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Letters to Cyclingnews — July 10, 2001

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. 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

In the second installment of today's letters an interesting notion: is the women's peloton cleaner than the men's? Also, more letters about 12 hour time trials, tyres, meetings pros, big hills and those podium people.

John Stevenson
Letters editor

 

Tour letters

Watching the Tour
TdF Backnumbers
Shoo!
Euskaltel-Euskadi
SBS Tour publicity music
British media & David Millar
Why can't Johnny read… (the freakin' race)?
Aussies in the Tour
LeMond
Comparing riders
Telekom, USPS team selections
Ullrich vs LeMond vs Armstrong
LeMond vs Armstrong
Armstrong vs Merckx
Armstrong vs Ullrich
Rumsas

Other letters

Rous on Lelarge
Richard Virenque
Team Search
RAAM
Fuji
Records
12 hour TTs
Mt Washington
Women's peloton clean?
Sew-ups vs clinchers

 

Watching the Tour ­ Paris #1

I was in Paris for the beautiful final stage last year. We walked all around the city, from the start at the Eiffel Tower, up the Champs Elysees, and finally watched the sprints near the top of the Boulevard near the French Office of Tourism and across the road near the Virgin store. The best place to be is at the top of the Boulevard, at the Arc end. For absolute best viewing, bring a ladder like the professional photographers do, arrive the night before, or very early morning, and watch the riders come up the road, turn, and head back down. The final sprint is closer to the Place Franklin Roosevelt (I think that's what it's called), but you'll have the best overall view of the action from the top, since crowds are severely controlled near the finish line and the podium... mean French flics (police).

Bring a foldable camping-type chair and beverages - last year was hot and humid! You might have better luck with the crowds this year, since last year the whole stage was in Paris, but it will still be three deep at the barricades.

The Dutch fans had been camping out with kegs for what looked and smelled like days, but were paid off when the Rabobank team car screeched to a stop in front of their madly waving orange flags and picked up a pretty blonde Dutch representative fanatic for a couple of laps.

You can't get anywhere NEAR the racers at the finish, or the podium. Yes, it is a complete madhouse (think 4th of July with the Boston Pops on the Charles, with cyclists) but if I could do it again I would camp out from the night before, bring food and bevvies, a good telephoto lens, and your team flags. It's unforgettable and epic and worth any sunburn or sore butt.

Sean Horita
Friday, July 6

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Watching the Tour ­ Paris #2

After reading all of the letters from people in Paris who watched the final stage in a hotel room on TV I had to respond. I have been to Paris many times and love the city. On the final day of the tour Paris is one of the most exciting and interesting places in the world.

Last year I was one of the lucky 10,000 or so people who had the incredible opportunity to ride the final course in Paris. It was one of the most exciting and memorable events of my life. I was then fortunate to watch the race on The Champs Elysees. I can not imagine missing all of the excitement not being there on the street with the crowd. Being there with people from all over the world, cheering, laughing, feeling and tasting the moment. That was all part of the experience the flavor, the color, the memory. I have watched the tour on TV many times and will unfortunately again this year. I will see all of the things I could not see standing 5 to 6 deep near the Arc after 2news France put up their (#$%^(*&^%) balloon in front of the position I had held for over two hours.

If you are there go, you will never have a better time as a cyclist. This is one of the two or three greatest sporting events in the world, in one of the most beautiful and colorful cities in the world. This the tour's crowning moment the French, Dutch, Belgians, Spanish, Germans et al and again this year Americans put on a show that can only be appreciated by being there. It must be experienced live! You can buy the video later. VIVA Le Tour and VIVA LANCE!

Jim Brooke
Forest Hill, MD
Saturday, July 7

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Watching the Tour ­ Alpe d'Huez

I was wondering if you might have some insight on the best ways to view the Alpe d'Huez stage - is it possible to simply park along the hillside the day before the stage? how is access the day of? Thanks very much

Raynor Burke
Toronto Canada.
Monday, July 9

TdF Backnumbers

Has any winner of the TdF not worn the #1 of his team, i.e., been the team leader? Did Jan Ullrich wear a ...2 or ...3 when Bjarne Riis was racing for Telekom? Did I just answer my own question?

