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Letters to Cyclingnews - July 17, 2008

Here's your chance to get more involved with Cyclingnews. Comments and criticism on current stories, races, coverage and anything cycling related are welcomed, even pictures if you wish. Letters should be brief (less than 300 words), with the sender clearly identified. They may be edited for space and clarity; please stick to one topic per letter. We will normally include your name and place of residence, but not your email address unless you specify in the message.

Please email your correspondence to letters@cyclingnews.com.

Tour mountain cats
Is Pereiro getting a bum wrap?
Popovych! Where the bloody hell are you?
Evans' team-mates
Evans to wear number one in Tour
Poor quality of competition
Tour climbs
What if…
Riccó uses outdated bike in ITT
Fabian Wegmann's electronic Dura Ace problems?
Hushovd's Look
Stage 10 coverage was a treat!
Tour de France accident
EPO is back on the menu boys!
Consistency, please

Tour mountain cats

Is it just me, or were Leonardo Piepoli and Juan Jose Cobo riding way too easily from the competition in Hautacam? Big smiles, both arms aloft, no real sweat he?

But then have a look at Kim Kichen's face. Or Cadel Evans and Denis Menchov grimaces of pain? Or Schlek's frothing at the limit of asphyxiation. Somehow, my memories from racing were brought back by theses faces of exhaustion and traces of pain.

How can they be so superior so easily?

Sebastien Lamarre

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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Is Pereiro getting a bum wrap?

Oscar Pereiro showed enormous strength on Stage 6 to Super Besse, as he pulled the peloton up to the finish. Then his attacks on the Col d'Aspin sent him off the front...only to be called back into the peloton by the sport director in his earpiece.

He stuck with Alejandro Valverde on Stage 10 and was on the front trying to minimise the gap as Team CSC powered to Hautacam. I'm just curious: what would have happened if Caisse d'Epargne had played two cards on Stages 9 and 10 instead of one? Would Oscar still be in 17th place after Stage 10?

Brett Patching
Aarhus, Denmark

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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Popovych! Where the bloody hell are you?

I must say that I haven’t been exactly glued to the TV for the Tour de France this year, preferring to actually go riding instead. But I am puzzled by the complete lack of a presence from Cadel Evans’ supposed main support guy Yaroslav Popovych.

As far as I can see Robbie McEwen has given more support and Cadel has been completely alone yet again any time the leaders get near a mountain. Presumably Silence-Lotto don’t quite have a Discovery Channel/Astana budget for their super-domestics, but this apparent lack of effort seems remarkable.

Julian Porter
Maroochydore, Australia

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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Popovych! Where the bloody hell are you?

Back when I was a boy (no, actually, even as recently as last year), if we engaged a guy for three zillion Euros for three weeks work helping our team leader over the mountains to win a bike race (say, for example, one like le Tour de France) we would, in the absence of serious illness or injury, expect him to perform to the terms of his contract.

So, I ask, where exactly has Yaroslav Popovych been? Oh, at end Stage 10, in 32nd place, 18 minutes down. Gee, he must have quickly ducked over the border to Switzerland to bank his Lotto winnnings.

We certainly haven't seen much of him helping out Cadel Evans over minor hills like the Tourmalet. In fact, in the first 10 stages we've seen more work from Dario Cioni, with half of Popovych's reputation, and, I'll wager, scarcely half his salary.

Last year Silence Lotto got rid of Chris Horner - or did they let him go? - to make room for Yaroslav. And so far in this year's Tour, apart from some well-practiced generosity from Cadel about his team-mates, what have we heard from Silence-Lotto about Popovych? Silence.

So, Yaroslav, you better turn up on l'Alpe d'Huez - because if Cadel misses out on the maillot jaune in Paris by three seconds he lost in the Alps, some of we Aussies are going to be after you, insisting you hand over at least half your pay packet each to Cioni and Horner. After all, 10th last year is looking pretty damn good.

Rick O'Brien
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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Evans' team-mates

Cadel Evans is going to need mighty slick shoe covers to deal with Carlos Sastre, Fabian Cancellara, Frank Schleck, and Jens Voigt in the Alps.

