Floyd Landis Interview

News & Results

07/8/2006| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen
Floyd Landis (Phonak Hearing Systems - iShares). Photo copyright Ben Ross/Roadcycling.com/<A HREF="http://www.benrossphotography.com" TARGET=_BLANK>www.benrossphotography.com</A>.
Floyd Landis (Phonak Hearing Systems - iShares). Photo copyright Ben Ross/Roadcycling.com/www.benrossphotography.com.

Floyd Landis Interview

Floyd Landis is satisfied with his performance in the first week of the Tour de France ? and with his team: "I couldn't imagine having a better one."

How satisfied are you with the way the 2006 Tour de France has progressed so far?

We were hoping that we wouldn't have to do too much work at the front of the peloton. And it's turned out that way. The second goal was to avoid crashes. We managed that too, with the exception of Bert Grabsch who suffered minor scrapes. Looked at that way, the first days have been good for us.

There are people who think that the mood in the peloton is not as nervous as it was in previous years. Is that your impression too?

At the Tour de France, things are always more nervous than they are at other races. This year as well there have already been crashes and hectic finishes. So, for my part, I don't really see a difference compared to previous years.

There have been a couple of crashes which also claimed big names like Valverde and Dekker. Have you been involved in dangerous situations?

No. Some of the crashes happened near me, but I was never right in the middle of them. I always try to ride as close as possible to the front of the field because most of the crashes happen in the rear part. Of course, you always need a bit luck not to end up underneath the wheels.

How satisfied are you with the teamwork in the first week?

It's perfect. We are all working extremely well together. I couldn't imagine having a better team.

The first really big highlight, the time trial, will be on Saturday. Have you already seen the course?

For me, it's better to check out the course on the day of the race. So we'll get out there early in the morning and ride the 52 km.

How would you describe the profile of the course?

It's a rather flat course with few curves. As far as the profile goes, it's the kind of parcours that I like because normally I can take full advantage of my strengths on such flat courses. Yes, I'm happy with the course and feel comfortable with it.

What's your tactic for the race?

I think it's important not to start off too fast. It's better to approach it a bit conservatively and then go for it during the final 10 km. For me, experience shows that I'm usually successful with that tactic.

Let's look at the first mountain stages next week. What are the impressions you've gotten from training there?

The first mountain stage already has two demanding tests, the Col de Soudet and the Col de Marie Blanque. But I think, because the second mountain is 40 km from the finish, that there could be a large group struggling for the win.

And the stage that goes into Spain?

Yes, that will be the most difficult stage ahead of the Alps. The Col de Tourmalet has a category HC and then there are four category ones. The final part is not so steep but very long, 13 km. I think only a small group will be fighting for the win there.

How important will the Alp stages be?

Although the Pyrenees will be difficult, I personally expect the race to be decided in the Alps.

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