Do GC contenders look for the back numbers when an attack goes away in order to see if it contains another (team leader)?

What does i.e. stand for?

Tom
Portland OR USA
Friday, July 6

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Shoo!

Eye just red you're recent peace tidaled "Tour News for July 4: Armstrong a shoe in?"

Aye dew knot no thee ant-sir two yore question. Hoo wood no weather Lance plans to where knew shoos every dey, oar wear his teem wood hyde the shoos hee just war. End does hee ever wok awn his own too feat anyweigh? With awl the folk-us awn band drugs, wee mite never reed the reel storey.

Few! Its ruff trying two right with sew many homophones. Yes, the spelling inn this letter is strictly tong-inn-chic. Did ewe buy chance mien "shoo in"?

Buy the whey, thanks four yore grate Web sight. Eye tri too visit every mourning wile drinking my coughy. U guise our the best.

Amy Rafferty
Davis, California
Friday, July 6

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Euskaltel-Euskadi #1

Today I read in the paper (El Correo) here in Spain that Iban Mayo has been offered 70 000 000 pts, (about $700 000 AUS) to ride for Cofidis for the coming two seasons. Not bad for a 23 year old. Having ridden with Iban during 1999 with Caffe Baque I certainly know that he has the talent to go to greatness in the near future. He his still young, and I think the decision to not start Iban in the Tour de France was a wise one. I'm sure we will most definitely see Iban star in the future editions of the Tour.

John
Spain
Saturday, July 7

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Euskaltel-Euskadi #2

I agree completely. It is wonderful to see Euskaltel in the Tour. The "Kelme" factor, that being constant attacking to toughen the race and make things interesting, tends to create a much more exciting Tour. Euskaltel-Euskadi has the potential to take this even further. To see Etxebarria, Haimar Zubeldia (who could really make his mark in this Tour and in my opinion is their real leader) and the rest challenging the favorites on each and every climb will foster a more wide open and exciting environment. It could even lead to some unexpected results.

As far as Mayo, he is still young. Best to not push the kid beyond his limits.

Jay Sween
Wausau, WI
Friday, July 6

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SBS Tour publicity music

Australian broadcaster SBS is offering a hint that a drug free Tour De France is very much wanted.

The music that accompanies its Tour publicity is borrowed from "Messiah". The words are, "And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness".

Who "the Lord" is I leave to your imagination. Verbruggen? Le Blanc?

Dave Gittins
Australia
Sunday, July 8

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British media & David Millar #1

What is it with the British media? What kind of perverse satisfaction do they get by putting down their sportsmen at any given opportunity? I'm referring in this particular case, to the counterproductive comments printed after David Millar's spill during the TDF prologue. Have any of these grubby individuals ever actually made a worthwhile contribution to sport (or anything else) during their pathetic little lives? The trouble is that these cretins have a very short memory. A year ago, he was "Our Dave," the new future of British sport, and because of a hiccup during the opening day, he's become the subject of ridicule. It must be a very satisfying career denigrating those who can achieve something that is beyond your own wildest dreams! (If they have dreams, that is) David is one of the finest up & coming young sportsmen in the UK, and I sincerely hope (and believe) that he will make these scumbags eat their words. Give 'em hell, Dave. To quote John McEnroe, "You guys are the pits!!"

Steve Tracy,
Tachikawa,
Japan
Sunday, July 8

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British media & David Millar #2

So British institutionalised cynicism strikes again. It doesn't surprise me that the Anglo hacks turned on David Millar. It's typical of the double standards that operate in the media, lionise a star when he/she is up, kick 'em when they are down. I don't doubt that Millar was eyeballs out, I don't doubt that had he not taken the risk he did Millar would have been there or thereabouts. He's a talented athlete and he's going to do a lot better with our support, whether he succeeds or fails. Meanwhile I have long stopped buying the British cycling press, I prefer cyclingnews.com!

