Why I'll never be a sports commentator. Yesterday afternoon, I joined the rest of the cycling world in authoritatively pronouncing Floyd Landis dead and putting my chips behind Carlos Sastre. And today, after one of the most exciting Tour de France stages in recent memory, he's within striking distance - 31 seconds - of the yellow jersey. Get yourself in front of OLN tonight, even if you don't know the first thing about cycling. You'll never forget this stage.
People are focusing on the remarkable physical performance, riding so commandingly after yesterday's meltdown. But I don't think it's the physical that's the amazing thing - riders have good and bad days, strong legs and weak legs, any variety of physical complaints. To me, the most impressive thing is that Landis did not let yesterday's seemingly devastating setback shatter him mentally. It's too easy for a rider to become depressed and give up - many of us think Jan Ullrich never recovered from being passed by Lance Armstrong in last year's prologue time trial. As Coach Gary always emphasizes to me - cycling is a mental exercise. Today Floyd Landis showed the world that he is made of mentally stern stuff, indeed. An absolutely awe-inspiring performance.