Phonak Team member, Floyd Landis, pedaled his way to victory on in this week’s Tour de France—with the name of the hearing instrument manufacturer prominently displayed on his racing uniform throughout the race. Described as a nearly impossible comeback, Landis’ victory represented a recovery from a devastatingly poor time in a mountain segment last week; he fell back to 11th place and more than 8 minutes behind the lead, and nearly all the experts and cycling enthusiasts were counting him out of contention. His reversal of fortune goes down as one of the great achievements in the sport.

The victory was all-the-more improbable because Landis will be undergoing hip-replacement surgery in August. "More than anything, I’ve learned to fight for what you want at this race," says Landis. "Like most things in life, most people don’t go for three weeks without having one bad day, but you shouldn’t give up. You get up the next day and do the best you can."

Landis won the event by 57 seconds over Oscar Pereiro of Spain. It took him 89 hours, 39 minutes, and 30 seconds to complete the 2,272-mile race that has become synonymous with bicycle racing—a journey that includes pedaling over two rugged mountain ranges and finishing at the glamorous Champs Elysees. This year’s race was wide open due to the departure of the legendary Lance Armstrong, a drugging scandal that disqualified several top contenders, and exceptionally hot weather. Landis is the third American to win the race and continues the United States’ dominance in the event, following up the achievements of Armstrong.

For more information, see the upcoming August issue of HR.