Thursday, July 20, 2006

"It's All Over For Him"

That was the statement on everyone's lips concerning American threat Floyd Landis in this year's Tour de France.

Two days ago, after stage 15, Landis was situated in the yellow jersey, 10 seconds ahead of Spain's Oscar Pereiro. Pereiro is somewhat lightly regarded in this event so Floyd was considered 'in the driver's seat' as many of the main challengers were more than 2 minutes back.

Yesterday, stage 16 also took place in the French Alps. Floyd cracked-- big time. He finished 23rd in the stage, finished over 10 minutes behind the stage winner, Michael Rasmussen. Landis dropped the 11th overall, over 8 minutes behind Pereiro.

"It's all over for him."

Today's stage 17 was a murderous one; over 200 Km with several very hard climbs. Landis, who one writer now labeled 'The Raging Phonak Freak', blew away the field and won the stage by 5 minutes and 42 seconds.

In a post race interview, Landis simply stated, "I'm back."

In the overall classification, Landis came up to 3rd place, 30 seconds out of the yellow jersey worn by Pereiro.

Tomorrow's stage is relatively flat and no one expects any lead changes. Saturday's time trial should prove to produce this year's champion.

I expect that Floyd Landis will ride Sunday's final stage to Paris wearing the yellow jersey and produce the Tour's 8th straight American champion.

Today's performance by Floyd Landis was one of the greatest individual performances that I have ever witnessed in sports.

"I don't care about winning today's stage. I want to win the race."

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