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Letters to Cyclingnews — May 29, 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

A mixed bag today, though letters on the cyclist's ritual of shaving the legs are the biggest group. Other subjects include Zabel out-sprinting a team-mate, Cipo's imminent departure from Saeco, and some readers looking for information. Finally, we don't run too many letters telling us how great we are, but after a week when we were all set to reprogram the mail server with a headset press, we felt we deserved the last couple of letters.

John Stevenson
Letters editor

Team Spirit At Deutsche Telekom
Cipo
Cipo Naked
Back Surgery
Tour de France '01
Tour de France — TV coverage in USA?
Tour selections — CSC
Tour Selections — Get over Mercury
Shaving your legs
Shaving your legs — the real reason
Mroz Racing Kit
Asian cyclists
Euskaltel clothing
Live coverage
Thanks

Team spirit at Deutsche Telekom

Congratulations to Erik Zabel for winning his 10th of the season. But wait! It was Rolf Aldag, his Telekom team-mate that he beat at the sprint, which would be okay, except that Aldag needed 8 seconds to take over the final G.C. 8 seconds was the difference in time bonus between 1st and 2nd place...hmmm. Erik, did Rolf congratulate you on 'fine' victory at the final race of 22nd International Bayern Rundfahrt? Doubt it... I wouldn't.

Andrzej Siobowicz
Los Angeles, California
Sun, 27 May

Cyclingnews editor Jeff Jones replies: I'm sure they knew what they were doing. Before the stage, Aldag was lying 3rd overall at 12 seconds. He got 5 (or thereabouts) for coming second, and moved up to 2nd overall at 7 seconds. Similarly after stage 5, Erik Zabel was 20th overall at 1'24. He won, and got an 8 second bonus and moved up to 15th overall at 1'16.

So, Aldag could only have won if he had caused a split, with Voigt coming in the second group. Even if he had won the stage, he would still have been 4 seconds off Voigt. Zabel probably picked up a little extra prize money by jumping up the GC (not that it matters with Telekom).

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Cipo

It'll be sad to see Mario Cipollini leave Saeco, but it's good to hear that other teams are already talking to him. It would be nice to see him sign with US Postal — I think it would be great for them to start picking up more wins outside of Le Tour, and Hincapie would probably benefit highly from having Mario around. It seems to me that Hincapie's been without someone to learn from directly for some time now, and I think that having Cipollini on the US Postal squad would benefit all parties equally.

Dan Bailey
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Mon, 28 May

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Cipo Naked

Thanks for the great picture of Mario Cipollini in his naked suit. I did notice that the helmet was gray (matter) but didn't see any brains...

Karl Heidgen
Mon, 21 May

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Back surgery

I'm a cat 2 racer in the US and just had major surgery on L-4 L-5 S-1 the fusion and removal of the disk at L-5 and interbody cages plus a laminectomy on L-4 andL-5 with six screws and two rods put in and I'm just wanting to get some feedback from anyone who has had a similar experience .By the way my neurosurgeon was one of the same ones who removed lance Armstrong's lesions in his brain. Cool huh?

I am also very sad now since I cant ride and race this year. If you would like to keep in touch I would really like that and i promise you I WILL race again. If Lance can get through that I can get through this. Gotta go its hurting to sit here too long please keep in touch. Oh the reason I started this blabbering was I wondered what kind of back problem Odessa Gunn had?

Eric Kevitt
USA
Monday, May 21

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Tour de France '01

Does anyone have any info about seeing the Tour this year at l'Alpe d'Huez? We will be staying in Geneva, renting a car, and are looking for the best way across the border and to the stage. I am sure that many people have made the trip before and any info would help out for our first trip.

Thanks in advance.

Keith
USA
Ndfotis@aol.com
Mon, 21 May

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Tour de France — TV coverage in USA?

First of all , THANK YOU. I enjoy reading your web site every day. You are
1 in my book.

I am so, SO, disappointed with the lack of TV coverage in the USA for the upcoming Tour de France. I am unable to get the OLN coverage because my cable network — that I pay monthly — refuses to carry it. I tried the satellite dish people and they can't get a dish to fit in my apartment complex due to trees. Well, it looks like i am counting on you for the best coverage in July 2001. It is a pity that we have the number one man, Lance Armstrong competing for this third time to win this prestigious race and the pathetic television networks, don't carry the race this year. the only chance you get now is OLN, which for the first time every will carry live daily coverage. A pitiful plight for cycling fans in this country. I was reading in Lance Armstrong's website, the folks from his home town of Austin, Texas are upset they don't even get the OLN TV coverage. Pathetic!

