As usual, the story was dead wrong but headed in the right direction. Toward the mad Mennonite.
Internet noise had Floyd Landis facing charges that he attempted to hack into the French anti-doping computers to change incriminating data on his 2006 Tour de France case. International arrest warrants were issued but that was mostly comedy — Landis can’t afford a plane ticket anywhere and the last place he’s visiting is Europe.
But that’s not the story — which is old and pointless and leading nowhere of consequence. No, the drama was brand new and insidious and yes, maybe even a little brilliant.
Floyd Landis is the man who hacked both the official Tour de France and Giro websites, embarrassing both organizations by posting the 2012 races routes a week before the presentations and destroying any semblance of surprise.
Yes, the only winner of the Tour de France ever to have the yellow jersey stripped off his back is still sticking it to the French and just for grins, the Italians, too.
Even ASO Tour boss Christian Prudhomme seemed to implicate Landis in his post-presentation remarks. “It is strange and yet not so strange. We simply asked ourselves, who would do a bizarre, crazy thing like this? Everyone knows he is mentally unstable,” said Prudhomme.
Officials for both grand tours were initially at a loss to explain how first the Tour and then the Giro had unprecedented and identical web glitches that led to the unintentional posting of race routes.
“If it was just the Tour, you say, okay, a computer issue, but then the same thing happens with the Giro? No, that’s a campaign of vengeance,” said Interpol’s Klaus De Vries. “We are working with specialists to pin-point the origin of the hacking.”
According to one undisclosed source, authorities are already confident that computer traces point back to Southern California. Landis lives in a small cabin in Idyllwild, California in the southern part of the state.
News that Landis may have been behind the Tour-Giro site hacks with met with little surprise at UCI headquarters. Patrick McQuaid, already embroiled in a non-existent lawsuit against Landis, was quick to fire off his opinion.
“The world knows all about Landis — he is a liar, a psychopath and a criminal,” said McQuaid. “This is the kind of behavior we expect and we have a full investigation already in progress.”
Landis himself has so far refused comment on the website hacking of grand tour websites. Repeated calls to his home were answered only with hysterical laughter and then a dead line.