Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

July 9, 2016

In today’s CT Daily News Digest: Cummings takes emphatic stage win, Van Avermaet extends Tour de France lead; Giro Rosa Round-up: another strike for the Americans, with Stevens winning the ITT and Guarnier keeping pink; Peloton thwarts breakaway again for sprint in Austria; Mihaylov takes solo win, lead at Sibiu Cycling Tour; Yates injured as 1km-to-go gantry falls at the Tour de France; Kruijswijk extends with LottoNL-Jumbo for two years; Once among cycling’s best, Floyd Landis attempting to remake image; Degenkolb leaving Giant-Alpecin in 2017; Kalamazoo cyclist recovering from crash; Irish politician: “Ban cycling events”; ‘WADA Talks’ with Frankie Andreu; Tour de France, stage 6 on-board highlights; ORICA BikeExchange Backstage Pass, stage 6; Rider recreates grueling first mountain stage of 1910 Tour de France; Fans find unique ways to pass the time waiting for Le Tour; The show must go on!; Rigoberto Urán as rock star

Once among cycling’s best, Floyd Landis attempting to remake image

by CyclingTips

It was ten years ago this month that Floyd Landis both won and lost the Tour de France in the space of only 72 hours. Since then he has hit rock bottom, experiencing about every kind of emotion along the way. The details of his life since, including his initial defense and his subsequent scorching the Earth by becoming a whistleblower in a federal law suit are well documented. Now Landis is trying to turn the corner in his life, and recently announced a new marijauana busines venture in Colorado.

Sports Illustrated’s Austin Murphy caught up with Landis. Here is an excerpt from the feature:

Depression. Rage. Oblivion. Repeat. Landis boarded that carousel not long after his appeal to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport was denied in June 2008. The legal battle had given him focus and purpose, as bike racing once had. But when the fight was over he entered a grim limbo. His feelings of shame and regret would quickly give way to anger. He fumed at the officials at USA Cycling and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), who he claims knew about doping in the sport but turned a blind eye to it. He was angry at the false friends who’d abandoned him and at the French lab technicians who’d detected in his urine sample traces of exogenous testosterone, a drug he contends he did not use during that Tour.

Sure, he’d infused blood, injected erythropoietin (EPO) and human growth hormone (HGH). But he’d beaten those tests fair and square! That pissed him off, as did his knowledge—often firsthand—that many of his peers in the peloton were as dirty as he was, if not dirtier. When ’06 Tour runner-up Óscar Pereiro was officially named the winner of that race—14 months after the fact—he complained that Landis had robbed him of the chance to stand atop the podium in Paris. Landis later pointed out Pereiro’s hypocrisy: He recalled speaking with Pereiro about the Spaniard’s doping regimen during the race. Pereiro, Landis said to The Sunday Times in ’10, “told me that he had another blood transfusion to do” going into the final time trial. (Pereiro denies this.)

“Those were dark days, man,” Landis says. “I didn’t know if I was going to make it. I was never really suicidal, but I couldn’t face the world. I just wanted to forget.” To do that, he would retreat to a remote lair in Southern California’s San Jacinto Mountains, a ramshackle abode with ’60s-era wood paneling and a tan shag carpet. Every day he’d walk two miles to Mountain Top Liquor—“my home away from home,” he says. “I’d buy some whiskey, say hi to the local meth heads, then walk back.”

Having undergone a hip resurfacing in 2006, just two months after that disastrous Tour, Landis had prescriptions for Vicodin, Percocet and Norco. Some days he would down as many as 15 Norcos with a fifth of Jack. “I was addicted,” he says. “I feel lucky to be here, man.”

Click through to read more at Sports Illustrated.