Lance under pressure
Lance Armstrong once berated Floyd Landis for spending a day in a
Spanish coffee shop, downing 14 cappuccinos with his mate David Zabriskie.
Armstrong and Landis always represented two different faces of the fanaticism
common to a lot of the best cyclists – Landis the tearaway son of Mennonites,
Armstrong the man who hoped to tame his fire – and their parting at the end of 2004 was predictably messy. The following July, Armstrong taunted and sneered at his old team-mate as Landis wilted in the Pyrenees.
Five years later, Landis plotted his revenge.
The facts as Procycling went to press at the end of May were as follows. Having
tried in vain to gain last-minute entry to the Tour of California, first with the Bahati Foundation domestic team, then with Armstrong’s RadioShack, and been rebuffed in both instances, Landis wrote to US Cycling in April with a series of damning revelations. Perhaps the least surprising of his claims was that he had cheated in the 2006 Tour de France – albeit with substances and methods different to the one which showed up in his positive dope test. Far more shocking and alarming for Armstrong, his long-term boss Johan Bruyneel, numerous former team-mates and advisors, plus the International Cycling Union (UCI), were Landis’s allegations abouttheir doping and corruption dating back to the start of the decade.
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