This does not make sense. The arbitration decision in the Floyd Landis case was just released with a 2-1 decision against Floyd. The panel ruled that the French lab did not follow World Antidoping Guidelines in testing Floyd’s samples. They further ruled that “if the practice is continued that future results would be overturned.”
Huh? So future results by the same lab using the same flawed procedures would be overturned but these ones would be accepted?
To the uninitiated, after bonking on Stage 16 in the Tour de Farce, Floyd rode away to a victory the next day. While he was hailed as having ridden one of the great races ever, the truth was he rode well — but not like Superman. The teams that should have organized early and chased failed to do so which allowed him to open a nine-minute lead on them.
Floyd knew if he won the stage he would be tested. It would be foolish to cheat. Floyd stood up like a man and at every opportunity maintained his innocence, all the way to the Court for Arbitration for Sport. They were especially annoyed that he had the balls to fight the charges and not only found against him on June 30, 2008, but also fined him $100,000. How dare someone questions their authority.
I met Floyd in January 2007. He came away as believable to me. For full disclosure, I have to mention that I am a genealogist. I trace some of my ancestry to a Landis family in Lancaster Co., Pa. in the 1700s. Floyd, of course, is from a Mennonite family named Landis in Lancaster Co., Pa. However, I have traced some of Floyd’s lineage and have yet to make a connection. Cousin or not, I believe him.
A real analysis of the data is at Trust But Verify. Another good blog is Free Floyd Landis.
AUGUST 17, 2010 — Well, aren’t we all the fools? In May at the Amgen Tour of California, Floyd, after being denied entry into the Tour, followed through with his blackmail threat and claimed that he and Lance Armstrong were dopers.
In January 2007, Floyd made his rounds proclaiming his innocence and asking for money from people like me. And I gave. Twenty-five dollars to attend his stupid Evening with Floyd event. Then $50 and $25. And I bought his book. And it was all a lie.
Floyd – I want my money back.
FEBRUARY 29, 2012 — It continues. And it’s going to continue.
I don’t want my money back. Floyd lost his best friend, his wife (who may have been his best friend), his family, his house, his money, his integrity. He can keep my money.
I have my own theory. I believe Floyd was innocent of using artificial testosterone as he was charged. I suspect when he heard he was caught he thought “oh crap” but when he realized it was artificial testosterone, he fought that. In the end, they wore him down and he eventually confessed to being a doper – at least using blood transfusions.
Unlike Lance, he was not a good liar. It was his good Mennonite upbringing. In his first press conference after the initial doping allegations, Landis was asked flat out: “Have you ever taken performance-enhancing drugs before?”
After a pause, he replied: “I’ll say no.”
I think he speaks the truth about doping in the peloton but he lost his credibility by not confessing when he had a chance and down is discredited at every chance.
And we have found no genealogical link between us. Floyd is not my cousin.
EDIT/EPILOGUE – Ten years after the race, I had the chance to talk to one of the inner members on Floyd’s team, Team Phonak. Floyd bonked on Stage 16. But then, apparently having lost the Tour, he drank a bottle of Jack Daniels (which would be part of his convoluted defense). His team was pissed at him for drinking that night.
The team member put together two lists. And at three in the morning, woke Floyd up screaming at him. He said he had two lists: Why Floyd is the biggest A-hole in the world and Ways Floyd could regain the time he lost and still won the Tour. Which did he want?
Floyd chose how to win the Tour. Team Phonak had a plan. First, Floyd would have to get into the breakaway that sticks. And, no longer within striking distance of winning, the teams should let him go. Second, once in the break, he would have to attack them and go solo. And here was the real plan. Since it was a very hot day, almost 100°, being in a solo breakaway would give Floyd access to his team car. Indeed, throughout the stage one can see Floyd next to the team car, taking on water, often pouring it over his head to keep his core temperature down.
They had prepared 200 bottle of ice water that day. At least 100 would be dumped over his head. Not only would Floyd have access to cold water while riding this day, each bottle would be a “sticky bottle.” At 200 bottle hand-offs, and three seconds per bottle, this was the equivalent of holding onto the team car for 10 minutes. This would be a huge savings of energy. It was also pushing the rules if not breaking them, but much like soccer, you play to the level the referees permit.
Once Floyd got the lead, he held it. My recollection was he did not gain more time on the climbs against the peloton but did gain time on the descents. So when he won that day, his team merely thought their plan worked to perfection.
If Floyd doped, he apparently did it without knowledge of his team. After he had left Postal (USPS Cycling) whatever doping he did was on his own. He tried dirty doctors but found he couldn’t trust them. I don’t recall if he testified that he doped that night with his Jack Daniels or if he was popped for elevated levels of synthetic testosterone because he had doped in preparation for the Tour. Whatever it was, he was popped and the team would lose its title sponsor. Twenty-eight cyclists and support staff were now out of work because of Floyd.
Not my Cousin Floyd.
I did a stupid thing this afternoon. Much of my riding around Prince William County is on the bike paths/trails which follow the new roads in the county, particularly on Rte 234. But I need to take local roads to get there and Waterway Drive through Montclair is one of them.
