In fact, the cheese-eating surrender monkeys weren’t anywhere near the winners’ podium:
Floyd Landis won the Tour de France on Sunday, keeping cycling’s most prestigious title in American hands for the eighth straight year.
The 30-year-old Landis cruised to victory on the Champs-Elysees, a day after regaining the leader’s yellow jersey and building an insurmountable lead in the final time trial.
“I kept fighting, never stopped believing,” Landis said, shortly after he received the winner’s yellow jersey on the podium, joined by his daughter, Ryan.
Landis picked up where another American left off last year, when Lance Armstrong completed his seventh and final Tour triumph.
With the victory, Landis becomes the third American — joining Armstrong and three-time winner Greg LeMond — to win the Tour.
Sunday’s champagne and Landis’ fifth yellow jersey of the Tour were possible thanks to a once-in-a-lifetime ride Thursday in the Alps that put the Phonak team leader back in contention, one day after a disastrous ride dropped him from first to 11th, more than eight minutes back.
Oscar Pereiro of Spain finished second overall at 57 seconds back, and Germany’s Andreas Kloeden was third, 1:29 behind Landis.
Norway’s Thor Hushovd won the final stage Sunday of the three-week race. He had also won the Tour prologue on July 1.
And, yes, I realize I’m being a sore winner, but I don’t care. The French rather consistently place themselves at the bottom of my “favorite European countries” list (a list with a long bottom, and a short top).
Enough with the French — huge kudos to Floyd Landis, who not only pulled off an impressive victory on its face, but who also returned from a terrible one day ride. I’m most impressed.