Floyd Landis (Phonak) is rapidly maturing as a team leader, winning two stage races on the trot: The Tour of California and now Paris-Nice. After a brilliant attack with Patxi Vila to finish second in the third stage to St Etienne, Landis rode consistently for the next four days, supported by a motivated and hard working team that neutralised any threats to the American. His eyes are now on the Tour de France in July, as Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner reports from Floyd's final press conference in Nice.
Q: What happened in the descent of the Col de la Porte, you crashed?
FL: Yes, there was some gravel on that downhill. There have been some dangerous downhills in this race and I think I can be happy to have crashed only once!
Q: People say that you are a different man now. What has changed?
FL: What has mainly changed is the team. We have a lot of different riders but a very focused atmosphere - I couldn't have done it without them. We have been through some ups and downs together and it builds character, as we say.
I've sort of been through some ups and downs myself; that last year was the first where I had to take some racing decisions on my own and try to be the leader. It was a learning experience and now it seems to have paid off.