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Floyd Landis to Compete Mardis Cyclistes on June 16

by John Symon

June 2, 2009 (Montreal, QC) — Floyd Landis (OUCH Maxxis) will soon be in Montreal on the start line at the Mardis Cyclistes race on June 16 confirmed Tino Rossi at the Mardis Cyclistes de Lachine (MCL) press conference on Tuesday in Montreal. Rossi is the founder and outgoing president of the MCL presented by Saputo series, now in its 32nd year.

Landis, who finished first at the 2006 Tour de France, was later stripped of his medal because of a positive doping test for artificial testosterone which Landis continues to deny and retains many fans in the world of cycling. Landis will compete at the June 16 MCL together with OUCH Presented by Maxxis team members Cameron Evans (Can), Bobby Lea, John Murphy and Rory Sutherland

Upon hearing this, defending MCL champ, Jean Francois Laroche (Pro Bike Pool-Kuota), declared, “We’re not going to let them win!” This set the stage for a number of joking remarks by subsequent speakers. Lachine Mayor Claude Dauphin poked fun at Rossi’s new hairstyle, saying it made him look 20 years younger, “And I thought Tino was going to announce that he wants to stay on for another 20 years.”

Also on hand for the conference was the honorary president of the event, Henri Richard, the younger brother of Maurice (“the Rocket”) Richard (1921-2000). Both brothers played hockey for the Montreal Canadiens and many consider the now deceased Maurice Richard to have been the greatest hockey player of all time. And while Montreal today has a strong reputation for being a hockey town, Henri Richard related how he and his brother used to watch six day velodrome races (presumably in the 1940s), recalling a period when bike racing rivaled hockey games in popularity.

Marc Wayne Addison, who is gradually taking over the MCL from Rossi, confided to Pedal that securing a commitment from Landis was, “a lot of work to organize!” Pedal also understands that Landis’s team mate Canadian rider Cam Evans played a pivotal role in convincing Landis to ride at the Lachine series. Evans previously competed at the MCL winning the first of 10 stages in 2007.

One novelty at the 2009 MCL will be a new race for 12 to 14-year-old (minime) girls, but this will have a common start with the minime boys and with the cadets (boys and girls).

Many sponsors were also present among the crowd of 70 at the historic Vieille Brasserie along the lakeshore in Lachine, a western suburb of Montreal. Also there was FQSC director Louis Barbeau who remarked that “life would be pretty boring without the MCL.” Barbeau, whose association oversees 385 cycling events in 2009, is heading off Wednesday to Chicoutimi for the Coupe des Nations race.

There will also be a charity ride with Landis taking place on June 17 at a cost of $250 per person and riders interested in joining this ride should visit www.teamkuota.com.

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