Floyd Landis was kind enough to take some time from his busy schedule to grant me a phone interview today.
Tom: Hi Floyd, how are you today?
Floyd: I’m good. You?
T: Fine. Umm, I think there’s some legal stuff I have to cover. I’m going to record this conversation. Is that ok with you?
F: Sure. You mean all my phone calls aren’t recorded?
T: It’s possible. But it isn’t me. Any more.
F: That’s a relief.
T: First off, if this interview turns out to be a bit on the dull side, do you mind if I replace your answers with some shit that I make up?
F: Frankly I was counting on that. I wasn’t planning on listening to the questions anyway.
T: That’s kind of a relief actually, thanks.
F:Yeah, to be honest I’m conducting two other phone interviews right now, and the other ones are actually important. So my answers won’t match your questions at all.
T: Excellent. I’ll just shuffle them around when we’re done. Tell me. How’s your life going right now?
F: I don’t really understand all that legal jargon, sorry. You should refer that question to my lawyers.
T: Were you aware that the UCI has apparently won some sort of civil judgement against you in the Swiss Courts?
F: I thought that was made up. You know they claimed they were suing me and I thought that was all for the press. You know for the, for the good of cycling. Because, they never actually contacted me or asked me to go to court or anything. So I didn’t think it was real.
T: They claimed they couldn’t figure out where you live.
F: My cardboard box doesn’t have an actual street number on it. And when I’m not there I spend most of my time on my personal jet or my personal yacht. Hard to receive mail that way. So yeah, they may actually have a point there.
T: You have a jet and a yacht?
F: No. What makes you think that?
T: You just said…
F: Reporters are always trying to put words in my mouth. I probably haven’t said any of this.
T: I warned you that might be the case. Did you actually say any of the things the UCI claims you said?
F: They claimed I said something bad? I’m pretty sure that’s inaccurate. I only want the best for cycling even after all that’s happened. I have no motive for bad-mouthing cycling’s governing body or it’s leaders. So no, I don’t think I did.
T: [reading from the Swiss ruling] “forbids Floyd Landis to state that the Union Cycliste Internationale, Patrick (Pat) McQuaid and/or Henricus (Hein) Verbruggen have concealed cases of doping, received money for doing so, have accepted money from Lance Armstrong to conceal a doping case, have protected certain racing cyclists, concealed cases of doping, have engaged in manipulation, particularly of tests and races, have hesitated and delayed publishing the results of a positive test on Alberto Contador, have accepted bribes, are corrupt, are terrorists, have no regard for the rules, load the dice, are fools, do not have a genuine desire to restore discipline to cycling, are full of shit, are clowns, their words are worthless, are liars, are no different to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, or to make any similar other allegations of that kind”
F: Oh, THOSE things. Yeah, sure I said all of that. Repeatedly. And more. And I’d be happy to say it all again a few times if you’d like.
T: Did you really compare either of them to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi?
F: Yes, absolutely, both of them. But really, I only meant that they have a similar fashion sense. And that they’re evil corrupt assclowns who are sucking the life out of the sport. So, yeah. Nothing bad.
T: Do you feel any remorse about this?
F: Yeah, pretty much… not. None at all.
T: I meant remorse at tarnishing the memory of Gaddafi?
F: Oh, that. Well, I mean he certainly did some bad things along the way. But yeah, I can see where you’d think that’s unfair to Muammar. Or Muammy as I like to call him.
T: They also order you to run ads in a variety of highly reputable news sources, such as nyvelocity.com. Do you have plans in place to produce and publish these ads? If so, what might they contain?
F: Um. There’s been a lot of discussions about that. It might be a picture of my ass. You can’t really go wrong with photos of your ass. My publicist and I have been discussing that. Initially we were going to go with “Suck one.” But they’re the UCI, so we figured they might not understand which “one” we meant. Right now we’re leaning towards “Eat shit and die, motherfuckers.”
T: Are there any countries left in Europe that you are allowed to visit?
F: I’m really not sure. Where is Europe again? Have I ever been there?
T: I believe so.
F: Maybe. It sounds vaguely familiar.
T: I’m pretty sure you were.
F: Didn’t leave much of an impression. Probably not worth going back to.
T: Probably not. Do you think on planet HeinPat, they actually believe that an ad on nyvelocity will turn things around for them?
