LANDIS CONTINUES TOUR HISTORY
Ever since Roger Walkowiak won the 1956 Tour de France, the sixth Tour of every decade has always produced a crazy race that is won by an outsider, ends an era or is decided in the final time trial. This year was no exception.
In 1966 Lucien Aimar stopped Raymond Poulidor winning, climber Lucien Van Impe did the same thing ten years later, Greg Lemond beat Bernhard Hinault in 1986 and Bjarne Riis beat Miguel Indurain in 1996.
This year Landis joins the list of unconventional winners after his incredible comeback in the Alps. He lost eight minutes on the stage to La Toussuire on Wednesday but after some inspiration from Eddy Merckx, he bounced back 24 hour later, attacked alone and pulled back all the time he had lost.
The 30 year-old Phonak rider sealed victory in the Saturday’s final time trial, taking the yellow jersey from former team mate Pereiro. It was one the biggest comebacks in the history of cycling.
This year the yellow jersey changed hands ten times during the 21 days of racing. The sprinters dominated during the first ten days before the toughest stage of the race to Pla-de-Beret shaped the overall standings for the first time.Pereiro earned his moment of glory thanks to gaining 30 minutes in a break and then the Alps provided the fall and the dramatic comeback of Floyd Landis.
The former Mennonite will undergo hip replacement surgery in September but is determined to be at the start of the 2007 Tour de France in London to try and win yellow jersey number two.