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Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Floyd Landis , Loren Mooney

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26. Juni 2007
THE SERIES OF EVENTS surrounding Floyd Landis's 2006 Tour de France was as improbable as anything in the history of sports: He showed up nine seconds late for the race's opening prologue, donned the leader's yellow jersey twelve days later, and lost his lead only to regain it in remarkable fashion just before the Tour's final stage into Paris. Winning the Tour should have been the culmination of a life's dream, but a mere three days later, Landis was accused of using banned performance-enhancing drugs. Released by his team and threatened with the removal of his Tour title, Landis went from winning the most prestigious race of his career to being unfairly labeled as a cheater, a liar, and a doper.

Positively False is at once a memoir and a powerful indictment of the unchecked governing bodies of cycling that have compromised theintegrity of the sport as a whole. From leaving the Mennonite community of his youth in order to pursue his passion for cycling, to riding alongside Lance Armstrong for three years -- with whom he shared the same work ethic and competitive desire -- Floyd Landis details the highs and lows of his career with unabashed honesty. It is this same honesty with which he will clear his name once and for all, as he lays bare the inner workings of the cycling world -- a place where athletes are subject to the antiquated science, flawed interpretive protocols, and draconian legal processes of the anti-doping agencies -- and finally lays to rest the scandal that threatened to destroy everything he's worked so hard to achieve....

-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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Floyd Landis began his professional cycling career in 1995, one year

after graduating from Conestoga Valley High School. In 1997 he was the Men's

Under-23 National Champion. In 1998 Landis made the switch to road cycling.

He has completed the Tour de France every year since 2002. Floyd Landis

lives in Murrieta, California, with his wife, Amber, and their daughter,


Loren Mooney is the executive editor of Bicycling magazine.

Her writing has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Reader's

Digest, New York, and other magazines and books. Mooney covered

her first Tour de France in 2006. She lives in New York City.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.


Breaking Away

I have nothing to hide.

As far as I'm concerned, people can know everything about me if they want: how much money I've made, when I've been a fool or felt regret or shed tears. I don't care. There's no reason to hold anything back. I don't feel the need to be selective in order to create some image of a person who isn't me. I'm me. That's it.

I ended up making a living in a sport where a bunch of men wear spandexand shave their legs -- and that's not even the funny part. The funny partis that cycling and its anti-doping program are run by people so incompetent they couldn't even run a Ralphs grocery store. I couldn'talways laugh about it, because they wrecked my life. But I don't ask forsympathy. I take what I'm given in life and try to make some good out ofit, always.

In the end, cycling is a beautiful sport, and it deserves better. It rewards focus, strength, and endurance, and also requires negotiation, teamwork, and a strategic mind. You have to be the best at all those things in order to win the Tour de France, and it's a long journey. Maybe the things I've done or the way I've done them will inspire disbelief, and people will think I lied or made things up. If that's the case, then the only thing I can say is, at least they got to hear the whole story.

It starts in Farmersville, Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County, the heart of Mennonite and Amish country. My family is Mennonite, a branch of the Anabaptist Protestant religion that bases its beliefs on a more literal interpretation of the Bible and encourages nonparticipation in mainstream society. It's related to Amish. Basically, the Amish split from the Mennonites centuries ago to become a more inflexible, conservative sect. The Mennonites embrace modern culture more, but not much more.

We lived on Farmersville Road, where my parents, Paul and Arlene, moved to when they got married thirty-five years ago. The road stretches for miles of white farmhouses, red barns, cornfields, and silos, with no variationexcept maybe when the farmhouse is red and the barn is white.

My parents' house has three bedrooms, one for them and two for the kids. First, my sister Alice filled one of the bedrooms, and then I came along and took over the other. Over the next fifteen years, my parents added Bob, Charity, Priscilla, and Abigail. Until I was nineteen, Bob and I slept in a double bed in one room, and the girls stayed in the other in bunk beds and a double bed.

Some Mennonites are what you'd call "horse-and-buggy," but my parents aremore progressive than that. We had cars, but there was no television orvideo games, no movies, and definitely no alcohol or swearing. We had aradio, but it stayed tuned to a gospel station, and we also played gospel records and sang along. Men wore long pants all the time, and women wore dresses or long pants and kept their hair in buns and wore head coverings -- that's still how it is at my parents' house.

The Mennonite life is simple: Glory goes to God, not to the self. You go to church, you work, and you take care of the people around you. Everyonecontributed to the household however they could, with work or chores, but growing up we never had any money. None of the Mennonites did. It was easy to spot a Mennonite kid at the public high school where I went, because we were the quiet ones in whatever plain clothes our parents could find for cheap -- completely outside of the world of teenage fashion.

