Landis now without team: Bahati severs link
Latest developments in the Landisgate affair
The Bahati Foundation racing team that only signed up Floyd Landis back in March following the collapse of the proposed Rock Racing professional team, has now issued a statement saying that the team and Landis have parted company in a "mutual" decision.
Rahsaan Bahati, the 28-year-old black professional cyclist from Los Angeles and the founder of the Bahati Foundation cycling team, said yesterday that Landis and Dr. Brent Kay, a longtime sponsor of Landis under the "Ouch" banner, were no longer associated with the team.
With Bahati, Landis had his best result since his discredited Tour de France win in 2006 when he finished second in April at the Tour of the Battenkill, a one-day race in New York state.
Bahati blamed Landis' behavior for the split and said he was particularly disturbed by e-mails from Landis to Amgen Tour of California director Andrew Messick suggesting that Kay's Ouch Sports Medical Center should be refunded the $40,000 it spent for a sponsorship tent at last Saturday's time trial after the Bahati team was not invited to the race.
According to a report in today's Los Angeles Times "That was done without my knowledge," Bahati said, "and it was disappointing to me."
He was anyway a little surprised that Landis had come to the race in the first place, "I was a little confused about why he would come to the race," Bahati said. "But it was as if the worry was lifted off his shoulders."
Following the widely reported drama last week where emails confessing to Landis' previously-denied doping were leaked to the media along with accusations that his USPS team mates including Lance Armstrong had helped him, Bahati continued, "I do accept that Floyd felt the need to confess but I was disappointed in the manner he went about his business. I'm disappointed he made the decision to throw other people under the bus."
The decision to split from Landis and Kay, Bahati said, "was mutual" even though it leaves his team in "difficult" financial circumstances.
"I felt as if it would be great to have Floyd getting a chance with us," he said. "I don't dislike Floyd, even after this. But seeing those e-mails last week was very upsetting. The way he said some things, handled some things in relation to this team. It was regrettable."