I wouldn't like to go up against that quartet - and Andy Schleck, if he is feeling better - with only one or none of my own team-mates along, in the second half of a stage. Maybe the shoe covers won't matter next week, but I think Bjarne Riis is playing with a stacked deck.

John Williams

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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Evans to wear number one in Tour

“…if Evans has any respect for Contador…”

Maybe Cadel does not have any respect for Contador, the Discovery Channel Team or Astana? I don’t.

I shall not list the legion of doping offenders from these two teams, as they have already been well described by others, nor go into Contador’s shady past. Birds of a feather.

Adrian Grose
Perth, WA, Australia

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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Poor quality of competition

Although I have great regards for every rider in this year's Tour de France, I am writing off this year's TDF - completely due to the lack of many of the sport's top riders, not to mention last year's winner. I have read letters degrading those of us that decry this fact as being typical ignorant Americans but the simple fact remains that those of us with even modest knowledge of the sport realize that this year's winner - no matter how 'dramatic' the win may be - did not compete against the sports top talent.

And that win for me will be tainted as much as Floyd Landis winning with the aid of illegal substances. This sport still has a long way to go. Good luck

Jack Coon
Chicago, IL, USA

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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Tour climbs

Hey guys,

How do they categorise the climbs in the Tour? Is it over distance, gradient?

Ross Clague
NSW, Australia

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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What if…

Even though this has been a great Tour de France, I can’t help but wonder what the Tour would be like with Astana present. Such a shame to not have the best team present because of arrogance and politics.

Jim Bowers
Washington, ME, USA

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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Riccó uses outdated bike in ITT

I'll bet the team didn't want to risk Ricardo Riccó having an unimpressive result, and then hurling the expensive bike at the finish line. They probably gave him a heavier, more durable setup that can withstand his tantrums.

Kaan Erdener
Texas, USA

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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Fabian Wegmann's electronic Dura Ace problems?

Anyone else notice in Stage 10 that Fabian Wegmann was struggling at the back of the group on one of the first climbs as he struggled to turn over his big ring up front; apparently unable to shift into his smaller ring?

I noticed that he was running a prototype of Shimano's Electronic Dura Ace grouppo. Apparently they still have some kinks to work out - I bet he's not too happy!

Andrew Rockwell
Calgary, Canada

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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Hushovd's Look

As a former bike wrench and acquaintance of a few wrenches from Continental teams, I must say these mechanics are probably running on four hours of sleep tops per night. They don’t just have Thor’s bike to look after, they have everybody’s bikes to look after and not just one per guy, also the TT bikes need attention too.

Thor’s bikes as well as the other guys will be disassembled and cleaned and re-tuned constantly. Though they may not be riding the bikes, the mechanics and the support staff are a huge part of a successful racing squad.

I’m sure we can forgive some aesthetic choices in light of the amount of work and lack of sleep these hard working individuals endure so that dentists and accountants can read tour highlights at work, race to the coffee shop, on the weekend and bug their local bike shop mechanic with their gram scales.

Jacques Johnson
Long Beach, CA, USA

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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Stage 10 coverage was a treat!

“sadly, there is not extended coverage in the states any more after the Lance years”

Huh? VS has Tour coverage on four times a day, every day (live broadcast, immediate rebroadcast, ‘enhanced coverage’ during primetime, and a late night rebroadcast). But then, I’ve often argued that Utah is hardly ‘in the States’ in any number of ways.

Stacey Y. Jenkins
Heber City, UT, USA

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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Stage 10 coverage was a treat

Perhaps Rob isn't aware of the Versus channel "extended" live coverage, with three or four repeats every day. Given the ratio of commercials to racing, however, I for one am just as happy to read the live report on Cyclingnews.com and let my imagination do the pictures.

John Yerxa

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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Tour de France accident

French TV said she was OK,

Norman Winn
France

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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Tour de France accident

Apparently she fractured her lower arm - the poor woman. She was at fault somewhat. She was on the road trying to get a better photo unaware to the physics of bicycles coming at her at 60 km/h, it seems.

