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Letters for October 3-8, 2000

Olympics

Austr(al)ian comment

Normally I come to your wonderful site of course for cycling reasons. But besides that you are, at least at present, the only Australian whose email address I know.

So it is you to whom I just have to express my extraordinary feelings about what happened during the last 14 days in your home town. They were unbelievable Olympic games... Samaranch was speaking the truth, they were the best games ever!

13 years ago I visited this wonderful country, I have memories for my life and I never really came home. So I was very emotional at these Olympics. I was crazy seeing Ian Thorpe, Susie O'Neill and the men's relay win. Although I am not Australian myself (although as an Austrian, often mixed up with Australia), I felt a little bit what it meant for the land Down Under, when Cathy Freeman won the 400 meter race.

But tonight's closing ceremony topped all. It was really a world festival, and for some moments the Olympic idea became true. I really enjoyed the music! "Island home" - what a wonderful song. "Men at work" brought back my youth, when they performed "Down under", which in my opinion expresses better than anything the Australian feeling and way of life. Then, "Waltzing Matilda" sung by 110,000 people. I really hope there will be a record of this music.

I would have liked to join the crowd in Sydney harbour while the fireworks were pounding. In those moments I was saying to myself: "Bloke, once again in your life you'll have to go to Oz again..."

So, be proud to be an Australian!!!

Greetings from Austria,

Karl-Heinz

Olympic veteran

I don't know any Australians personally. I'm a daily visitor to your website though, so you guys are the closest thing. I just wanted to congratulate you on putting on a great Olympics. The facilities and the atmosphere were the best I've seen in 40 years of watching on TV and actually attending once, in 84.

Great job.

Ed Kingham
Carson City, NV, USA

Americans

The press in the US has been overwhelmingly positive regarding the host country and her people. The same certainly could not be said of the Atlanta Olympics! As you may have noticed (or probably already knew) we Americans certainly know how to make horse's asses out of ourselves. But, hopefully, some of us can freely admit it!

I was very wistful as I watched the closing ceremonies. Not so much for a great competition ended but that we had to leave the daily visits to Australia behind. It seems you have become what I like to think America used to be: uncomplaining, can-do spirit, limited cynicism.

As a bike racer, I got acquainted with the Aussie take on things-just get on with it and have a go being the two central themes- and developed a strong rooting interest in Vogels, Sunderland et al. Good to see that carry over into such a large event.

Thought you'd like to know. Thanks for a great website!

Barry White
Oak Park,Illinois, USA

Parochialism

You think that you had it tough with Channel 7`s interrupted race finale, well you want to be in the shoes of all cycling fans in Japan. Road Cycling rates somewhere near Curling in viewer interest level as far as Japan`s National Broadcaster (NHK) is concerned.

We have yet to see ANY of the Women's Road race, and the Men's (highly edited) event was shown at 3AM the next day! And that was cut-off immediately Ullrich crossed the finish-line! No medal ceremony. NOTHING! You haven't seen parochialism until you come here. Replay after replay of Japanese athletes finishing 7th in a field of 8, while other live events (not involving Japanese) are totally neglected! It's amazing that in a country where people sit glued to the screen to watch Marathon racing (about as interesting as watching the grass grow..), cycling gets no TV time at all. Oh for an interrupted direct broadcast. You don't know how lucky you are!

It's a great site. Keep up the good work,

Regards,
Steve Tracy
Tachikawa, Japan.

Tame finish

I enjoyed your report (always do!)

I'd have to say that the road race (which I flew from Melbourne for the day to watch) was a fantastic spectacle. With some friends, I brought my bike and rode round, viewing the race from various vantage points. The whole area around Bronte was brilliant: watching the peloton wind up from the top of the descent, and fly through the dip at the bottom before grinding up the winding and picturesque hill (not that they probably appreciated it!) was fantastic.

It was great also, to be able to watch the finish on the big screen back at the SCG.

I must say that I was disappointed that the finish was so tame. As you say, once the 3 Telekom boys were away, the deal was done, and there was never any doubt that the "senior" rider would pick up the gold, and that Vinokourov and Kloden would divvy up the minor medals. It made it a bit like the Mapei Roubaix victory of a few years ago: mercenary, almost.

Having said that, though, I had a great day, and it was a great opportunity to see so many great bike riders - who will probably never visit Australia again - race, and in perfect conditions.

Regards - and keep up the GREAT work,

David Baxter

Dear Team Telekom

Gentlemen,

Congratulations on your successful purchase of Olympic gold, silver, and bronze! You will find it hard to convince most fans of cycling - or at least me - that the attack and outcome between Ullrich, Vinokourov, and Kloeden was not discussed and decided BEFORE the beginning of the Men's Road Race. Riders ride differently when they know they may be sprinting for Olympic gold and when they know that their professional contracts require them to work for gold but be content with silver.

I admit I'm not sure exactly what the "Olympic Spirit" means, but I'm fairly certain it does not include tactics and outcomes determined by the business management of trade teams. If it is, why exactly is there an Olympic Road Race and not another one-day classic? Perhaps I'm naive, but it seems to me outcomes such as the Sydney Men's Road Race do not presage an auspicious future for Olympic cycling.

Perhaps the directors of Team Telekom should have consulted their spin doctors at Interbrand Zintzmeyer before considering these tactics; in one day Team Telekom has erased Interbrand's years of effort to overcome Telekom's image as the "Scheiss Monopolist."

John Leslie
University of California, Berkeley

From one editor to another...

Just a great compliment for your coverage of the Cycling part of the Olympics 2000 in Sydney. I enjoyed the event as a whole (as an ex-sportsman) very much and Australia - and all people involved - can be proud to have organized such an event in such excellent way.

Kind regards,

Wim van Rossum
Editor, cycling4all.com

Where's Bobby Julich and Jonathan Vaughters?

Where the Hell, are these guys? A keep reading on Bobby Julich's web page he is racing, but he never shows up in the race standings. I guess Vaughters has retired, I haven't heard anything on him, except in his articles in Cycle magazine.

Again, where the Hell are these guys, I am a big fan of each, and am interested in what they are doing at present.

Sincerely,
Vert Hallahan

It's not easy...

This is just a note, from a soon-to-be-49-year-old American cycling fan, to thank you for being the best source of cycling news that I have found in my 30 years of following the sport. It is not easy, here in the States, to find information on a daily basis concerning my favorite sport that is as comprehensive as cyclingnews.com. I shall be eternally grateful. Again, thank you, and please keep up the wonderful work!

P.K. Frank

Thanks

Thank you for having the Nicole Reinhart tribute website. While my son, Norm Carter, lived with Nicole and others in their coaches house in Oregon there certainly was "no shortage of laughter" as Kurt Marion's tribute pointed out. While some of us are grieving her loss in private, I really enjoy reading sentiments and stories from others. My only hope is that we will never forget her wonderful positive attitude. She was a bright shining star in our life...we will miss her.

Kathleen Carter
A Cycling Mom - for 10 years.

P.S. A note to Brian Farrell (who thinks he knows "every pothole" of this year's Sun Tour route) - Please - fill all those "potholes"...my son and his Jelly Belly teammates are racing in your tour...it's tough after Nicole's death. I do feel better that Josh Collingwood, his Aussie teammate, is there to show him around your land. Thank you for giving us the race info!

Editor's note: see stage three of the Sun Tour

A theological link

Again let me thank you for the best coverage of professional cycling available anywhere. I check your web page daily. I have a link to your web page on my personal web page (a theology web page!). Keep up the great work!

Dr. Joel Stephen Williams
Gainesville, FL

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