Not a great day to be Lance Armstrong. First, former teammate Floyd Landis accuses him of doping.
Then, he crashes near Visalia and has to withdraw from the Amgen Tour of California. That may screw up your weekend plans if, like thousands of others, you were expecting to see Armstrong at Saturday's time trial in Downtown L.A.
The Landis allegations come at a time of the cycling calendar when attention is split between the Tour of California and the Giro d'Italia. In Visalia, Armstrong addressed the charges at a press conference prior to Stage 5. Riders at the Giro, where the news broke later in the day, were ambushed by reporters at the finish line.
As he has done many times throughout his career, Armstrong denied the allegations of doping:
If I walk away with one word to sum this all up – credibility. Floyd lost his credibility a long time ago.
Landis was stripped of his Tour de France title in 2006 after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone. He fought the charges for several years before admitting today to extensive doping.
Following the pattern of other riders who have been caught and subsequently admitted to doping, Landis alleged that the practice is widespread throughout professional cycling. He accused several riders in addition to Armstrong by name, and alleged that Armstrong's longtime team manager, Johan Bruyneel, was complicit as well.
In response, Bruyneel said: “He needs to seek professional help, and I'm not talking about lawyers.”
After the crash, Armstrong received eight stitches under his left eye. He also suffered a bruised elbow, but no broken bones.