Particularly annoying for me was the rider who hit her just got up, looked at her briefly and remounted without ensuring she was okay. How sporting, considering he was never going to feature in the general classification or the victory that day.

Lance did the same thing a few years back on that awesome day when he rode a broken frame to stage, and ultimately overall, victory from Jan Ulrich and company. But his excuse was he was busy winning the Tour. Big difference I reckon.

Ryan Sorensen.
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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EPO is back on the menu boys!

EPO is back on the menu boys! At least, that must have been what some riders were thinking when the Copenhagen Muscle Research Center published its findings on how EPO was actually not as detectable as previously thought. No better way to pay back the race organizers for letting you into their biggest race than to give them a nice big positive.

You can look at a positive drug test in 2 different lights.

1) "That man just ruined the sport! Cycling is completely dead now!" or
2) Realize that there is one less cheater around. Kudos to the AFLD

Yoni Lang
Baton Rouge, USA

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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Consistency, please

Now that I've read about another rider disqualified from this year's Tour, I'm wondering about the "precedent" set by ASO. Astana, with no riders on their team with a positive test is not allowed to compete, as an example of ASO's determination to punish cheaters and prevent future cheating.

Now that this clear ASO message that doping won't be tolerated has been delivered, how do they handle teams with riders that are caught cheating now? Based upon positive rider tests this year, Astana is a cleaner team than Barloworld and Liquigas.

If I don't see some consistency in enforcement of the 'no tolerance for doping' principle voiced by ASO, then I'll become convinced that it isn't a principle after all. I will also be convinced that Lance Armstrong was right about Astana's punishment not being for doping, but for hiring Johan Bruyneel. Actions do speak louder than words.

Gene Sanders
Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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Consistency, please

The ASO has shown an incredible double standard. Manual Beltran tests positive, and the team starts the next day. Moises Dueñas tests positive, and Barloworld starts the next day. Astana gets a positive test, and despite reorganization and completely different personel, they're not allowed to start a year later!

I would love to hear a reasonable explanation for that.

Ray McNeill
Brattleboro, Vermont, USA

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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Recent letters pages