We went to church twice on Sundays and sometimes on Wednesdays, and on top of that there were prayer meetings, Bible school, and seminars with intensive Scripture study.

To support our family, Dad owned a self-serve carwash/ laundry down the road. It never really made much money because almost everyone owned a washer-dryer, and if people weren't going to wash their own cars, they went to an automatic carwash. The equipment at the laundry was old, so I spent a lot of time figuring out how washing machines worked and fixing them.

For a while he made money as a real-estate agent and did other odd jobs. When my uncle was diagnosed with a brain tumor, my dad started driving my uncle's delivery truck part-time to help out, hauling stone to concrete and blacktop plants in Delaware and New Jersey. When my uncle died, Dad kept driving for two years to support my aunt. Then he bought the truck.

My mom stayed home to raise the kids. Every afternoon she practically danced around the kitchen as she made home-cooked dinner with fresh, homemade bread, and if I sat at the big family dining table while she was working, she'd talk to me in a way that sounded almost like a song. My dad always spoke so softly that sometimes you had to lean in to hear him, and he chose every word carefully. I can say with 100-percent certainty that they are the most wonderful parents I could possibly have.

Everything we had was old, so we spent a lot of time making repairs. We had crappy cars that my dad taught me how to work on, even in the middle of winter when my fingers were freezing off. I painted the house and barn, and pruned trees. We had a septic tank that would fill every few months. It had wooden boards on top and we'd have to stick shovels in through theliquid to shovel out the solid parts at the bottom, and by the time wewere done my sneakers would be soaked. Dad wouldn't pay anyone to comepump it out, because he never liked to pay money for anything.

When it was time to have fun, I spent a lot of time with my cousins and my best friend, Eric Gebhard. Eric wasn't Mennonite, but his family wasconservative Christian. His parents were divorced, and he lived with hisfather, so my mom pretty much adopted him and he was at our house all the time.

We went fishing or swimming or swinging off the rope swing in the river down the road. Some of my cousins had an aboveground pool that they stocked with catfish, and we'd fish in the pool, which I'm pretty sure means we were rednecks. If there's any doubt, my family had an aluminum fishing boat we'd take to the river, and Bob, Dad, and I sometimes hunted squirrels from the boat, and that night Mom would make squirrel pie, which doesn't taste very good.

For family vacations, we always went camping, because it was cheap. We'd load up the family van, hitch up the aluminum fishing boat, and pile everyone's bikes into the boat to haul them to the campground.

Everyone in the Mennonite community had bicycles. I once saw a guy riding with a shotgun perched across the handlebar and a rack in back that held the deer he'd just shot. On Sundays the roads were cluttered with Amish horses and buggies and Mennonites on bikes riding to church. Even today, my parents often ride their bikes to church, six miles each way.

My mom taught me how to ride just like she did all my siblings, at the top of the rise in the driveway. I learned on Alice's yellow girl's bike, which Dad had picked out of someone's trash. Mom cheered me on while Alice ran in front of me. "Follow Alice, Floyd," she said. "Look where you're going. Don't look around. When you look around is when you wobble." It didn't take me long to figure it out.

Green Mountain Cyclery was a tiny bike shop in a yellow two-story house a few miles away owned by a couple, Jen and Mike Farrington. In the spring when I was fourteen, my dad drove me there to look at bikes. I walked right to the one I wanted. It was neon green and orange, a Marin Muirwoods fully rigid steel mountain bike. It was last year's model, on sale for three hundred dollars.

"Floyd, I'm not paying that much money for a bicycle," my dad said. If he had his way, I'd keep riding my fifty-dollar Huffy from Kmart and be happy with it. But I wanted something that would last through the beating I was going to give it. Plus, even at three hundred dollars, it wasn't anywhere near the top of the line. But we didn't buy it.... -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.6 von 5 Sternen  88 Rezensionen
83 von 95 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Fiction section 20. Mai 2010
Von Deryck Payne - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I am guessing that the people who gave Flyod the benefit of the doubt will ask for their money back now.
and please Amazon can this piece of garbage be moved into the fiction section. I really don't know why
anyone would believe a cyclist whenever he claims to be drug free.
39 von 45 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A Three Part Act 10. Mai 2009
Von snowleopard - Veröffentlicht auf
May 2010 Edit - I wrote this review before Floyd Landis confession, but am keeping the review nearly entirely unchanged, as it applies to the book actually written, not what happened since. It was my opinion upon reading the book that the best parts were about his life as a youth, and the weakest aspects of it about his case, which has been proven false in itself.