Rob Garbett
Oxford UK
Sunday, July 8

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Why can't Johnny read… (the freakin' race)?

Okay, I'll admit that I haven't ridden my bike in about 12 years and I shouldn't even be allowed to criticize the average Cat V's race tactics; but fer crissakes already, what will it take to convince the U.S.'s most talented cycling knucklehead, Jonathan Vaughters, that he has to keep himself at the front and out of trouble during these early stages.

K. R. Bennett
USA
Sunday, July 8

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Aussies in the Tour

Couldn't agree more with Andrew Wilson's letter of July 5th about Australians in the Tour. Robbie McEwen has won three times already this year and couldn't get a start, admittedly being with the powerful Domo - Farm Frites team. Jay Sweet had been in great form with wins under the belt for Big Mat - Auber yet when teams are announced for the TdF he misses out with his team being predominantly French. Hopefully, over the next few stages Stuart O'Grady can push Zabel for the points jersey & Brad McGee can put in some big performances that we know he is capable of to show the world that Down Under produces some great cycling talent. Go Aussies!

Dean A Pattison
Melbourne, Australia
Mon Jul 9

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LeMond

Does anyone know what were the reasons for LeMond's withdrawal from Mercury-Viatel? Does he plan another team? Was there a problem between his bikes and Fuji? Just wondering, since I am from Singapore and there is absolutely no decent cycling coverage at all, outside the Internet and the very 'Lance-Biased' ESPN we get on cable.

Anyway, I still think Greg LeMond is one of the all time greats, being the first English speaker to win the Tour, and for his World championships and good results in classics. He could have won in 1985, and without the accident, most likely in 1987 and 1988, and then followed it up in 1989 and 1990. That would have been a potential 5 wins, even a record 6. Just musing about it, but I think he had the class and talent for it, and the Tour was what he lived for as a cyclist. But this observation discounts also the achievements of Roche and Delgado. Delgado was certainly the most impressive climber of his day, weighing in at 75 kilos, and climbing like Herra or Parra. And don't forget his excellent time trialling, as in 1989, when he moved from last to third on a ITT stage! Roche's middle names are tenacity and pride, and he always had a no-surrender attitude. What beautiful battles they would have had with LeMond. Guess I missed those days when the Tour was a real contest, unlike the days of Indurain. LeMond gave us the best Tour ever in the modern history of cycling in 1989, and I can only wish Ullrich and Armstrong deliver us a Tour as that this year. All the best to every rider, and to the romance of Le Tour.

Rajvinder Singh
Singapore
Saturday, July 7

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Comparing riders

It has been said that comparing Lance Armstrong and Greg LeMond (or any other two athletes) is "futile" and "fruitless". It is not. Such comparisons can be fruitful, provided the criteria by which the athletes are evaluated are made explicit. It is even possible to compare athletes from different sports. To persuade me that X is a better athlete (or, more narrowly, a better bicyclist) than Y, you have to do two things: first, get me to accept your criteria; and second, get me to agree that, on those criteria, X does better than Y. Unless the criteria are specified and agreed upon, there is no chance of persuasion and every chance of misunderstanding and acrimony.

Keith Burgess-Jackson
Philosopher in Residence
Fort Worth, Texas
Saturday, July 7

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Telekom, USPS team selections

Hincapie is a strong tempo rider and a vital asset in the Team TT. I think he will prove his worth on the flats, especially in the opening stages in the narrow roads of NE France. He is a very experienced rider in those situations and one of the leaders of US Postal. I am curious to see Ullrich's form in this year's Tour, I think he will pretty much repeat his performance of last year. Steady on the climbs, but easily dropped once the going gets really tough. His time trialling will allow him to challenge Lance, but he will suffer in the mountains like he did last year, especially since his descending skills are rather suspect.