Letters 2008

  • July 15: Tour de France: Stage 3 - The Badger is back!, Thor Hushovd's Look, Riccó uses outdated bike in ITT, Boycott le Tour and Olympics, Astana and the Tour, Romain Feillu, Cascade Cycling Classic accident, LeMond: Cycling doesn't need UCI, Tour de France accident, We Might As Well Win Review, Evans shoe covers, Pure climbers, Why on earth Danielson?, Historical information, Stefan Schumacher loses yellow, Sylvain Chavanel, Yet another...Manual Beltran, Stage 10 coverage was a treat!
  • July 10: Stefan Schumacher, LeMond: Cycling doesn't need UCI, Excellent article - ASO v's UCI, Insulting comment, Romain Feillu, Pure climbers are they a thing of the past?, Evans and shoe covers, Evans to wear number one in Tour, Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, Experience with UST Mountain Tires, Boycott le Tour and Olympics, Astana and the Tour, Riders stuck in the middle, Oval bars, Landis decision
  • July 4: WADA, Inconsistent Lab Analysis, and Landis, Rabobank and the Tour, ASO and past Tour winners, Landis decision, Teenager mauled by bear in Anchorage, Evans to wear number one in Tour, Experience with UST Mountain Tires, iPods while riding, Erik Zabel, Oval bars, ASO's hidden agenda, Joe Magnani, Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, Giro, ASO's world domination, Ban Boonen?, A Hollow Tour Victory
  • June 26: ASO's hidden agenda, ASO's world domination, Ban Boonen?, Gilberto Simoni, Giro d'Italia, iPods while riding, Oval bars, Tour without minimum bike weight rule?, What about Friere
  • June 19: ASO and the Vuelta, ASO's world domination, Ban Boonen?, Ban Boonen? Beware the inquisition, Boonen, Boonen vs. Petacchi, Boonen's Tour exclusion, Giro d'Italia, iPods while riding, Oval bars, Road rage incident, Tom Boonen exclusion from Tour de Suisse
  • June 13: Tom Boonen and his nose, Apologies from Montreal, Chantal's Philly win, Gilberto Simoni, Boring first week of Grand Tours?, Giro d'Italia, iPods while riding, ASO and the Vuelta, Road rage incident, Astana chain choice
  • June 5: Apologies from Montreal, Astana chain choice, Bennati and race radios, Race radio?, Gilberto Simoni, Giro winner, Good result in road rage court case, Helmets in the Giro, Lemond vs. Armstrong, Millar, No, no, you can't take that away from them, Oval bars, Review error, Ricardo Ricco, Road rage incident
  • May 29: Bennati and race radios, Helmets in the Giro, Review error, LeMond vs. Armstrong, Losing something in the translation, Millar, Petacchi, Race radio?, Road rage incident, Weight work on the bike
  • May 23: Road rage incident, How much will it take?, Paralysed cyclist, Fausto Exparza, David Millar, Basso gets a contract, Weight work, CAS and Petacchi, Shortest TdF, Petacchi & Piepoli
  • May 15: Sydney road rage incident, Steegmans lashes out at UCI, Steve Hogg's article, World Cup #3 XC, Where is Chris Horner, Slipstream, Astana and Le Tour, Giro stage 5!, US time trial Champion?, Basso gets a contract, Race radios, CAS ruling on Petacchi, Hamilton's integrity? Dude!, Weight work
  • May 8: Race radio?, Ridiculous ruling, What a farce!, CAS ruling on Petacchi, Basso gets a contract, Hamilton's integrity? Dude!, French riders had to give up their jerseys?,
  • May 1: Race radio?, Basso gets a contract, Advise needed for Alpe D'Huez, LeMond vs. Armstrong, Bottles, Scars of war, ProTour in Russia! China? Ahem... America?, LeMond's 1989 TdF, Mayo?, Stuart O'Grady Team CSC Cervélo R3 Paris, Have any French riders had to give up their jerseys?
  • April 25: Just shut up and ride, ProTour in Russia! China? Ahem...America?, Bottles, LeMond's 1989 TdF, New format for the Vuelta? , Scars of war, LeMond v. Armstrong, No tour for Astana #1, Rock Racing rip off #1, Advise needed for Alpe D'Huez, Stuart O'Grady Team CSC Cervélo R3 Paris
  • April 18: Just shut up and ride, USA Track Cycling, Paris-Roubaix, Little Indy 500 - Women's Race Article, Stuart O'Grady Team CSC Cervélo R3 Paris-Roubaix, What's happening to road tubeless?, Thanks Cyclingnews, Bottles, Just think?, Tour of Georgia - Lame, Colavita, No tour for Astana, Clever tactics by McQuaid expose ASO, Suggestions for the little bullies, Rock Racing rip off, LeMond Vs. Trek
  • April 10: Suggestions for the little bullies, Pat McQuaid, Clever tactics by McQuaid expose ASO, Just think, Trek vs. LeMond, Rock Racing rip off, Homepage overhaul, Some praise, USA track cycling, Team car order just the first gamble, Come on Greg & Lance, LeMond vs. Armstrong
