An interview with Floyd Landis, July 4, 2005
Floyd Landis chillin' at Phonak...for now
Cyclingnews' Tim Maloney took a few moments to visit with Phonak's Floyd Landis before the start of Stage 2 of the 2005 Tour de France, where his best friend and roommate Dave Zabriskie was 100 meters away surrounded by the chaos of the media scrum that comes with being the maillot jaune. It was Landis who convinced his Girona, Spain flatmate DaveZ that he could win the Tour's first stage and Landis was happy to share his friend's incredible accomplishment as we spoke to him.
CN: How was the build up to the Tour de France on your new team Phonak?
FL: It was a little up and down at first, but the last few months have been good. The atmosphere is good; everybody is friendly and there's no animosity anywhere. That goes a long way to have a stress free training and racing environment.
CN: I understand that you had a little cold just before the Tour?
FL: Yes, but it didn't effect me. I just had to take a couple of extra naps and I feel good now.
CN: You like taking those naps...
FL: (Laughs) Yeah! My cold was just an excuse to take some more naps.
CN: So you are here at the 2005 Tour de France as a protected rider at Phonak. What are your first impressions so far?
FL: It's different this year because there's not that much chaos around our team. Compared to when you are on Lance's team, there's not that much stress because there are fewer media and fans. We're relaxed, which is good for me and the team and Phonak is just taking the Tour like another race.
CN: You had an excellent time trial on Stage 1, finishing 6th.
FL: Yeah, I was happy with it. Lance was good as I expected and Zabriskie, as I had hoped, won the race. He came through, man. I think we were all impressed with his performance.
CN: You and DaveZ are best friends and roommates...
FL: (Laughs) At least our apartment has the yellow jersey one way or another
CN: What kind of roommate is he?
FL: He's alright...he likes to clean, so he's perfect that way. He cleans for fun, so I don't do anything. I just hang out. His obsession with cleaning works fine for me. (After we spoke to Landis about Zabriskie, we asked the maillot jaune about Floyd as a flatmate. Zabriskie joked, "Oh, Floyd's been a good roommate himself; he's never there!)
CN: DaveZ has a unique way of expressing himself...
FL: He can come off a little bit strange to some people, mostly because he's shy and he doesn't know what to do or say when he's in front of a bunch of people. It's only that he's uncomfortable being the center of attention, but now with that maillot jaune, I'm sure he is! (laugh) Oh boy!
CN: How do you see the first week of the Tour playing out before the mountains start?
FL: There's always a few unpredictable things that go on, but the stages in the first week are relatively flat, so huge differences in time don't happen. There are crashes and unlucky situation, so for Phonak, the most important thing is to stay out of trouble. Our team isn't looked at as a team that can control the race, so we're not going to take the responsibility.
CN: How do you see the upcoming TTT on Tuesday?
FL: We have a very good team for that; the best team, the favourite team for the TTT should be CSC, based on what I saw Saturday, but we have an exceptional team and CSC will have a hard time beating us.