Floyd Landis stands accused of doping on the way to victory last year in the Tour De France finally gets his day in court. Two weeks of testimony in a California court. TDF victory, millions of dollars and several careers hang in the balance, even part of the sport itself. A TDF winner has never lost his title.
Landis is from a Mennonite family. His parents acknowledge telling him cycling was the devils work and he would go to hell for pursuing such a career. His father once followed Floyd out in the middle of the night in the rain to see what he was doing. Floyd was riding his Schwinn beater bike in the Pennsylvania hills wearing sweat pants (couldn’t show skin) with a flashlight taped to the handlebars. He flew the coop and became a world class cyclist. Floyd was unlike anyone else in racing. He’d never had cappuccino, knew nothing about hotels, girls, food… the outside world. But he liked riding wheelies up mountains. He once registered a rating higher than Lance Armstrong on the most critical performance test in a training camp. He seemed to thrive when others suffered. Teammates called Floyd’s world “Planet Floyd”
Greg LeMond is a 3 time TDF winner and one time Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the year. Mr. Lemond has developed somewhat of a deserved reputation as saying really wild stuff in public over the years. Lance Armstrong envy is what some label it. Greg coulda won 10 Tours but was shot by a shotgun while hunting. He won one more and then developed blood poisoning from the lead. He was to be America’s cyclist but had to watch Armstrong take that title and all the personal and financial awards that come with it. All the while Greg knew these guys were cheating, at least he’s convinced they were.
Greg is by all accounts from a wide variety of people a really really nice excellent guy. Just put a mic in front of him and his personal troubles seem to inform his public comments.
So the trial begins and the prosecution calls Greg LeMond as a witness. This Baffles viewers as what the heck does he have to do with any of this? Well more than anyone could have dreamed of evidently.
- Sometime in the last year – LeMond calls Floyd to discuss Floyd’s accused drug use which has Floyd banned from cycling, loosing millions in revenue and defense funds and in danger of losing his Tour De France title. Greg says Floyd should come out tell the truth. Floyd says “if I do I’ll hurt friends and family”. Greg says “let me give you an example of what happens when you hide and awful truth …” and goes on to describe for the first time ever to anyone outside of family how he was sexually molested as a child.
- Fast forward to the night before LeMond is to testify in a two week case on Landis’s drug use. LeMond receives a phone call from “Uncle Bill” who says if LeMond “shows up in court the next day he will tell the world where Greg used to hide his weenie”
- Police trace the call to an associate of Floyd Landis.
- Next day in trial LeMond drops some serious bombs – (A) Molested as a child (B) Got a phone call from uncle Willy last night.
- So folks are thinking, man this is sad really really sad, LeMond has gone off the cliff. More wild accusations, molestation, late night phone calls…
- Then it got wild.
- Floyd’s lifelong friend and personal business manager walks up to LeMond in court and apologizes. Boom!
- Witness intimidation is a felony in California
- Test tubes? Blood samples? Hardly. Jerry Springer has people flying out pronto.
- Today Floyd’s lead lawyer announces to the court that they have fired Floyd’s business manager on the spot.
- Business manager states he had 1-2 beers and made a huge mistake and didn’t mean to intimidate the witness.
- Suddenly there’s several felony’s in the air and the entire proceeding is simply to determine if someone violated the rule of a sport.
LeMond unplugged: Former Tour champ meets the press