Thursday, July 20, 2006

Floyd Landis is God

Today American Floyd Landis gave the world one of the greatest individual cycling performances of all time. [Update: perhaps the most infamous ride of all time. Sigh.]

Landis, among the initial favorites to win the Tour de France, seemingly fell from contention yesterday when he "bonked" and lost over ten minutes to his rivals. But today Landis more than rebounded. Singlehandedly, he rode away from everyone and took back all that time (all but 31 seconds). With one time trial stage remaining, Landis must now be considered the Tour de France favorite once again.

Such over-the-top displays of individual athleticism are rare in the Tour de France, where winners typically succeed only thanks to behind-the-scenes sacrifice by their teammates. During last year's Tour de France, I said of cycling that "few Americans appreciate the team dynamics and strategy that are the heart of what road racing is about." It's a sport sophisticated enough to inspire 21st century innovations in the mathematics of game theory.

Nothing was remotely subtle, sophisticated, or behind-the-scenes about Landis's strategy today.

BTW, did I mention that Landis has a degenerative hip disorder and is due for joint replacement as soon as the Tour is over? (Reported last week by NY Times Magazine.)

Go Floyd!

[Update 2: Can anyone confirm the rumor that Blogger.com is going to start testing "Blog of the Day" winners for unnaturally high levels of caffeine?]

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License and is copyrighted (c) 2006 by Connective Associates except where otherwise noted.

4 comments:

Miles Sims said...

NO doubt!!!

I was sick yesterday seeing him fall off the back but talk about amazing! What he did today was something I've never seen before, he really came back from the dead!

Jeffrey Radcliffe said...

It was a truly incredible ride by Landis.

Jack Vinson said...

A god indeed. Just after this stage I picked up a May 2006 issue of VeloNews in which there was a letter to the editor poking fun at Alex Vinokourov for being unpredictable. The funny quote was something to the effect of, "The peloton let him go because no one has ever come back from a five minute deficit."

I hope VeloNews provides some context to this accomplishment, particularly given the results on Saturday.

Richard Quick, Millionaire said...

According to new government intel, not only is the Tour de Farce fiasco the result of an Al-Qaida plot, so was the Bonds & Rose scandals and JJ's wardrobe malfunction. Sean Kelly's poem tells all at http://richardquick.blogspot.com/2006/08/tour-de-america-tribute-to-patriot.html


Thanks,



Richard Quick, Esq.