Thursday, June 08, 2006

A New Cycling Hero?

Printed without permision from

"With Lance Armstrong retired, I've been searching for a new hero.

Not that I ever completely identified with Lance. I mean, c'mon:

---He's a genetic freak whose body is practically incapable of producing lactic acid. I'm a lactic-acid exporter.

---He battles cancer, and wins. I battle acid reflux, and lose.

---He hangs with Bono and Robin Williams. I hang with guys nicknamed Geezer and Wheezer.

Still, everybody needs a role model. After much research, I've settled on Floyd Landis as mine. Not because he's the fashionable Tour dark horse, having already won this year's Paris-Nice, Tour of California, Tour de Georgia and Tour de Southeastern Manitoba. And not because he pops wheelies on the Champs Elysees, although that's awfully cool.

No, I selected Floyd because of what I discovered about him while reading Lance Armstrong's War, Daniel Coyle's riveting book about the 2004 Tour.

For instance, one key to Floyd's success is that he is "very, very good at sleeping," says Michele Ferrari, the Italian sports-med wiz affectionately known as Dr. Evil. Floyd naps 2-3 hours each afternoon. This aids recovery -- a point my boss can't seem to grasp.

Then there's Floyd's weight-loss program: He stops eating for 2-3 days. "I get pretty grouchy," he says, "but it works." I'm not in Floyd's league -- my record is 2-3 hours -- but what an inspiration.

How about the time Floyd showed up at his first road race wearing a garish jersey, visored helmet and bright argyle socks pulled high, then proceeded to smoke the field by 15 minutes even after stopping to fix a flat. Not that I could detonate a peloton, but I do own some ugly socks.

How can you not root for a guy like that? Allez, Floyd! "

P-38 Pilot

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