photo:  “First over the last climb is Landis”
originally uploaded by Mark Jensen.
© All rights reserved.

Our good old American contender to win the Tour de France, Floyd Landis, was doing pretty good until the latter part of Wednesday’s Stage 16. He simply cracked. You could tell up the final climb he had no fight left in him. People dropped long ago were passing him. Eventually his teammate and son of 5 time Tour winner Eddy Merckx, Axel Merckx, who is NOT a climber, pulled him up the hill. He was down from the leader by EIGHT MINUTES and we’re talking about the Tour ending on Sunday.

The day after, he hung with the group for about an hour. The spirits of everyone who I know rooting for him were low. And then.. he just took off. Eventually he broke away until he was all alone, hammering up the most difficult category of all the climbs. He’s now in 3rd place, down only 42 seconds from the leader.

There’s a time trial tomorrow that will pretty much decide this race. DO NOT MISS IT! Everyone including 5 time Tour winner Bernard Hinault and 3 time American winner Greg Lemond have commented on what an absolutely epic performance this was. Some went so far as to say it was one of the most exciting moments in bike racing history. This Saturday will put the icing on the cake.

Now while I have to respect his drive, motivation, endurance, and undoubtably perfect form, this video that Alan just emailed to me is pretty damn spectacular. Fixed gear trick riding like you’ve never seen. My jaw was on the floor at some of the things this woman was able to do without falling over. Watch it while you’re waiting until 8:30AM Eastern time when live coverage begins on the Outdoor Life Network. They’re also showing it at 12PM, 2:30PM, 5PM, 12AM and 8PM with expanded coverage.

Speaking of Alan Scholz, an unrelated Scholz took third place in today’s stage. Small world. 🙂