In any event the Tour de France, the greatest annual sporting event is underway. Vive le Tour and best wishes to Lance Armstrong, his Postal teammates and all the other fellow Americans in the peloton (Julich, Vaughters, Rodriguez, Livingston, Hincapie, and Hamilton) Does anyone think that USPS will have all 9 riders complete the Tour again this year. I think that is an oft overlooked feat that was matched by only one other team last year...Banesto. I hope those boys get every ounce of recognition and congratulations they deserve.

Moses Koch
Madison, WI USA
Friday, July 6

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Ullrich vs LeMond vs Armstrong

Back in '78 or '79, I watched LeMond race with a junior gear restriction against the best seniors of the time. (I was not one of them.) What struck me about him was his competitive spirit. In every race I saw him his tactic was the same, to lap the field right at the outset. When I went to college in '79, my roommate happened to be French, and I told him that LeMond would win the Tour. His response was that " no American will ever win the Tour."

What impresses me about Lance is the clinic he has given the past several years to his compatriots in the peloton: about what it is to be a professional, wholly committed to sport twelve months of the year, and how to climb. Back when I was watching LeMond drop the hammer, I was taught to always use the smallest gear I could and still keep up. Technique was as critical as fitness. We were taught to spin up hills, and rode fixed gears for the first months of the year, even in San Francisco. Who's better? This is not a question I ask myself. Lemond was a class act, period. He was an innovator who opened the door to technical change. His win over Fignon was unforgettable. I watched it in a bar in Sharon, CT, which graciously allowed me to commandeer the set. His comeback brought goosebumps just as much as Lance's. I consider myself lucky to have people like these set examples of what the human spirit is capable of. Lance is the only person I know of who has come back from what most people would find an insurmountable obstacle to the absolute pinnacle of the most gruelling sport in the world.

Lemond and Armstrong have both been a godsend to American sport, a breath of fresh air to those who find football and Nascar mindless. What I have always liked about cycling, and what most distresses me about the doping, is the ascetic nature of the sport. There is a purity to it that I don't find in many others.

The great champions, I like them all. Especially Eddy.

Jay Dwight
USA
Sunday, July 8

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LeMond vs Armstrong #1

Regarding Jeffery Griffin's letter, didn't Lance work for his trusty lieutenant, Tyler Hamilton last year in the Dauphine Libere?

Ken Kontowicz
Tucson, AZ
Sat, 07 Jul

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LeMond vs Armstrong #2

In response to Jeffery Griffin's statement concerning LeMond, "In 84 he placed third behind Fignon and Hinault, Fignon being his team-mate and preset as that team's, Renault, winner." I would just like to say that it wouldn't have mattered what team LeMond was riding for there was absolutely no way anyone would have beat Fignon in 84.

Adele Granmo
Sunday, July 8

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LeMond vs Armstrong #3

LeMond developed a "mitochondrial myopathy" after having been shot. Doctors use words like "myopathy" when they don't know what's going on. In Greg LeMond's case, he ended up with heavy metal poisoning as a result of the shooting. Heavy metals "tie up" enzymes in the body. The enzymes that were rendered ineffective in this case were the oxidation phosphoralization enzyme which have to do with burning fat. The result was that LeMond was hardly burning fat during his training rides and during the easy parts of the races such that he was constantly running out of glycogen resulting in fatigue and very poor recovery. Unfortunately, I know all about this having had suffered the same phenomenon. As to who was better, LeMond or Armstrong? I think that it is pointless to compare a cyclist during his career to a cyclist who has since retired. They are both great champions (I include Andy Hampsten in this category as well. Remember he was riding for Hinault and LeMond during his career resulting in less opportunities for himself).

Ian Harvey
Heber City, UT
Monday, July 9

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Armstrong vs Merckx

Merckx won 425 professional races out of the 1800 he rode. Armstrong doesn't race to win anything other than the Tour. There is nothing to compare. Merckx is, and will always be the greatest champion ever - end of story.

John
Auckland, New Zealand
Monday, July 9

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Armstrong vs Ullrich

We should be happy to be able to witness a race between two of the best riders in the world, regardless of the outcome.

Our prize is to simply be witness to greatness!

