Letters to cyclingnews

Here's your chance to get more involved with cyclingnews.com. 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. 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.

Recent letters

Two appeals for videos today. David Voller is still looking for a tape of Claudie Criquelion's World's victory, and while he says he's NOT looking for an argument about Criquelion's merits, David's clearly a passionate Claudie fan who's not going take any guff about Steve Bauer.

Yvonne Romero is looking for a 1937 film called 'Riding On Air' that starred Joe E Brown and which may be about six-day racing. We've confirmed the details with the Internet Movie Database and a quick search at google.com reveals it should be available on video, but 'Riding on Air' appears to be a comedy about an invention to remote-control aircraft. Further delving reveals a 1934 film starring Brown called '6 Day Bike Rider'. Seems more likely this is what Yvonne's after, but we can't find a source for it. If anyone can help, email us and we'll pass along the information.

Lawrence Brown writes from Giles Baudet's French club with an appeal for sponsorship leads to keep this unique organisation going.

Brad Zinnecker is disgusted to have been spammed by some bozos who are selling human growth hormone through the Net. We've had these emails too, and frankly we're sceptical. We'd like to see an analysis of this stuff, and there's no way we'd blithely inject anything bought over the Net. Quite apart from the legality and health risk issues if it actually is HGH what if it's not?

Anders Jensen has some more information and memories of the Trofeo Baracchi, and Mark Taylor believes Christophe Moreau is a rider to watch for the future.

Julian Yuen is aghast at the notion of vets on dope, while Clayton Smith believes it's nave to think that improvements in cycling performance are just down to equipment and training, but nevertheless thinks cycling is a sufficiently great sport it can transcend these drug issues. And so say all of us.

Finally, letters on your favourite performances of 2000 are still flooding in, with over a dozen new ones posted today – they're in our special section here.

John Stevenson
Letters editor

Criquelion video wanted
'6 Day Bike rider' wanted
Help Giles Baudet's club UCD NORD87
Human Growth Hormone
Trofeo Baracchi
Christophe Moreau

Claudie Criquelion

My intention was not to bring up the past concerning the law suit against Steve Bauer, thats water under the bridge, though anyone could see that Bauer was a beaten man.

However, one thing that I would like is to own a copy of the video of Claudie Criquelion winning the World's. For those cycling fans who don't remember Criquilion, then let me enlighten you. Claudie was in fact one of the best ever World Champions that we have had in the pro cycling ranks, and that's why I would like to obtain a copy of his World's win. I really hope that this does not offend Mark Woods to much!

David Voller
Tuesday, December 5

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Six Day Race Video Wanted

I'm looking for an old movie that may be on video. It starred Joe E. Brown and involved the 6 day races. I'm not sure of the name but I think it may be "Riding on Air". If anyone their knows of this film or the correct name, I would appreciate a response.

Yvonne Romero
Sunday, December 3

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Help Giles Baudet's club

Giles Baudet contacted me back in 1999 to try and find a club in France for the 2000 season. Another Australian rider who gave us a lot of satisfaction was Scott Perrin who achieved several wins and obtained his national licence. My club UCD NORD87 is based near Limoges, France. Our sole aim is to help young and unproven riders get a foot on the ladder and seeing Giles achieve such results is a real satisfaction. In the last few years over 30 riders, British, American and Australian have passed through our club. They receive free lodgings, race entries and transport and are allowed to develop in a no pressure and clean environment.

If anybody out there wants to help a small club help others please contact me. My name is Lawrence Brown and I desperately need sponsors to carry on. We are a unique club in France in that we have a majority of English speaking riders and I feel that we could be a good investment for a sponsor with commercial interests in France.

Lawrence Brown
Sunday, December 3

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Human Growth Hormone

I thought you might think this was interesting. [Fuull text of huge spam deleted letters Ed] Here we are supposed to be fighting doping in cycling, and what do I wake up to this morning before I prepare to go out on a very cold December Cape Cod ride, an advertisement sent to me over the internet for Human Growth Hormone! No thanks, I say, I'll just take a Clif Bar.

This is disgusting.