F: Planet HeinPat is actually one of the places I’m not allowed to visit anymore. It sucks because I was planning a vacation there. Maybe learn a thing or two about surfing. Butthole surfing. I hear that’s going to be an Olympic sport soon.
T: You mean it’s not? It should be.
F: Yeah. Pat and Hein are already forming the International Butthole Surfers Union. The IBSU.
T: Not UBSI? Like the UCI? The International Cycling Union should be ICU, but they abbreviated it UCI.
F: They’re foreigners. They don’t know the language. But I do agree the UCI could use some intensive care.
T: You’ve also been ordered to pay umm, let’s see, I can’t find the number right now, a whole bunch of francs to the UCI. Like more than 10,000 I think.
F: Franks? You mean like hot dogs? That’s a lot of hot dogs.
T: Yes it is.
F: I didn’t realize they were such big fans of hot dogs.
T: Well, maybe hot-dog shaped objects.
F: Yeah, thanks for saying that. I didn’t want to go there. You know I need to maintain a certain level of decorum.
T: I can see that. Do you plan to pay any of this penalty to the UCI?
F: I’m fresh out of hot dogs.
T: Did you also know they’re suing Paul Kimmage?
F:Yes, of course. He’s got this whole fundraiser thing going. I actually sent him some squirrel meat. So, you know. Anything I can do to help.
T: Do you feel any sense of responsibility for that, since it’s related to that interview he did with you?
F: Well, I mean if history has taught me anything, it’s that pretty much everything is my fault. I mean, Lance appeared in nothing but a Speedo the other day. That’s probably my fault, somehow.
T: Is it true that you were part of the conspiracy to keep Hein’s true name of Henricus a secret?
F: Yes. Actually it is. You’ve found me out. In return for keeping the name Henricus secret, they let me ruin cycling. So that worked out pretty well.
T: If you were a tree, would you still think Pat and Hein are assclowns?
F: Excellent question. If I were a… um trees don’t actually have assholes, do they?
T: No, I don’t think so.
F: Then, yes. Yes I would.
T: What if you were a grapefruit?
F: Still assclowns.
T: If you were Muammar Gadaffi?
F: Without a doubt. Same answer.
T: There were recent photos of Kid Rock and Lance Armstrong together. Reactions?
F: I don’t want to talk about that.
F: I mean really man. Don’t get all up in my personal space like that.
F: It’s not right.
T: Sorry. Can you verify rumors that you have fired Grey Manrod?
F: Didn’t I answer that already on twitter?
T: Wait, you’re on twitter?
F: No, my publicist takes care of that.
T: Who’s your publicist?
F: That’s a closely guarded secret. It’s actually Lance. He runs all of my fake accounts.
T: Really. I didn’t expect that. Does he do a good job with that?
F: He’s seemed kind of distracted lately, actually.
T: Do you think either Pat or Hein have spines?
F: I’m pretty sure they must. I mean if you didn’t you couldn’t walk in a um, you know, vertically. I think.
T: Stand erect you mean?
F: I wouldn’t know about that.
T: Have you read Tyler’s book, “The Secret Race”.
F: Yes. Wow. Some serious shit happening there man. I mean, I was frankly shocked at the way Lance comes off in that book. He almost sounds unlikeable. Surprising.
T: So he wasn’t that way with you? I was under the impression there was some bad blood there, if you’ll pardon the expression.
F: No, no bad blood at all. I mean, Lance is an ass. He treats everyone like shit. So in that respect, he treated me the same as he treats everyone. You have to respect that. He’s got a deep deep sense of fairness when it comes to fucking people over. No person left unfucked you might say.
T: Can you confirm anything that Tyler claims in his book?
F: Well, to the best of my knowledge he did race bicycles.
T: Any plans for the near future?
F: I’ll have to take that up with my lawyers.
T: Thank you for your time Floyd. It’s always a pleasure.
F: For me too. You’ve never interviewed me before.
F: Or anyone for that matter.
T: That’s correct.
F: Well you kind of suck at it.
T: I’m going to edit that out.
F: I never said it anyway.
And that’s pretty much it, the whole interview, as it happened. There were some awkward goodbyes at the end, and the whole “you hang up first” thing (he hung up first, which means I won).