Waterway Drive is four lanes, two in each direction, with a nice grassy median strip with trees and with curbs — no shoulders. There is no place to move except in the gutter beside the curb. On my way down Waterway towards the stop sign at Avon/Northgate, I was doing 34 mph, just one mph short of the speed limit. Still, some cars insist on flying by so I know they’re speeding.
Just before the road leveled out I was buzzed by a black SUV who got dangerously close – within a few inches. I didn’t respond with profanity or gestures. I just kept going. But as I approached the four-way stop sign, both our through lanes were backed up with seven to eight cars. I quickly came upon the line of cars and was able to move past them on the right to get up to the stop sign. Here the road does open a bit so there is a quasi-shoulder.
I had slowed and as I approached the front of the line there was the SUV. He saw me coming and swerved sharply to the right. But he tried to go all the way to the right and cut me off. I did put out my hand and slap his vehicleto get his attention and prevent him from hitting me. But then, here was the stupid part, I passed one more car then turned around.
Something said not to take this anymore. Clearly, without thinking I went back and pulled in front of his vehicle, basically daring him to run me over. Standing off my bike in front of the driver’s side headlight, I said to him, and his three passengers, “Play nice out here. You have a nice car and future ahead of you (he was probably in his late teens or early twenties and probably showing off for his friends) but if you kill one bicyclist you can be charged with manslaughter, lose everything you have, and spend a few years in jail. Just play nice.“
I didn’t yell. I was calm and used a conversational voice.
In retrospect, it was stupid because he could have gunned it and run me down. Except there was a car in front of us. He could have pinned me though. But I sort of felt protected because of the number of cars around. Call them witnesses.
But then came the surprise. He didn’t say a word. I don’t know if anything sunk in or not and will never know. But it was 70° and many drivers had their windows down enjoying the nice temperature. The people in the car beside him cheered me. “Alright! You tell him!” And the driver in the car behind his was cheering too.
For a brief moment, people were glad to see a bicyclist stand up to an idiotic driver. And maybe before he cut me off he also cut them off.
I went through the intersection before he did then wondered what would happen when in the next 200 yards when he got his chance to pass me for a final time. I didn’t give him that chance. I turned into the next driveway simply to let him pass without confrontation before resuming my ride.
It’s tough out there. I do not ever condone confronting a driver. They may be angry. They may be imparied. They have a big machine and they may use it. Heck, they could be armed. I rarely react to anything but on this day I did. And while it worked out OK, I am aware that it may not the next time so hopefully, there won’t be a next time.
CHARLES TOWN, WEST VIRGINIA
It was eight and one-half years ago that we first drove Bethany to Shepherdstown, West Virginia to tour Shepherd College. The trip to Shepherdstown and neighboring Charles Town seemed so far. But it would become a trip we would make many times as both Bethany and Ashley attended Shepherd College (now University).
We had a picnic at Bethany and Andy’s place today. For the second time this year, I decided to bike to Charles Town instead of drive. It is getting lighter later and I couldn’t leave home until almost 7:00 a.m.
My route took me up Minnieville Rd to Delaney Road where I sprinted and reached 42.3 mph crossing Neabsco Creek. I always have to break 40 mph there. I followed Delaney to Ridgefield Rd then to the Prince William Parkway. I took the Parkway to Manassas then followed Sudley Road past Manassas Mall and Manassas Battlefield. After passing the battlefield I turned right on Gum Springs Rd which immediately enters Loudoun Co. I followed Gum Springs Rd to Braddock Rd then turned left on Braddock Rd.
Braddock Rd becomes a washboard dirt road in the woods for about three miles. It is very rough riding. One of my water bottles flew off here causing me to stop for a minute. Braddock Rd connects with James Madison Hwy (US Rte 15) which, thankfully, I only had to ride for one mile to Gilberts Corner. At Gilberts Corner, US 50, I turned west on 50 and followed it about a mile and one half past Aldie.
After Aldie, I turned on Snickersville Turnpike a delightful almost traffic-free country road that cuts a neat northwest diagonal. This is the shortest way to Charles Town.
Maybe traffic was lighter than normal because the Hibbs Bridge is out. On the run in to the bridge I reached my high speed for the day – 43.1 mph. I was flying. But the bridge was closed and I had a decision to make. Turn around and take a 10-mile detour or ford the Beaverdam Creek with my bike. I was able to carry my bike over the creek and continue on. I went as far as Airmont then turned north through Round Hill where I went under Rte 7. I followed the road north and came to Cider Mill Rd which connected with Rte 9 west of Hillsboro.
Route 9 is a major road and connects Loudoun Co., Virginia with Jefferson Co., West Virginia. It is two-lane, 55 mph road which crosses the Appalachian Trail at the state border but with no shoulder. I had no problems on Rte 9 and climbing the mountain was painless and quick. I like this route because the descent into Jefferson Co. features some very technical curves. On the first set I rounded one at 41 mph. There is a second climb before a second descent which then crosses the Shenandoah River.
Total mileage was 70 and took me just under 4 1/2 hours at an average speed of 15.5 mph. I arrived at Bethany’s and was able to “relax” by jumping in their pool. Sweet!