Floyd Landis plans to start professional cycling team

The American was stripped of his Tour de France victory but hopes to return to racing as a team boss

Floyd Landis will set up his own racing team Photo: Graham Watson

Former doper and stripped Tour de France winner Floyd Landis plans to launch his own professional cycling team in 2019, according to reports.

Landis, a key rider in the Armstrong era turned whistleblower, retired from racing in 2011 but now hopes to return as a team boss.

The American won the 2006 Tour de France but was stripped of the victory after testing positive for testosterone.

But now Landis hopes to set up a continental level team, reports the Wall Street Journal. (opens in new tab)

Since leaving the peloton, the 42-year-old has set up a shop selling legal hemp and cannabidiol, which would lend its name to the team – Floyd’s of Leadville Pro Cycling Team.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, the cash for the new team would be taken from the money given to Landis after a lawsuit against Lance Armstrong.

After Landis blew the whistle on Armstrong in 2010, Armstrong paid $5million to the government in a settlement earlier this year.

As the person who first filed the lawsuit back in 2010, Landis was eligible for up to 25 per cent of the payout.

Landis will pay in around $750,000 for the team, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The new outfit will be formed from the Silber Pro Cycling Team after the title sponsor decided not to renew earlier this year.

Landis moved on to the Phonak team in 2005 and the following year finished first in the Tour de France before failing a dope test for synthetic testosterone.

Months later he was stripped of his title, which was eventually given to Spaniard Oscar Pereiro.

On the Tuesday after the race, Landis pulled out of a criterium race in Holland, one that would have been extremely lucrative for the Tour winner.

It raised suspicions, which were confirmed when it was revealed he’d failed a dope test.

Landis set the lawsuit in motion against Armstrong in 2010 under the False Claims Act, claiming that the Texan had defrauded the government out of money by cheating to win bike races.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.