Floyd Landis' Amazing Journey

Floyd Landis of the US toasts with a glass of champagne as he pedals during the final stage of the 93rd Tour de France cycling race, between Antony, south of Paris, and Paris, Sunday, July 23, 2006. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati) AP Photo

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor .
If you didn't know better, you'd think an American was supposed to win the Tour de France every year.

Start with Greg LeMond in the late eighties. He won three. Then there's Lance Armstrong, who won seven straight, ending in 2005. Now there's Floyd Landis, who used to ride brilliantly with Armstrong on the old U.S. Postal Service team.

Landis grew up in rural eastern Pennsylvania, the son of devout Mennonites. Mennonites are serious Christians who eschew many of the conventions of modern life.

As a teenager Floyd used to sneak away at night to practice riding his bike. When he turned 18, he headed to California to pursue his cycling career. This was otherworldly stuff for the Landis family.

On Sunday morning, as Floyd was racing up and down the streets of Paris, his mom and dad were in church, mindful that their proper place was in a pew, not plopped in front of a TV set.

It's a story that feels like it came out of a different century. What a journey, from Lancaster Pa. to Paris, France.



Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith
  • Peter Stevenson

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