10 minutes on multiple rivals is so damn impressive, how could anybody care for hip joints after that?

remember tyler hamilton? who knows, maybe there is some secret connection between bone trouble and amazing solo rides ;-)

[ Parent ]

Landis gives positive drugs test (3.00 / 3) (#43)
by blue tiger on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 11:17:47 AM EST

Bloody blatant cheat. Finally we have the evidence.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/5221122.stm

Now he is really finished. Good riddance.


an exemplar of UK "justice" (2.25 / 4) (#48)
by professor chaos on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:09:24 PM EST

in America, Landis is innocent until proven guilty, but you wouldn't know about that, would you?

[ Parent ]
Tell that to the Guantanamo guys (none / 1) (#50)
by marx on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 09:52:48 PM EST


Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

lol @ trivial counter-example (1.50 / 2) (#51)
by professor chaos on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 08:02:43 AM EST

"u mean nobody in your country has any guarantees of a free and fair trial such as innocence unless proven guilty? and nobody gives a damn? oh but duh a bunch of terrorist assholes you guys picked up in a warzone aren't afforded your rights so obviously this is an equivalent situation."

you are an intellectually dishonest little turd, marx.

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 1) (#52)
by marx on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 08:32:40 AM EST

If they haven't been proven to be "terrorists", then they are not guilty of being "terrorists". Maybe you shouldn't have dropped out of high school..

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

maybe *you* shouldn't have dropped out of HS! (2.00 / 3) (#53)
by professor chaos on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 10:03:45 AM EST

hurr hurr hurrrrrr...

but really, marx, you know what? in the united states, there are vigorous court battles and protests going on about the detentions at guantanamo. because the system here works and the american people care about freedom. i don't see any of that for you limp-wristed jackasses in europe who are only free at the discretion of your government. you wouldn't know any of this because you wear ideologue blinders and those tend to blank out inconvenient facts that might complicate your world view.

[ Parent ]

It seems you're sliding a bit off track (none / 1) (#54)
by marx on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:12:38 PM EST

Your initial premise was: "u mean nobody in your country has any guarantees of a free and fair trial such as innocence unless proven guilty?"

How have the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay been guaranteed a free and fair trial? They have been tortured, that is one thing America does well these days.

How about this, why don't you just shut up? You're blabbering about freedom in a fucking bicycle race, when your country is holding prisoners for years with no trial and torturing them.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

uh, wow. let me outline this for you, chief. (2.25 / 4) (#55)
by professor chaos on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:47:40 PM EST

some crooked-teeth limey: (bicycle race)
me: (bicycle race)
marx: omg guantanamo. DEATH 2 AMERICA!!!

the rest of your post is basically repeating yourself like a retarded three-year-old instead of answering my valid and completely correct points. isn't it funny how terrorist fanatics like yourself can turn any discussion into anti-american hate-mongering?

[ Parent ]

Alzheimer's setting in early I see (none / 1) (#57)
by marx on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 07:31:43 PM EST

This is your original post:
in America, Landis is innocent until proven guilty, but you wouldn't know about that, would you?
I guess Landis isn't the only one doing dope here.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

look, guy, suck a penis. (2.25 / 4) (#58)
by professor chaos on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 07:47:49 PM EST

this is a bicycling thread, not a faggit swede political whine festival.

[ Parent ]
really? (none / 1) (#56)
by The Diary Section on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 05:11:04 PM EST

I didn't know there was a Federal Bicycling Court.
Do the agents of this court have authority over unicycles or is that with someone else?

Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
He was doped. (2.75 / 4) (#46)
by spooky wookie on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 02:21:12 PM EST

Truely an American icon.

Landis goes postal on peloton thanks to Vitamin S (1.50 / 1) (#47)
by Enlarged to Show Texture on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 02:15:48 AM EST

Film at -11.


"Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." -- Isaac Asimov
Mr. Landis (1.50 / 1) (#49)
by Talkie Toaster on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:30:04 PM EST

You should have eaten some of my toast instead!

--

Patent applied for.
Tour de France Update: Floyd Landis Goes Postal on Peloton | 58 comments (45 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!