So the Floyd Landis hearing took an insane twist on Thursday, one that we did not see coming. After several days of testimony by French lab-type-guys, three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond took the stand. First we wondered what the hell Greg LeMond has to do with anything here, especially since the experts had been talking about urine for three days. On a side note, the only person to inspire more jingoism in me during my childhood besides Dennis Conner was Greg LeMond. The man was amazing. He won the Tour de France three times, twice after being shot!
Greg LeMond was testifying at Landis’ hearings because of a discussion he and Landis had after Landis’ first positive test was announced.
At this point, he said, ‘I don’t see anything that … what good would it do? If I did, it would destroy a lot of my friends and hurt a lot of people,” LeMond testified.
It seemed like a fairly innocuous conversation compared to what got revealed after that. During that same discussion, LeMond urged Landis to just come clean if it was true because it’s always better to get things out in the open. LeMond then used his own childhood sexual abuse as an example. He told Landis about how it had nearly destroyed him when he tried to keep it a secret.
So Greg LeMond is a really good guy. He’s encouraging Floyd Landis, trying to help as best he can because Floyd’s in a lot of trouble. Guess what happened next…LeMond then got a cell phone call from some one who later turned out to be a member of the Landis camp that threatened to make his abuse public unless he refused to testify in the hearings.
Floyd Landis and the guy that made the phone call, Landis’ manager Will Geoghegan, are really, really bad guys. Really, really bad. We can’t say “really” enough here. Not only is Floyd Landis an alleged cheater, he’s a blackmailer too. And apparently the worst kind of blackmailer. Going after a guy who’s trying to help you by using his own childhood trauma against him? Yeah, that’s about as low as it gets. We’re having trouble even writing about it because it’s so self-evident.
This is also the death knell for American interest in cycling. No one really cared that much to begin with anyway. We just liked it when an American won because it’s fun sticking it to the French and the rest of the world who put a ton of emphasis on a freaking bike race. Once Lance Armstrong was done, it was great to see an American win again, but not nearly as exciting as it used to be. We already had a Lance Armstrong; there is no need for a Floyd Landis. Now that we know cheating is so rampant in cycling that it might as well be legal, that guys are so awful that they’ll threaten to tell people’s stories of child abuse, and that they’ll have that creepy facial hair, well, that’s it cycling, you’re dead to us. Now let us never speak of it again.