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Yet the very next day, Landis attacked on the first climb back up the same mountain range, the 201km stage to Morzine-Avoriaz, and didn’t stop until he left his opponents out of breath and in denial. The gamble was so audacious, so hardheaded and risky that as word of Landis’ plan rippled through a peloton worn out after a week in the Pyrenees and Alps, several riders pulled up alongside and begged him not to try it.

“I just told ‘em,” Landis would recall, “‘Go drink some Coke, ‘cause we’re leaving on the first climb if you want to come along.’”

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