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Disgraced Cyclist Floyd Landis Launching New Pro Team

Landis hopes to build a responsibly-budgeted, sustainable team specializing in nurturing junior ridersGETTY IMAGES

Former cyclist FLOYD LANDIS, who won the Tour de France in '06 before he was stripped of his title and banned from the sport for doping, is now "starting a professional cycling team," according to Jason Gay of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. In April, the Justice Department announced that LANCE ARMSTRONG would pay $5M to "settle a government lawsuit alleging he defrauded the U.S. Postal Service by accepting millions in sponsorship money despite doping." Since the government’s case began with Landis’ whistleblower complaint, Landis was "awarded a portion of the settlement." After paying off his legal fees, he is taking what is left -- roughly $750,000 -- and "putting all of it into a new professional, North American-based developmental cycling team set to begin racing next year." Landis’ team will be what’s known as a "'continental' outfit -- a lower-budget classification a couple of notches down from the World Tour." The hope is to build a "responsibly-budgeted, sustainable team specializing in nurturing junior riders." GORD FRASER, who served as Sporting Dir for the now-defunct Canadian cycling team Silber Pro, will run the "day-to-day operations" for Landis' team. Landis said that his upstart business, Floyd’s of Leadville, which sells legal hemp and cannabidiol products for therapeutic and active recovery use, "will be the name" of his team and will also "contribute capital." Landis said of his detractors, "They can put me in the same bracket as everyone else they want to go away, but at the end of the day, rather than yelling and screaming on the internet about how I should go away, they could go out and find some other sponsors to help them promote the sport" (WSJ.com, 10/4). Bicycling magazine's Gloria Liu tweeted, "FWIW, I'm glad this is where that money is going" (TWITTER.com, 10/4).

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