Landis wins stage 17 in dramatic fashion

Floyd Landis won stage 17 in a solo effort and moved into 3rd place overall. (photo: Casey B. Gibson)
La Toussuire, France (July 20, 2006)—In one of the most dramatic days of racing in Tour de France history, Floyd Landis became the ninth American in history to win a stage in cycling’s flagship event, capturing a win in Thursday’s 182-kilometer stage from Le Bourg-d'Oisans to La Toussuire.

After a disastrous day in the Alps on Wednesday that saw Landis drop to 11th place and lose over eight minutes in giving up the yellow jersey, a determined Landis recovered to avenge his loss with an emphatic solo breakaway victory in the final mountain stage of the Tour.

Landis won the stage by 5:40 over second-place finisher Carlos Sastre of Spain, and finished 7:08 ahead of current overall leader Oscar Periero, also of Spain.

Landis’ performance virtually erased the seemingly insurmountable time gap that existed prior to Thursday’s stage and reintroduced him as one of the favorites to win the overall classification when the race concludes Sunday in Paris.

After Thursday’s stage, Landis sits in third place, 30 seconds behind race leader Periero and 18 seconds behind Sastre. After a flat stage designed for a mass sprint finish on Friday, Saturday’s 56-kilometer time trial is expected to determine the outcome of the overall standings. On paper, Landis is considered to be the strongest time trialist in the top ten and will look to make up the 31-second time gap then.

Landis joins George Hincapie, David Zabriskie, Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, Andy Hampsten, Greg LeMond, Jeff Pierce and Davis Phinney as Americans to win an individual stage of the Tour de France. In 2004, Landis was a member of the United States Postal Service squad that won the team time trial stage.

Tour de France
Stage 17
Le Bourg-d'Oisans to La Toussuire – 182km

1. Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak 5.23.36 (37.175 km/h)
2. Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC +5.42
3. Christophe Moreau (Fra) AG2R-Prevoyance +5.58
4. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital +6.40
5. Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank +7.08

Tour de France
Overall Classification after stage 17

1. Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 80.08.49
2. Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC +0.12
3. Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak +0.30
4. Andreas Klöden (Ger) T-Mobile +2.29
5. Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto +3.08

This Article Published July 20, 2006 For more information contact: