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Landis wint Tour de France

Discussie gestart

MiamiHeat

TOUR DE FRANCEYellow gold

Despite a hip condition that will require surgery, Floyd Landis' powerful Stage 19 set up a victory ride down the Champs-Elysees.

MONTCEAU-LES-MINES, France -

The time-trial course wound between two former mining towns, 35 miles of searingly hot asphalt that would decide the Tour de France. Floyd Landis was stoked both times he rode it Saturday.

The first was a morning scouting trip with his coach, Robbie Ventura. They chatted casually as Landis committed the corners, the straightaways and the inclines to memory. In between, he sang the raucous lyrics to a Kid Rock song, carefree as if he were heading out to his favorite boyhood fishing hole.

On Saturday afternoon, with the race on the line, Landis bore down and drove the pedals with a percussive intensity, his own one-man band. As the road rolled away under his wheels, TV screens all over the world showed him digging away at the 30-second deficit he needed to make up to win the race.

The virtual yellow jersey floated off Oscar Pereiro's back and settled onto Landis' purposefully hunched shoulders just as he crossed the midway point of the course. About an hour after that, five-time Tour winner Bernard Hinault zipped the real maillot jaune onto the Murrieta, Calif., rider.

Landis completed Stage 19 in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 56 seconds, 1:11 behind Ukrainian time-trial specialist Serhiy Honchar, but did more than enough to put himself back into the race lead. He is 59 seconds ahead of Pereiro with only the final ceremonial ride into Paris looming between him and history.

The 30-year-old Landis, who left a sheltered life in a Mennonite community in eastern Pennsylvania 11 years ago to pursue his passion for bike racing, is poised to become the third American to ascend to cycling's pinnacle after Greg LeMond and Lance Armstrong. Landis rode on three of Armstrong's Tour-winning teams and now will succeed him on the top step of the podium today on the Champs-Elysees.

Saturday marked the third time Landis has regained the yellow jersey in this wild shootout of a Tour, but he attended his victorious news conference in his green-and-gold Phonak team jersey.

A TOUR OF PAIN

He had given away the treasured top to team doctor Denise Demir, one of the few in whom he confided when it became clear he would have to have hip-replacement surgery later this year. Landis has little use for symbols, but the accomplishment means everything to him.

''I don't pretend to know a lot about what's going on in life most of the time, but I had good parents who taught me that hard work and patience were some of the most important things in getting what you wanted,'' he said. ``It took me a long time in life to learn patience, but that and persistence was what even I learned from this race.''

Landis is in near-constant pain from a degenerative hip condition that was triggered by a training crash three years ago. He plans to have surgery within the next two months and doesn't know whether he ever will be able to race at this level again, but he said this victory makes that uncertainty a little easier to bear.

''I'll fight as hard as I have in this race to come back,'' he said. And given what he has done here, it seems imprudent to bet against him.

A strong competitor in the time trials, Landis did what was expected of him Saturday after having done what no one could have expected -- making back the eight minutes he lost when he abruptly disintegrated in the second of three stages in the Alps last week.

He converted that experience, which Landis called ''the most humiliating thing that's ever happened to me,'' into one of the most remarkable rides in Tour annals by attacking early the next day and leaving a gasping peloton behind in his wake.

HE HAD TO `GET ANGRY'

Kloeden was one of those left behind. He began Saturday in fourth place but scorched the time-trial course to finish second in the stage and third overall, bumping Spain's Carlos Sastre from the podium. ''My team believed in me, they motivated me and this morning, they told me I could do it,'' said Kloeden, who was second to Armstrong in 2004.

The epic ride proved Landis is capable of stirring performances, but he remains largely reserved about what fuels him.

''At times, maybe I appear to make decisions based on emotion on the bike,'' he said. ``Most of the time, the things we do are calculated and logical. The other day, I needed to get eight minutes back, so I had to get rid of the calculated logic for a while and get angry. But I think most of the time I stay calm. What motivates me is the dream of winning the race.''



#1 - 23-07-2006, 21:01 uur

B-man

Het wordt toch steeds meer de Tour de USA  :D
#2 - 24-07-2006, 20:59 uur
"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America"

NYC in 4 dagen! : http://www.verenigdestaten.info/new-york-city-in-een-weekend-4-dagen/

Hans B

Als de UCI (wielrenunie) haar vleugels eens wat ruimer zou uitslaan en wielrennen ook in de VS zo'n evenement zou worden als hier in Europa, wat zouden we dan prachtige helikopterplaatjes kunnen krijgen van de Natural "Wonders of the US" in plaats van al die bouwvallige ruines in Frankrijk.
Hans
#3 - 25-07-2006, 09:18 uur
Sinds 2001 al  1166  dagen en 117.350 mile   RV-en door Amerika.

MiamiHeat

Zoooo......wat dacht je van berg etappe's waar de wielrenners over de Tioga Pass en Glacier Point moeten....................stukje Death Valley  wink

Pffffff........ dat zou best wel eens een leuke Tour kunnen worden
#4 - 25-07-2006, 19:04 uur

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