Cycling: Landis thanks parents for 'patience and persistence'

Floyd Landis hailed the patience and persistence that his parents instilled in him in his youth as he swept to victory in the Tour de France to become the first winner in the post-Lance Armstrong era.

The 30-year-old American came home 57 seconds ahead of the Spaniard Oscar Pereiro for one of the slimmest margins of victory in the race's history. Landis, though, had demonstrated all the traits of a winner when he dug in over the Alps for the final few days of the 2,000-plus mile race.

"My parents taught me that hard work and patience are some of the most important things in getting what you want," said the Phonak team rider whose parents raised him in the strict Mennonite Christian tradition in Pennsylvania.

"It took me a long time in my life to learn patience, but that, and persistence, are lessons I learned in this race."

Landis appeared to have blown his chances on stage 16 when he was left in the wake of his rivals in the Alps and was eight minutes and eight seconds adrift of Pereiro, who took the race leader's yellow jersey.

However, the following day Landis destroyed the opposition to win the 17th stage and close to within 30 seconds of Pereiro, whom he passed to reclaim the yellow jersey on Saturday.

There was little realistic danger of him losing the lead on Sunday in the hazard-free flat ride to the race's traditional finishing point on the Champs-Elysées, after which he received a congratulatory call from the US President ,George Bush.

Landis has had sometimes tense relations with seven-times winner Armstrong, but admitted that riding in his former US Postal team had proved a great learning experience.

He said: "I was fortunate enough to be here a few times with Lance and see how he did it and that helps but it's quite an experience to do it myself."

Armstrong said: "I'm glad a guy who came through our program has won. We can take a small bit of credit for helping develop Floyd."

Armstrong says the US Postal team, now called Discovery Channel, gambled on Landis when he joined from the Mercury team in 2001. "He had a mountain of debt because they [Mercury] didn't pay him," Armstrong said from his room at the Crillon hotel in Paris. "We're the one who gave him the opportunity. For us, there's a bit of a moral victory there because you gave a guy a chance to ride for you, to learn from you."

Landis plans soon to have replacement surgery on his right hip, which is afflicted by avascular necrosis, but he hopes to be back next year - when Armstrong hopes he will be racing for Discovery instead.

"He's a damn good rider," Armstrong said. "We would take Floyd back."

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits