Cracking under Pressure

American cyclist Floyd Landis cracked in a colossal way during today's Tour de France stage. Over the last climb of the day, he lost more than nine minutes to his main rivals and fell from first in the overall standings to eleventh (eight minutes down to the new leader, Oscar Pereiro), Unless he can make a miraculous comeback in Thurday's last Alpine stage and in Saturday's final time trial, Landis has knocked himself out of contention for the yellow jersey.

Landis's collapse ranks with other epic individual failures:

Julie Moss crawls over the line in the 1982 Ironman triathlon.

Gabriele Andersen-Scheiss staggers through the last mile of the 1982 Olympic marathon.

Lance Armstong nearly gives away the 2000 Tour on stage 16, bonking on the last climb and letting his main rival take 90 seconds from him.

And just for good measure, here's Lance Armstong inducing Jan Ullrich et al to crack on the steeps of l'Alpe d'Huez in 2001. Warning: The Look can kill.

email: christopher at tassava dot com