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2006 Tour de France
2006 Tour de France

Lance impressed with Landis' effort

Posted: Sunday July 23, 2006 3:12PM; Updated: Sunday July 23, 2006 3:47PM
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PARIS (AP) -- Lance Armstrong says the Discovery Channel team has been so impressed by Floyd Landis that they want to sign him.

With Discovery struggling at this year's Tour, with only one rider in the top 20, Landis could be the leader Discovery is looking for.


"We've always been interested in Floyd, he's a damn good rider," Armstrong said Sunday. "We would take Floyd back. We've pursued him for some time now."

From his room at the Crillon hotel in Paris, Armstrong watched Landis step onto the winners podium -- the third American to win the showcase event, a year after Armstrong's seventh and final title.

Armstrong and Landis rode together for three years when the team was called U.S. Postal. Landis, seeking a new challenge, left in 2005 to join Phonak.

Armstrong, who is part-owner of the Discovery team, said he and team director Johan Bruyneel would love to work with him again.

"We believe he's a good rider. We wouldn't be interested in taking him otherwise," Armstrong told The Associated Press. "He's balanced, and I think he's smarter tactically than people think. He knows tactics, and he knows the flow of the race."

Landis has raced with an arthritic hip, injured in a 2003 training crash. He plans to undergo surgery this fall.

Armstrong is hopeful of the outcome.

"I worry a little bit about the hip," he said. "I don't know the whole story about the hip, but we would still be interested."

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