Whatever the future holds, it's a real shame Floyd had to lie when writing this book, but at least he finally did come clean, and from getting to know the guy who wrote this book, lies and truths, I hope his conscience is now clean and he can move on with his life.

The book isn't written in three parts, but in a sense it is. The first part is about Floyd's early life, growing up in a strict Mennonite upbringing, having an awful lot of energy and love for bicycling, mostly on a mountain bike, but being told he should stay home on the farm. Floyd couldn't do that, so he moved on in life. Not that he completely lost his faith, he just felt he had so much more. This in itself is a terrific story, and it's a shame it's not written in a more detailed, if nostalgic, manner. But it's still a great base for Floyd's story.

The next part Floyd talks about his life as a bike racer. What's good about this part is that he doesn't just repeat the same information in Lance's books, Lemond's books, Hinault's book, etc. He goes into details about how he signed, how much he was paid, how he moved up on the USPS team, then split away from Lance as he wanted to be his own team leader, and how they reconciled. This is interesting, but as one who has followed cycling for many years, and read a great deal about USPS and cycling during this time, Floyd leaves a fair amount out, and this could have been expanded upon. But it's still a quick read and enjoyable.

The third part, and this is what the book is really about, is Floyd's positive test for testosterone in the 2006 Tour de France, and his efforts to fight it, including details on how the USADA works, how the lab (LNDD) worked, and why the odds were stacked against him the first time his test was even reported as positive. And this is where the book, especially in retrospect, gets a little slippery. Because this book is not about a debate, and not from an objective third party, but from Floyd's perspective, it has to be taken with a grain of salt, and cross referenced by the reader to his case, and other reporting, if one wants to truly get to the bottom of it. Floyd concentrates on how the lab made errors in just what determines a positive test (on a technical level, he has a point), and how had he not had the resources, and a high level legal team, he would have had to defend himself in front of USADA and their attorneys. This is partly true. Floyd also questions the lab's handling of the paperwork, and testing procedures, and by now, if you've done your homework, you'll start to feel a little less sorry for him. This is especially the case if you have read the CAS ruling harshly criticizing Floyd and his legal team's efforts.

Let me explain what I think happened. And this is an opinion here that may not be a review of the book but something for you to consider when reading it. My opinion comes from many years of studying cycling, and having been an amateur racer myself at one point, and following Floyd's case closely. It is my belief that Floyd doped during that 2006 Tour de France. But I believe he wasn't doping that much more than anyone else, and subsequent positive tests from among other riders he defeated, cements this. I believe Floyd's entire team may have been doping, along with the majority of other contenders. It's the ugly side of the sport.

Did Floyd win the 2006 Tour because he doped? Partly. But that wasn't the only reason. Floyd rode a smart tactical race, and showed a tremendous amount of grit and a brilliant strategy on the key stage where he sealed victory (Stage 17) and he talks about it in the book. He had riders out in front of him to act as a carrot, he attacked early, the weather was to his liking (hot!) and he kept himself well hydrated and drenched in water. The other contenders waited too long to chase and could be seen bickering with each other. Floyd also descends extremely well, and a solo rider can go downhill faster than a group. Floyd rode a gutsy, brilliant ride that day, one that would make Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault proud.

When Floyd came up positive, it is my opinion (yes an opinion) that all of this entered his mind: That most everyone dopes - it's endemic to the sport; that he rode his heart out and made a great strategic decision. When his doping test results was unfairly leaked to the press, he probably felt that the authorities had the deck stacked against him, and it compelled him to fight harder. In the end he lost. But it's easy to see why when asked about his greatest accomplishment, Floyd's answer is winning the 2006 Tour de France. Believe what you may, you can read about it here.
29 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Another sporting fraud............ 21. Mai 2010
Von Spooky1 - Veröffentlicht auf
Verifizierter Kauf
I bought this book. I read this book. I was more than willing to give Mr. Landis the benefit of doubt. As of today, 05/20/10, I am saddened by his admission of guilt. Furthermore, I find the charges he is now leveling at his former team mates, tantamount to the behavior of a feces throwing primate. Sad and pathetic.
16 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Positively Needs A Revision 21. Mai 2010
Von mwreview - Veröffentlicht auf
In light of recent admissions, perhaps Landis can profit again with a revised book that details the REAL Real Story surrounding the 2006 Tour de France--while implicating everyone else along the way, of course.
15 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Postively False Indeed! 20. Mai 2010
Von A. M. Dawson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
How can anyone believe anything that Mr. Landis writes or says at this point? The man is obviously a glory hound. Based on his emails and press activities from May 2010, this book should definitely be moved to the fiction section.
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