After the Floyd Landis’ overall victory in the Tour of California this Sunday, the Phonak team sat down together in style and drank a toast. Landis won both the time trial and the general classification in his home state, and was able to celebrate in the presence of his family. But there wasn’t much time to savour the success, because the squad started its journey back to Europe at 4 am, where the first ProTour race of the season, Paris-Nice, kicks off next Sunday.
"We’re celebrating a little. But not wildly, of course, and especially not long," an overjoyed Floyd Landis said. "We still have other big goals ahead of us." Nevertheless, this victory means a lot to the Californian. "But I’m mostly proud of my team," he continued. "It did its job extremely well."
Directeur Sportif René Savary honoured the whole team for its efforts. "Such a triumph is only possible thanks to a good team spirit among the riders and the people supporting them," Savary said.
Meanwhile, Phonak's General Manager John Lelangue is seeing the bigger picture of the recent success. "The fact that Floyd Landis was able to enter three stages at the Tour of California as the leader was good training for us," Lelangue explained. "We focused exclusively on the general classification and didn’t have any ambitions at all in terms of stage wins. This was a new situation for the entire team, which worked very well with its leader - every rider was in place when he was needed.
"That's how we applied pressure to the other teams, like CSC or Discovery, and now we’re returning to Europe with very valuable experience. Given the good form that the riders are now in, I’m confident that we can also have a good race at Paris-Nice, which starts next Sunday in Issy-les-Moulineaux [a district of Paris -ed.]," he concluded.