The only reason I can find the energy to write this is because of what Floyd has said in a Bonnie D. Ford ESPN article:
"They will never get to the end of how much I can take," Landis told ESPN.com Monday, sounding much as he used to when he was talking about what is blithely called "suffering" on the bike. "I'm not happy that I'm the person who has to take this, but I would never allow myself to be treated this way and ever give up."
The article continues:
Landis said the latest ruling in his case is "a disaster for all the athletes trying to make a career of the sport they love." He's not sure if he'll ever race again. "One thing I don't want to do is subject myself to this farcical system again," he said.
I’m not sure I want to subject myself to it through my participation in a WADA controlled sport either. But ya know – I do know of one way Michael Ball could sell me a $500 cycling kit: put one on Floyd. What’cha think, my man? (Me and Mike be tight...)
Back to the ESPN article:
But his tone turned unexpectedly warm when he turned to the subject of the race he yearned to be in, won, then lost so quickly. The 2008 Tour de France starts Saturday. "I hope people who are interested in bicycle racing forget about me by the end of the week and turn on the television and watch the Tour, and give those guys the respect and attention they deserve," he said.
These are the words of a champion and a hero. I take particular inspiration from them. While it isn’t clear (exactly) that he means to give the *riders* the respect and attention (he can’t mean “those guys” to mean the ASO) he still refuses to diss the sport and race he owes his fame to. Oh, how easy it would be to do so!
One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was to go for a bike ride Monday night. I was *so hard* to get on the bike again. I decided in the end I needed the therapy. I donned my Smith and Nephew kit, took some ibuprophen for my aching hip, and hit the road with my wife. On the route back, the setting sun in the cloudless sky was beautiful. A perfect summer evening.
If there’s no end to what Floyd can take, surely my little disappointments will pass.
Venga, venga, venga, Floyd. Lots yet to do: Anti-trust. RICO. 42 USC 1983. Bivens action. All this starts to look like S-17 again. They let you on the break and didn’t chase because they didn’t believe you’d put that power in for that long. Time to ramp up the watts. The road awaits, the team just launched you.
Race starts now.