  • April 3: Pat McQuaid, April fools, Carbon Wrap-It System, Sylvain Chavanel, Astana vs. Rabobank vs. Slipstream Chipotle, Cadel Evans, Clever tactics by McQuaid expose ASO, Colavita, Let VDB ride?, Race radios, Rock Racing rip off
  • March 27: Riccardo's manner of professionalism, Rock Racing rip off, Chavanel's Paris - Nice shoes, Cadel Evans, Cadel Evans at Paris - Nice, Let VDB ride?, ASO vs. Astana, ASO vs. UCI help me with my memory, Astana vs. Rabobank vs. Slipstream Chipotle, Police kill cyclists,"PRO"cycling teams
  • March 20:"Pro"Cycling Teams, AIGCP does have a choice, ASO vs UCI help me with my memory, ASO vs. Astana, Chavanel's Paris - Nice shoes, Kevin van Impe's doping control, Cadel Evans at Paris - Nice, Hamilton, Operacion Puerto, and the ToCA, Paris - Nice: What it could have been, Police kill cyclists, The Astana affair, UCI hypocrisy
  • March 13:"Pro"Cycling Teams, ASO vs. Astana, ASO vs. UCI, ASOh well, UCI'll see you later, Cycling fans must let their voices be heard, Denounce ASO's actions for what they are, Hamilton, Operacion Puerto, and the ToCA, Knife between the ribs?, Paris Nice, Police kill cyclists, British track sprinters' helmets?, Rock Racing and Michael Ball, The Astana affair, The real ASO problem, Tour and ASO, UCI - very bad poker players, UCI hypocrisy.
  • March 6: Zirbel and the"ride of his life", British track sprinters' helmets, Hamilton, Operacion Puerto and the ToCA, Three grand tours or five monuments?, Rock Racing and Michael Ball, Pro cycling is dead, Paris - Nice, Knife between the ribs?, Doping and the Tour, Astana, the ASO and the UCI, ASO vs. Astana, The Astana affair, ASO vs. UCI vs. AIGCP vs. the non existent riders, The real ASO problem, Denounce ASO's actions for what they are, Sponsorship code of ethics, Where are the other ProTour teams?, ProTour vs. ASO
  • February 28: ASO vs. Astana, Passion and sponsorship, Crash or crash through, Pro cycling is dead, Why we must have the ProTour, Rock Racing and Michael Ball, ToC and Rock, The hidden message behind banning Astana, ASO is killing cycling, ASO could be right, The real ASO problem, UCI - draw a line in the sand, ASO has lost the plot, The Astana affair, Astana and ASO/RCS, the Astana decision, Operacion Puerto, Old rider classification
  • February 15: Doping controls, Tour of California moving up!, Why I love the Tour of California, Operation Puerto, Astana rejected by ASO, Boycott ASO, ASO - stop the madness, Tour de France, ASO is wrong to exclude Astana, Astana, ASO, and the NFL, Tour de Farce, The hidden message behind banning Astana, Astana exclusion, ASO is killing cycling, Astana out of Tour, ASO has lost the plot
  • February 8: Lampre doping controls, Grand Tour Monopoly?, Giro selections, Slipstream Qatar, Allan Davis, Sheldon Brown, Dick Pound to head CAS?, Find out who's leaking lab results, Rock racing
  • February 1: UCI vs. Grand Tour war, Best wishes to Anna, The incident, Rock racing & Starbucks, Rock racing Rocks, Rock racing, Landis in NUE, Lance is the best of all time, Sinkewitz logic, Astana for 08 Tour?
  • January 25: Rock racing, Time to draw a line in the sand, ASO vs. UCI ProTour, UCI vs. Grand Tour war spills over to European federations, Readers' poll stage races 2007, Cyclist of the year, Team High Road's black kit, Lance is the best of all time, Landis in NUE, Toyota-United abusing USAC team rules?
  • January 18: Cadel Evans - returns to training, Cyclist of the Year, DOPING - time to draw a line in the sand, Hincapie in T-Mobile kit, Lance is the best of all time, Readers poll: best stage races 2007, Rock racing, Speaking about Lance, Toyota-United abusing USAC team rules?
  • January 11: Armstrong on Landis, Cadel Evans - returns to training, Hincapie in T-Mobile kit, Ivan Basso - why no tough questions?, Reader Poll, Rock & burn racing, Speaking about Lance, Sydor's consistency, The 'Bruyneel philosophy', Toyota-United abusing USAC team rules?
  • January 5: Great day for cycling, Sydor's consistency, Hincapie in T-Mobile kit, CA awards misses national series, Thank you, Ivan Basso - why no tough questions?, Cadel Evans - returns to training, Helmets belong on heads, Armstrong on Landis, Will there be a Tour of Missouri?, Roberto Heras, Speaking about Lance, Mayo's B Sample

