By Tim Maloney, European Editor
In an interview with French newspaper La Provence Dimanche, Jacques Michaud, Phonak directeur sportif came out with a strong defence of Tour De France winner Floyd Landis.
"The thing that bothers me the most in all the comments that have come out (about Landis) is that no one is talking about his intrinsic qualities. This guy, he's certainly an athlete who has special talents, who had exceptional physical talents and people forget that he's been working towards winning the Tour for ten years."
Talking about the extraordinary ride that brought Landis his Stage 17 win, Michaud said, "Yes, that day was a big exploit by Floyd...so? It was an exploit, but that is the kid of ride a competitor of the calibre of Floyd can accomplish. Floyd has the talent of a great cycling champion, like Indurain, Armstrong or Ullrich. When one is in that league, one can perform like Floyd did on July 20th."
Michaud made the cogent point that, "In modern cycling, people have forgotten what it's like to see something like Floyd did that day."
Discussing the doping allegations, Michaud said, "Frankly speaking, if Floyd was doping, (Phonak) would have known it."