Brad Zinnecker
Sunday, December 3

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Trofeo Baracchi

Nice to learn that someone else cares about the "late" Trofeo Angelo Baracchi. I was just wondering a few days ago what became of it. It used to be a pretty significant event, and counts not only Francesco Moser but also Magni, Maertens, Motta, Fignon, Agostinho, Hinault, Gimondi, Merckx, Ocaa and Anquetil among its winners. Moser won more times that any of the others, though: five times, with five different partners (one of them being his arch-rival Saronni.

If I remember correctly, Fausto Coppi won his last race at the 1957 Trofeo Baracchi, paired with Ercole Baldini, and five years later, Rudi Altig virtually humiliated Jacques Anquetil in the same race. The two of them were partners, and things started off really well for them, but half way through the race Anquetil suddenly couldn't maintain the pace anymore, and had to stay on Altig's wheel for several minutes at a time.

As they neared the finish at the Vigorelli track, Rudi Altig was literally pushing Anquetil along, but somehow they still won - or rather, Altig did. Anquetil crashed at the entrance to the track, right after passing the time keeper, and had to be helped from the site, bloodied and totally exhausted.

Okay, most cyclo-maniacs probably know that story by heart, but I just felt like telling it!

What I wanted to ask was this. Does anyone know why the Trofeo Baracchi was cancelled? Bergamo-based businessman Mino Baracchi created it to honour his father, Angelo Baracchi, but it hasn't been run since 1990. I know that much, but I have no idea why, although I suppose that a qualified guess would be that maybe signor Baracchi has passed away.

It's kind of sad, I really liked the Trofeo Baracchi! But it seems that time trial races just aren't as popular any more as they once were - the Grand Prix des Nations isn't quite what it used to be, either.

A "Trofeo Baracchi" time trial was held in 1991 as an individual TT. Tony Rominger won that, but the last "real" Trofeo Baracchi, the year before, had Rolf Gltz and Tom Cordes as the winners.

Anders P Jensen
Haslev, Denmark
Wednesday, December 6

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Keep an eye on Christophe Moreau

Remember when Moreau beat Bobby Julich in the 98 Criterium International? That is when this rider first came to my attention. Now recall Moreau's performance on stage 13 from Drauigan to Briancon, so vivid in my mind 'cause this is the stage I got to attend: the 2000 Tour's longest and most difficult stage. Moreau was always there among the leaders on the climbs, a magnificent performance for a rider of his stature and what an evolution for a rider who had been known as a short time trial, prologue specialist. Even more impressive was his overall 4th place finish in the 2000 tour. This rider is maturing and in my opinion will definitely be one to watch for the future.

But nonetheless I am still waiting for Bobby Julich and Jonathan Vaughters to have a bit of good luck and a good ride at the tour.

Mark Taylor
Ft. Irwin, CA USA
Monday, December 4

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Vets on drugs?! That's interesting. I always imagined when I'm a vet racer I'll be fit enough to race at a worlds level. The mere thought of drugs sickens me.

I hope the vets that race with me aren't on drugs because sometimes I'm passing them very fast.

Julian Yuen
Sunday, December 3

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I wish that I could retain the of naivety to believe that improvements in cycling are all down to coaching and equipment, but when all is said and done, ours remains a most beautiful sport, and consequently one that we need not abandon because of its drug-related shortcomings.

As spectators, let us hope that the best person wins, and that the health of all competitors is not excessively harmed. As competitors, let us remember that most of us can compete in the sport we love without needing to get bitter or twisted about drug use.

And let us cross our fingers that the relevant authorities believe in the sport enough to have the courage to know that positive drug tests will not spell the end of our sport.

Klayten Smith
Tuesday, December 5

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The last month's letters

  • December 1-3 – The profile of cycling, pressure on racers, doping and the Trofeo Baracchi
  • November 28-30 – Trofeo Baracchi, Claude Criquelion, pressure, doping, and Virenque
  • November 22-27 – Even more on doping, Virenque, and bone wasting
  • November 20-22 – Doping, Virenque, bone wasting and the gobsmackingly brilliant
  • November 14-19 – Doping; Virenque, pro training and the French media
  • November 11-13 – More on doping, technology and Giles Baudet
  • November 8-11 – Doping, technology, US Postla and Giles Baudet
  • November 1-8 – Food policy at the the track world's, technology, doping and the Festina trial
  • Letters Index - The complete index to every letters page on cyclingnews.com