Lou Frankel
South Jersey, USA
Sun, 27 May

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Tour selections — CSC

While I don't want to start a new Tour selection rant as I believe this site and its readers have covered most every angle of the selections, today's announcement of a deal between CSC and the Societe du Tour de France has got to raise a few eyebrows. Many readers have pointed out the hypocritical and conflicting statements that Leblanc has made about this and previous years' selections, and while this site reported that Jean-Marie Leblanc was unaware of any discussions about a possible CSC sponsorship, it is really hard to believe that proposed deal didn't factor into CSC's selection in some way.

Once again, it appears that Leblanc has reversed his position on teams in the tour in that he doesn't want to allow a team that was created by a checkbook (Mercury), unless of course, the check is made out to the Societe de Tour de France.

Aaron Fader
USA
Tue, 22 May

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Tour Selections — get over Mercury

As an avid Aussie cycling fan I have adopted Mercury as the closest thing to an Australian pro team given the number of antipodeans in the team, including Jamie Drew who I had the pleasure of watching as he tore past me in a time trial never to be seen again. As such I was desperately hoping they would be included in the tour and was suitably disappointed when they didn't get in. There have been a number of letters predominantly from US respondents highly critical that the team wasn't picked. Phrases like "too many American teams kicking French butt" or to that effect. Lets be realistic how many Americans would have been in the team in the Tour anyway? How many races outside of the US won by the team have been won by Americans? Get over your parochialism and realise that it is an international team with international riders "kicking French butt". Good luck to the team and thanks to John Wordin for creating a team with such enormous international appeal. Best of luck to the guys for the rest of the year. C'mon Aussie!!!

Ross Mackay
Australia
Tue, 22 May

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Shaving your legs #1

The secret is not to shave that far, I go as far as my shorts will allow and no further. Not even women go that far so the regrowth becomes a discomfort.

Andrew Stevenson
Australia
Tue, 22 May

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Shaving your legs #2

Been lurking on this site for a while, and decided this was the subject to 'come out' as it were. I'm fairly new to cycling and racing, and also take a very active part in triathlons. I found waxing the best, and I have pretty well mastered waxing my own legs. (I live on my own).

Being a triathlete I have to go the full 'Speedo line' as it were. There is a great product in Oz called 'Nads' wax. There is no need to heat it up at all, just spread it on and rip!

It has been the source of much laughter at the office. At a recent department trivia quiz, one of the questions was "Which male member of the team shaves/waxes his legs?" Now when I walk around the building women are shouting "show us your legs". On reflection, that may not be such a bad thing!

Ian Loxton (ex pat Brit)
Sydney, Australia
Thu, 24 May

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Shaving your legs #3

If you paid 35-45 dollars American, that's 70-90 Aussie. My last full wax cost $18 AUSSIE.
See the lucky country strikes again!

David John Wickstein
Australia
Sun, 27 May

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Shaving your legs #4

Don't do the backs of your thighs, this will serve only to make you look like a "Gimbroni."

Gianni
USA
Mon, 28 May

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Shaving your legs #5

The aversion many men have when it comes to shaving their legs is mostly based on cultural bias. A real man does not shave his legs just as he will not eat quiche, show any depth of emotion, shed a tear, stay at home with the kids, and so on. Western males are told it will make them feminine , gay if you will, if they shave their legs. However it is perfectly acceptable to cut your hair, and shave your beard. This type of grooming does not serve any higher purpose but is done merely for aesthetic reasons, that is, vanity. However shaving your legs for the same reason is not acceptable.

I have shaved my legs for twelve years including the off season and will never let the hair grow back. I start to feel like a monkey after about two weeks. Besides, even if I wanted to let it grow back my wife would not let me. She will even go so far as to comment negatively about unshaved men she notices around town.

It is hard to deny that shaved legs look more muscular and fit. Why not show off the buff legs cycling creates? I for one feel like more of a man with shaved, muscular legs.