John W.
Greenville, SC USA
Saturday, July 7

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Rumsas

I wonder if the non-selection of Rusmas has to do with the presence of Casagrande at the Tour. Remember last year's Giro di Lombardia? Casagrande didn't seem to be too pleased at getting pipped by his future teammate...

David Thorley
Chico, CA
Monday, July 9

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Other Letters

Rous on Lelarge

I take it as a good sign that at least one professional rider (here Didier Rous, and I'm sure there are others I am missing) has the courage to publicly denounce a colleague caught cheating, even when it is his own team-mate. The dope tests and the police raids will continue to uncover cheats in the peloton until all riders agree that doping is moronic. Disappointingly, suspensions, fines and judicial inquiries haven't had (and won't have) the effect we want. I may be naive, but I tend to believe that Monsieur Rous' comments, and public expressions from other professionals *not* to dope, may be the most effective force in combating the problem in our sport. In order to be consistent and effective, however, the reaction must be similarly harsh when a "champion" tests positive as well--no matter how well liked he may be, or how distinguished his palmares.

John M. Seaman
Wilmington, Delaware
Monday, July 9

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Richard Virenque #1

After signing his new Domo contract, Richard Virenque claimed he will be "avenged on his new bike." It is ludicrous to think of Virenque in any role of a victim in the whole Festina affair. He is an adult who clearly understood the rules and the consequences of his doping, yet went ahead with it anyway. In light of his conviction and suspension, it is only natural to see his victories up to that point as somewhat tainted.

By seeking vengeance, he seems to still be in denial of his own role in the whole affair, including the damage done to the Tour's image and to the image of professional cycling in general. It indicates that for Virenque, winning by fraud is every bit as legitimate as winning fairly. Let's hope that Domo isn't in concurrence.

Chris Stemper
Milwaukee, WI
Sunday, July 8

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Richard Virenque #2

I'm really disappointed that Richard Virenque has got a contract, I'd rather hoped that he would never race as a professional again. Here we have a self confessed doper getting a contract with a high profile team. The management of Domo must be crazy hiring a guy like him, especially given the current efforts to clean up the sport. Virenque's comment "I want to appeal" intrigues me somewhat, appeal against what? Against the fact that he got suspended? Tough! That is the penalty for dopers. He also says "I will be avenged" What the heck does this mean? Maybe he feels that he has been hard done to, but let's face facts, he is a self confessed doper who was caught in a lie and has been punished. This is typical Virenque, moaning and complaining that the world is against him - let's have a reality check here - he brought it all on himself!

I'm afraid Domo have totally gone down in my estimation now as well. Will Virenque be any good riding clean? I don't know, but I doubt very much whether we'll see the kind of supercharged rides we used to.

Finally, in response to a comment I raised a few months ago, I'm certainly not jealous of Virenque. How could I be jealous of a dope cheat and self confessed liar?

Patrick Douglas
Leeds, England
Friday, July 6

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Team search

I am a short track speedskater, ranked 8th in the US, with hopes of making the 2002 Olympic Team. Next summer I am interested in taking on a new challenge; I would like to road race. I was on a NEBC a team based out of Boston two years ago and raced in the northeast for a summer, doing the local races including Fitchburg. Next summer I sould like to race in a foreign country where Spanish is the main language. I just don't know how to go about connecting with the right people. Is there any way that you or anyone out there can help me out. I encourage you or anyone to check out www.usspeedskating.org and look at my bio, I am for real - I want to do this. Thanks for your help!

Brigid Farrell
Saratoga Springs, NY
bridie36@hotmail.com
Sunday, July 8

RAAM

Comparing RAAM to cycling events relies on several subjective judgments as to what constitutes an athlete as well as the concept of a "cycling competition."

It is true that many RAAM participants have more than average recreational cycling skills. These cycling skills have less to do with their RAAM success than the combinations of each RAAM riders' personal mental toughness and the luck and organization of their respective support crews.

These individuals offer themselves to a competition requiring the endurance of both mental and physical pain for days, certainly by definition, they are athletes.