Letters 2007

  • December 27: CA awards misses national series, Armstrong on Landis, Vinokourov's sentence, Vinokourov, Cadel Evans - returns to training, Mayo's B sample to get B test
  • December 14: Sydor's consistency, George Hincapie, Helmet straps must be cinched a bit too tight, Will there soon be a sample"C"test?, ProTour, Vino's joke of a suspension, Mafioso McQuaid, Obee and Health Net, Mayo's B sample to get B test, Campagnolo offers its own 'red' shifter, T-Mobile's withdrawal a blow to Jaksche
  • December 6: Tschüss T-Mobile, Anquetil, Mayo's B sample to get B test, T-Mobile drop out, Obee and Health Net, Stefano Zanini
  • November 30: Anquetil,Mayo's B sample to get B test, Stefano Zanini, Rider's passport, Betting, Jonathan Page, Wake up!!, T-Mobile drop out, Bike design originality
  • November 23: Remembering Jacques Anquetil, Done looking back, Mayo's B sample to get B test, Cross crank, Rider's passport, Blood passports and humanity, Fothen's comments on Bettini, Nathan O'Neill , Sinkewitz, Rasmussen blood values, Sponsorship strangeness, Dick Pound better understood, Bike design originality,
  • November 16: Nathan O'Neill, Rasmussen blood values, The Crocodile Trophy, Sinkewitz, Drug testing procedures, Rider's passport, The drug issue, Bike design originality , Sponsorship strangeness, Selfishness will ruin cycling
  • November 9: The Crocodile Trophy, A little bit of bias here?, Rider's passport, Kasheckin, Positive tests, Drug testing procedures, Marco Pinotti: Engineering a new path, Bike design originality
  • November 2: What does this mean?, Le Tour 08, Mayo's B sample, Bike design originality, Trimble, UCI says Mayo case not closed, Drug testing procedures ... and false positives, Kashechkin: controls violate human rights, Drug testing procedures, Mayo, UCI, Kashechkin, et al... Great, now it's coming from both ends, Positive tests, Why even bother with B samples then?, Mayo's positive EPO test, Falling barriers
  • October 26: Rider passports & Cadel Evans, Drug testing procedures ... and false positives, Iban Mayo's false positive, Iban Mayo and Landis, Armstrong on Landis, Mayo's B sample, UCI turns Mayo's case into a debaucle, Great...now they hand pick the results, No justice for Mayo, UCI says Mayo case not closed, Bike design originality, 2006 Tour de France, A bad week for cycling, A fitting end to the season
  • October 19: 2006 Grand Tour trifecta!, 2006 Tour de France, A fitting end to the season, Armstrong on Landis, Bike design originality, doping in cycling, Doping numbers, Paris-Tours testing mishap, UCI and the lack of testing!, Vino's other Tour stage win, The absolute best?
  • October 12: Armstrong on Landis, Bike design originality, Cycling drama, Doping is unfair; but so is discrimination, It’s not doping that's..., Landis case - everyone's a loser, Length and cost of the Landis case, R & R, The Landis decision, Tour of America
  • October 5: Cycle drama, It's not doping that's"killing"the sport, Why is VAM a benchmark, Tour of America, The Landis decision, DYNEPO, Worlds, Rock & Republic's CEO Michael Ball, Please explain, Giuseppe Guerini, FICP
  • September 28: Tour of America, World champion zany-ness, The Landis decision, ASO v UCI, McQuaid vs ASO vs the riders, Please explain, Why is VAM a benchmark, Giuseppe Guerini, Menchov felt betrayed by Rasmussen, ProTour and Le Tour, Where is the due process
  • September 21: Astana's future and Bruyneel, Bruyneel's afterlife, Floyd Landis decision, Why is VAM a benchmark, Lifetime bans, Menchov felt betrayed by Rasmussen, Ungrateful Levi, Spanish cycling, Where is the due process
  • September 14: Astana & Bruyneel, Cycling vs. soccer, Cycling will survive, Floyd Landis decision, LeMond's comments, Menchov felt betrayed by Rasmussen, Ungrateful Levi, Why is VAM a benchmark?
  • September 7: Cycling vs. soccer, Floyd Landis decision, UCI, ASO, LeMond, et al who cares? Riders, Lawyers in the Landis case, LeMond's comments, Riders taking the fall?, US Postal/Discovery R.I.P.

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