Floyd Landis confesses that he is battling almost constant and considerable pain in his hip in order
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There are stories aplenty about the agonies that many riders have to go through to achieve their goals at the pinnacle of the sport, and on today’s Tour de France rest day Floyd Landis added a new ailment to that list as he admitted he is set to have a hip replacement when the race finishes.
Currently lying second overall, Phonak’s Landis explained he has a degenerative bone condition which regularly leaves him in agony. The condition is the result of a training crash the 30-year-old American suffered four years ago when he was with US Postal.
“If I hadn’t had a bike-racing career, I would have had the hip replaced two years ago because I don’t really want to deal with the pain,” Landis said. “It’s bad, it’s grinding, it’s bone rubbing on bone. Sometimes it’s a sharp pain. When I pedal and walk, it comes and goes, but mostly it’s an ache, like an arthritis pain.”
The condition, avascular necrosis, means Landis has received special dispensation from the International Cycling Union to take cortisone to help with the pain.
Phonak team manager John Lelangue is confident Landis will be OK to return to racing next season despite the seriousness of the operation he is facing. “If it’s done well and planned for a good time, I’m confident he will return to training normally and there won’t be any problem next season,” said Lelangue of his team leader, who is now the bookies’s favourite to win the Tour.