In practice, the nature and prowess displayed by the participants after two or three days of cycling, can not be deemed "bicycle racing".

Perhaps one might offer the perspective that RAAM is tremendous endurance event that requires that the competitors to use bicycles.

Mercian
USA
Sunday, July 8

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Fuji

I just purchased a Fuji Team Issue Scandium frameset - it rocks; there's nothing close to it available for the price. The frame is marked "Proudly made in Australia," and I wondered if someone at Cyclingnews.com or a reader knows the particulars behind who is building these bikes for Fuji. I assume this is also the source for the Mercury team bikes now that Lemond has dropped their sponsorship.

Louie Pyfer
Friday, July 6

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Peter Teschner at Ti Sports in Byron Bay, New South Wales builds the Fuji frames.

Records

Michael Secrest of the United States rode 1,216.8 miles in twenty-four hours in April 1990. That's paced, of course. His average speed was 50.7 miles per hour. He also rode 516.2 miles in twenty-four hours (unpaced, indoors) in March 1985. That's an average speed of 21.50 miles per hour. Both, at the time, were world records. Both, for all I know, still are. Secrest won the 1987 Race Across America and set the transcontinental record in June 1990 (2916 miles in seven days, twenty-three hours, sixteen minutes [average speed = 15.24 miles per hour]).

Keith Burgess-Jackson,
Fort Worth, Texas
Saturday, July 7

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12 hour TTs

Andy Wilkinson's feat is truly amazing. I would think though that an average speed of 25 mph in 12 hours and 21 plus over 24 hours is over a flat terrain. He should try the RAAM (Race Across America).

John Taufen
UK
Saturday, July 7

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Mt Washington

The only reason why people complain about the unpaved portions of Mt Washington is that the worst possible stretch happens to be about 15% and unpaved. (Just past the 5-mile marker, known as the "Cragway"). In 1999 I rode this stretch into the nastiest headwind I have ever known. I struggled to push the cranks as hard as I could just to keep the bike upright.

Above this section, the rest of the climb isn't as bad, except for when it's foggy (almost always) and the roads get incredibly slimy. Oh, not to mention the wind which forces you to lean the bike just to keep from going over the edge!

As far as the final stretch is concerned, this part has never been a problem to me. There's something about the roar of the crowd that gets me pumped up I guess, no matter how bad of a ride I may have had until then. I generally manage to dig deep into those reserves to get up that last bit.

As far as it being the "world's toughest", I have ridden many "lesser" climbs in HOT weather and have been totally whipped! (Alpe d'Huez in 1998 during a record 105 F degree headwave!) The fact that even 60 degrees F is considered hot for Mt. Washington tells you something about the climate there. (In over 100 years of record keeping, I think the record high temp at the summit is only about 80 F, or so!)

The cooler temps will go a long way to controlling your heartrate, I find.

Marc Belanger
Leominster, MA USA
Saturday, July 7

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Mt Washington

I agree heartily with Drew's assessment of the Mortirolo, A couple of years ago a friend and I spent 3 months riding the great climbs of the Pyrenees, Alps, and Dolomites. We laughingly called it the "Tour of the Hundred Cols" and I think we beat that number! I rode the passes you mentioned and many more. I haven't done the Angrilu but one of my club-mates was there in '99 and says it is gnarly. Of all the climbs we did on that tour two stand out as being incredibly tough: the Tre Cime di Laveredo, and the Mortirolo. The Mortirolo was so tough after the Gavia that we cut our ride short and went back down the side the Giro normally goes up. Descending that hill was almost as tough as climbing it! I've done Mt. Evans but not Washington and all I have to say is bravo to everyone who rides a bike over any of these mountains it is an accomplishment.

Steve Farris
Silver City NM
Sunday, July 8

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Mt Washington

What gears do people suggest for the climb? In a less lucid moment I signed up to do the race this year.

