LANDIS ADMITS HE WAS LUCKY
After one of the greatest ever cycling comebacks to seal victory in the Tour de France Floyd Landis admitted that luck was also a factor in him winning the yellow jersey.
Speaking in a press conference after taking back the yellow jersey from Spain's Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) in Saturday's time trial, the 30-year-old Phonak rider said his biggest dream in life had come true.
“What motivates me is the dream of winning the race and I stayed focused on that no matter how things went up and down,” he said.
“I’ve always wished and hoped that someday I’d have the opportunity to be the leader of a team and win the yellow jersey but I know it takes a lot of hard and it takes a lot of sacrifice from a lot of people and then on top of that some luck, so I feel lucky.”
“I feel lucky because it’s three weeks long and a lot of things can happen and a lot of people put just as much work into it as I did. On the right days we had the right luck.”
Landis said his strict upbringing and riding for Lance Armstrong had given him the skills needed to win the Tour.
“I don’t pretend to know a lot of about what’s going on in life most of the time I had good parents that taught me that hard work and patience were some of the most important things to getting what you wanted,” he said.
“It took me time in life to be patient but I think that and persistence was the lesson I learnt from this race.”
“I feel fortunate to have raced the Tour with the objective of winning it and believing you can do it. I wasn’t there for first four (Tour won by Armstrong) but it was an experience to see when a team works together 100% and believing that it was possible. It’s a mistake that a lot of team makes because it’s a risk concentrating on one person but I certainly got that from them.”
However Landis made it clear he did not want to be the next Lance Armstrong.
“He was a big star and he had a big story. I can’t really say if there was a common thing between me. I hope my life won’t change too much because I’m as pretty happy person in general.”
Landis will face hip surgery to replace his degenerating bone disorder in his thigh but is determined to make a successful comeback and try to win the Tour in the future.
It’s a dream of mine to win and the hip surgery puts that in jeopardy but having won makes me feel much more relaxed about it. I wouldn’t think I’m a failure in life if I hadn’t ever won the Tour but it was a dream and so I would have been extremely disappointed if that was taken away by an accident.”
“I’ll fight as hard as I’ve done in this race to come back next year or in the following race. I’ll do what ever it takes because I think this is one of the most beautiful sports in the world and it’s wonderful to be part of it.”
Landis dodgy several questions about doping in cycling but finally answered when asked what message he could offer to young children watching the Tour de France.
“What happened before the start of the race was an unfortunate situation for all of us and none of us got any satisfaction out of the fact that they’re not here,” he said referring to major rivals Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso.
“In this sport it’s clear that we do more than any sport to try and prevent doping and try and resolve the problem. For that reason we have a reputation that doesn’t seem to want to go away, but as far as the message I think it’s up to every child’s parents to explain to them while they’re watching a race what the best decision in life are about. That’s the way my parents raised me and I think it’s not a bad way to do it.”