Today, Floyd Landis had to face the Tour de France cameras again. Yesterday, he ran out of gas on the stage’s last climb, hit the wall hard, and lost the Tour’s yellow jersey. Then he gathered himself, told reporters that even though he didn’t expect to win the Tour anymore he’d still give it a shot, and went to bed.
Today? Well, I may have disappeared so far into cycling-race geekdom (along with immediate family members and close friends, some neighbors, and assorted bicycling compatriots) that I underestimate the difficulty in conveying how amazing today was. Landis came out and attacked the field on the last big mountain-climbing stage of the Tour, and this time, he broke everyone else. Talk about heart.
He did not capture the overall race lead, but because of the nature of the last three stages — a relatively flat one tomorrow with limited apparent tactical opportunity for big moves by the race leaders, a time trial on Saturday in which Landis will be a favorite to win, and the short, flat finish on Sunday in Paris — he’s got a real chance to win the Tour. Of course, the thing about this Tour, unlike nearly every Tour for the past 25 years, is that you never know what tomorrow will bring.