Ross Kennedy
Boston, MA, USA
Monday, July 9

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Mt Washington

I agree that the Stelvio, Alpe d'huez, Fedaia or the Galibier on the Continent are not the hardest of all climbs. I've yet to do the Mortirolo but of those I've done my vote is for the Col de Fauniera in Italy. This was to be the penultimate climb of this year's toughest stage of the Giro with the mountaintop finish at Saint Anna di Vinadio. Yes, the day they protested and failed to ride. The specs are 9.5 miles and 5400 ft of vertical elevation; some sections were north of 15% for several hundred yards. Of the 150+ climbs I've done in the US and Europe it was harder than any of them due to the length and steepness. Can't wait to do the Mortirolo though. Another fun one is Val Thorens near Albertville: about 6,300 ft in 19 miles but harsh near the top. Certainly one to put on your list.

David Sutton
Illinois
Monday, July 9

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Women's peloton clean? #1

Maybe the women just aren't detected because of less stringent testing?

Steve Farris
Silver City NM
Sunday, July 8

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Women's peloton clean? #2

Re: Angela A's letter concerning women's sport and doping. I wasn't sure what her point was, but let me interject some real history here. My wife was a champion bodybuilder in the mid 80's. At that time, we began to see more and more women (check the magazines from that era and you'll see the changes) who looked like men. Being an insider to the sport, we knew who was juiced up and who wasn't; the physical changes that steroids effect in women are pretty significant. My wife retired as a result of this alteration to her sport. That's 15 years ago in a sport with virtually no prize money associated with it. You figure it out.

Martin, Raymond F
USA
Monday, July 9

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Sew-ups vs clinchers

I've ridden and raced on both tubulars and clinchers in the past 20 years. The performance difference, mainly handling, can be noticed in a tubular. However, the art form required to repair a flatted tubular made me change exclusively to clinchers. Hell, I can barely clean and lube my chain without taking it to the shop, why would I want to spend an hour (what it would take me) to repair a tubular when I could be patched and out riding in under 10 minutes with a clincher? Give me a good 190 gramster any day. Now on the other hand, if I was being paid to ride a certain brand and had a personal mechanic... hmmm...

Brad Cockman
Reno, NV
Friday, July 6

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The last month's letters

  • July 7 – Tour letters:Watching the finale, Armstrong vs Ullrich, USPS vs Telekom, Aussies, Giro suspects, Euskaltel
  • July 7 – Other letters: Women's peloton clean? "12s", Mt Washington, podium girls & boys, Pro encounters, tyres
  • July 4 – Tour letters: Armstrong vs Ullrich, USPS vs Telekom, Aussies, Giro suspects, Euskaltel
  • July 4 – Other letters: "12s", Mt Washington, podium girls & boys, Pro encounters, tyres
  • July 2 – Armstrong vs Ullrich, "12s", pros, tyres, drugs, bike shop work, podium girls
  • June 30 – Armstrong vs Ullrich, pros, tyres, Voet, Bassons, RAAM, podium girls
  • June 28 – Armstrong, Ullrich & Casagrande, pros, RAAM, sew-ups vs clinchers
  • June 26 – Nandrolone, pro encounters, RAAM, sew-ups vs clinchers, saddle sores
  • June 23 – Antonio Cruz, Italian races, RAAM, saddle sores, tyres, Jeanson
  • June 21 – Watching the Tour, Cipo, drugs, saddle sores, clinchers vs sew-ups, Ullrich, Jeanson
  • June 20 – Drugs, saddle sores, VDB, clinchers vs sew-ups, Frigo, Ullrich, Jeanson
  • June 13 – Part three: Drugs & Giro (lots more), Montreal WC, Giro vs Tour
  • June 13 – Part two: Drugs & Giro (lots), Giro vs Tour, Ullrich, TdF '01, Radios, ONCE on Klein?
  • June 13 – Part one: Drugs & the Giro, Belli, Ullrich, radio TT, Giro vs Tour
  • June 7 – Special Giro raid edition
  • June 6 – Simoni, Belli, Ullrich, 'Massacre à la chain', radio TT, Giro vs Tour, back surgery