Lost In Limoges

From the sheep-dotted pastures of France's underpopulated Southwest, Limoges rises in all its grey glory. The city's claim to fame: fine porcelain. The half-timbered houses of the Medieval center are surrounded by strip malls and McDo. Land-hungry Brits descend with flailing pocketbooks (thanks, RyanAir). The weather is remarkably cool year-round. Sure, I live on rue de Nice, but this is NOT the Cote d'Azur. Welcome to Limoges, "the middle of nowhere"-- or as Pierre says "everywhere"-- France.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Fallen Heroes: Floyd Landis Breaks My Heart

Just when I was on top of the world, feeling all smug and self-satisfied, as an American living in France. The 8th straight American victory in the Tour de France was cause for great celebration. Meanwhile, Pierre and all the other Frenchies I know were poised on their office chairs, reading L'Equipe editorials citing that Landis' stellar come-back performance in the Pyrenees could only be possible with performance-enhancing drugs. Reporters were already looking for ways to discount his awesome victory. And then, lo and behold, the announcement was made, the fingers pointed, and Landis seems to stand guilty as charged. I am so disappointed. The dude was a hero in my book, overcoming the odds, riding with an injured hip, proving himself as one of the world's greatest athletes (and from a Mennonite community in Pennsylvania, no less).

I like to have heroes. And these days, they are all falling short of my expectations. First, the always-poised Zidane loses his mind (and the game for the French) in the World Cup final. A serious fall from grace. Now Landis seems to be nothing more than a cheater. And the Tour de France, one big farce of steroid users.

(The French are all blaming the Americans. "The first winner only has one testicle. The second, only one hip. What's next? An American rider who can win the Tour with only one leg?")

Photo Via Outside Magazine


  • At 2:24 PM, Blogger Pierre said…

    This article is pretty hilarious...

    Poor Landis, maybe is innocent... He said too that he drank few beers and whiskies the night before the Morzine stage... and it was that which made the testosterone average go up....

    I am so sad for him!

  • At 11:56 PM, Blogger steve said…

    Meanwhile Virenque remains the darling of French cycling despite being one of the biggest drug cheats of recent TDF years!!!

  • At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Fran├žois said…

    Landis cheated, that seems to be sure now.

    the terrible thing about this is that he would have probably done the same at this stage in the Alps to Morzine without his patch. Doping "never turns a donkey into a racehorse". Never... He was probably the best rider of this Tour, with or without doping.

    The paradox is that the more we find cheaters the more people think riders are all under drugs although it's the contrary: the race is certainly more and more fair and clean and there are probably less and less cheaters.
    But it's extremly hard to explain that to the public who thinks (can we blame them...)that all the riders are "under someting"

    And Steve is so right with Virenque... :-)


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