Monday, July 24, 2006

Landis maximus

Congratulations to Floyd Landis on winning the 2006 Tour de France. It's very satisfying to see an American win, particularly this year, when Americans weren't really expected to show up.

For those of you keeping score, this is the eighth year in a row that an American has won the most prestigious race in cycling and the biggest sporting prize in France.

Unfortunately, as with all American Tour winners, Landis is in for some major medical problems in the off-season. He' scheduled to have hip-replacement surgery, a big deal for anyone, but a mega-big deal for a cyclist. It's like Roger Clemens having arm replacement surgery -- a potential career ender.

And let's face it, Landis wasn't really a favorite to win this year's race. A doping probe resulted in the elimination of the big favorites - Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso and Joseba Beloki -- before the race even started.

Still, it's tough to discount an American coming back from a major medical setback. Greg LeMond set the trend when he returned to the Tour after being shot in the heart during a hunting accident. And Lance Armstrong's battle with cancer is very well documented. Both came back stronger than before.

So here's a big bon chance to Floyd after a hard-fought and well deserved victory. Looking forward to seeing you next year.

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