Floyd Landis is guilty and about to be stripped of his Yellow Jersey from le Tour. His Pro racing team, Phonak, has fired him and once the ruling comes down from the International Cycling Union he will be stripped of the title.
I really wanted to believe that Landis was innocent. I wanted to believe that such an effort was still possible with only a man and machine. I wanted to believe that pro athletes were honest. I wanted to believe that a thirty year old could become a hero. I wanted to believe it all.
His effort on stage 17 was one of the greatest efforts by a single man, and now that was all a lie. Perhaps part of what Landis did was him and not the drugs, but no one will ever know and the opportunity for Landis to clear his name is becoming slimmer as each day passes. I wanted to believe you Landis, I really did.
From one cycling sport to another, I present to you what is the greatest effort performed on two wheels.
Back in 2000 Carey Hart landed the first back flip in competition. It started a revolution in freestyle motocross (FMX) as tricks became more difficult and innovation was taken to the next step. Six years later, Travis Pastrana has added another revolution to the back flip.
At the X-Games Pastrana busted out a double back flip to win the gold medal for Best Trick. The judges gave him a 98.6, one judge did not award him a 100; but everyone knows it was a perfect run.
Pastrana has had a very interesting career. He was a promising motocross rider, but injuries and bad luck kept him from reaching his potential. He won several titles but was never healthy enough to defend come the next season.
Although when he took to freestyle he was a different rider. He stayed healthy enough to compete and brought new tricks to the game, added new combinations and would use the whole course as he went onto win gold consecutive times.
In today’s world Pastrana is a different type of athlete. He lives a clean life style, respects the fans and has done what he wanted while ignoring the critics. Sadly there are not many left like him, and while he is only 22 there is a lot that Landis, Bonds and a majority of other athletes can learn from Travis.