By Brecht Decaluwé in Montceau-les-Mines
Cyclingnews also spoke to the five time Tour winner's son Axel, asking him firstly what he noticed about the American this morning [Saturday]. "He was very focused. There was a lot of pressure on him," he replied. "Hopefully he recuperated well from Thursday's performance [Landis hadn't finished his TT at that point]. I saw him just before I started. He knows that we're supporting him 100 percent."
Axel Merckx wasn't defending his GC position, but still the time trial must be a hard job: "I wasn't aiming for a top time," he said. "I just wanted to be within the time limit at the finish. I started very well and when I noticed that I was doing alright I eased off. The reason was because these three weeks have been very hard. A minute more or less doesn't matter to me."
Merckx' role as a teammate means he has an insight into Landis that most people will never have. The impression is given that Floyd Landis always looks very relaxed, but the bad day at La Toussuire showed that it's not always a correct assumption. "Some people look relaxed on the outside, but are not on the inside, said Merckx. "But today, he's looking very confident to me."