Troy Mault
Boulder, CO USA
Wed, 23 May

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Shaving your legs #6

OK, it's time I weighed in on this one. I find it interesting that, as cyclists, we tend to be non-conformists. Still, the majority of male riders that shave do so merely to conform. Go figure.

Yup, I still shave 'em. My reasons are mostly pragmatic:

  1. Here in Maine (USA), we have a climate similar to that of Belgium. Cool and damp. Shaved legs are much easier to massage a penetrating heat-rub into prior to those chilly spring and fall rides.
  2. A layer of baby oil rubbed on before a rainy ride goes surprisingly far to keeping 'em warm and spinning efficiently. As above, much easier to do sans hair.
  3. When it does get hot up here (as it does 2 or 3 times a year...), the evaporative effect of sweat and airflow is cooling. In fact, it feels just plain good.
  4. As one who earns his living as a mechanic, shaved legs go surprisingly far when dealing with those all-too-common persnickity, misguided shop customers. It makes me, somehow, more credible.
  5. I find it much easier to detect and remove ticks following a mountain bike ride. Lyme disease is a problem in this part of the world.

And one for the non-pragmatic:

  1. After 25 years of serious riding and racing, my legs are... well, if you got 'em, flaunt 'em!

P.Lindsay Markson
Freeport, Maine, USA
Tue, 22 May

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Shaving your legs — the real reason!

Fit cyclists have better sex lives, and shaved legs feel great between the sheets. What's wrong with admitting to the pure hedonism of it all?

Wil Matthews
San Rafael, CA
Tue, 22 May

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Mroz racing kit

Can anyone help me find a Team Mroz-Supradyn (Polish bike team) racing kit? I've tried contacting the team through their site but have had no luck.

Michael Taskey
USA
mjtaskey@earthlink.net
Mon, 28 May

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Asian cyclists

I'm requesting your help. I am trying to collect demographic information for bike riders in Asia. Or If you could provide information on riders in Japan, China 7 leading countries in Asia. I am preparing a high school report on cycling in Asia.

Thank you in advance

Robert Durling
Durling_Robert@emc.com
Tuesday, May 22

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Euskaltel clothing

Kaixo John
You can buy them from Etxondo. Etxondo you may be able to find through the Basque server euskadi.net. If you have trouble I am going to the Basque country in a month and can get you an address

Martin Hardie
USA
Monday, May 28

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Live coverage

I really enjoy your live coverage of the big races, I follow them religiously when you cover them. Please cover more races. I have been particularly disappointed when I pull up your site in the morning to catch the action and there is no live coverage. Please cover all of the tours and the classics, it makes the world a better place.

Chris Edin
Mon, 28 May

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Thanks

Just wanted to tell you what a difference you make to many people's lives. I check your site daily, have done for 3 years. Everyone I know checks it, even the Europeans! I really like Scotty Sunderland's articles: maybe he could do a question and answer page once a month!

Keep up the good work. Can't wait until you guys gives us live pictures! Yeah I know, wishful thinking.

From all the Kiwis and Euro wannabes

Murray
New Zealand
Mon, 28 May

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The last month's letters

  • May 22 – Genevieve Jeanson, Scott Sunderland, Shaving, Tour selections, Euskaltel kit wanted
  • May 15 – Genevieve Jeanson, Shaving, The ultimate fixie, Tour wildcard reactions
  • May 9 – Tour wildcard reactions, part one; part two
  • May 3 – Tour wildcard reactions
  • May 1 – Tour de France: CSC & Pantani wildcards, Domo's P–R victory, Hincapie, Postal's ambitions, Australian TV, ONCE on Klein?
  • April 26 – Domo's P–R victory, Hincapie, CSC & Pantani in the Tour?, Camenzind, Who suffers most?, Fixies across Asia
  • April 24 – Domo's P–R victory, Hincapie, Would-be Flahutes, Who suffers most?, Tyre sizes, ONCE TT bikes
  • April 19 – Hincapie: Stay or go?, Paris–Roubaix, Who suffers most?, Breakages, Tyre sizes
  • April 17 – Hincapie, Breakages, Women, Who suffers most?, Tour of Sydney, Custom Shoes
  • Letters Index - The complete index to every letters page on cyclingnews.com