By Kirsten Robbins in Redlands, California
Floyd Landis (OUCH p/b Maxxis) started the Redlands Bicycle Classic as one of the event's marquee riders but was forced to pull out of the stage one circuit race held in Beaumont due to a series of untimely mechanicals. According to team directeur Mike Tamayo, despite Landis' absence the team is still focused on an overall victory.
"I think this impacts us," said Tamayo. "But we still have seven riders who are talented. We are still fully charged for racing with the guys that we have and we know we have riders who can win NRC races in stages, sprints and overall."
The wind blew through Beaumont at nearly 40 km/hour making it difficult for riders with mishaps to rejoin the main field. "He had a series of mechanicals that happened at an unfortunate time," Tamayo said. "There were three, all on the first lap. He had a wheel change in the first half a lap followed by a flat tire after the feed zone and a third wheel change into the first climb. It was issues that everyone was having. But for Floyd it was a perfect series of mishaps."
According to Tamayo, the Redlands Bicycle Classic was not Landis' main focus and the team has an undetermined schedule prepared for the former ProTour contender.