Floyd Landis announces Gran Fondo

Former professional rider Floyd Landis is back and has announced that he will co-organise a cycling tour event on June 1-2, 2013 in Windham, NY in the Catskill Mountains, just north of New York City.

"It's near where I got my start in mountain biking way back. I raced there in the Catskills again in 2010 and it was fun and had some crushing climbs," Landis told Cyclingnews.

The capacity for the event has yet to be confirmed but Landis and joint event manager Dieter Drake and Anthem Sports are hoping for a positive response.

"Cycling needs a diversion right now. We're hoping this will be one way to get people out riding bicycles for fun and to forget about all the drama that they're reading and watching right now," Landis added.

Participants will compete individually over two days; the Devil's Kitchen Hill Climb is featured on Saturday, while the Gran Fondo Catskills will be held on Sunday. In addition to the individual hill climb competition, participants will be timed on various challenging segments of the course for the Sunday gran fondo event. Overall champions in various age-group categories will be crowned and awarded prizes at the end of the event.

Landis and Anthem Sports - organizers of the popular Tour of the Battenkill in Cambridge, NY - hope to bring attention to the local tourism industry with a major cycling event.

Landis has had a turbulent few years. Having been stripped of the Tour de France in 2006 he spent years on the sidelines before returning to the sport in 2009. In 2010 he came clean, admitting to a past of doping and has since been an advocate for clean sport.

"I'm finished with professional racing but I enjoy riding my bike and I want to be a part of something like this now. Dieter and Anthem Sports are helping to make it happen. He has many years experience at promoting the biggest one-day race in the US and will create a very professional event."

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