Initial reports said that Phonak’s Floyd Landis had punctured in Saturday’s Tour time trial – but in
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Floyd Landis’s second place on Saturday’s Tour de France time trial in Rennes puts the Phonak rider in a strong position to take the yellow jersey from current leader Serhiy Honchar (T-Mobile).
But he may have been in yellow already were it not for a bike change just 9km into the 52km stage. At first, it was reported that the American had punctured, but it turns out that his carbon aero handlebars had broken after he hit a pothole.
“I felt good, but I was beaten,” Landis said, modest as ever. “Honchar was really impressive.”
The bike change (“I have two,” Landis said, “which are identical”) needed to be made with the minimum of panic. “That’s what we did,” Phonak manager John Lelangue said. “And when we saw the times at the first check point [after 16.5km, with Landis 17 seconds down on Honchar], we knew that everything was OK, despite the incident.”
“Do I look like the sort of person to get stressed?” Landis said, when asked if he felt any pressure to take the yellow jersey, especially now having so many T-Mobile riders close to him on the general classification.
The German team has Michael Rogers in third, Patrik Sinkewitz in fourth and Andreas Kloden in sixth place, with Honchar in yellow.