Home  Tech    Features    Road    MTB    Cyclocross    Track    News    Photos     Feedback   

 

Letters to Cyclingnews – November 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

VDB
Lance to enter Spring Classics
Best wishes to Bart
Bad Australian news
Cycling better than Viagra
NESP better than EPO
Alessandro Forni
I'm better in the mountains than Lance Armstrong
Derny Races
National Champions
Bike auction
Running red Lights
Tour Du Faso
Cadel Evans
Tour is boring
Skilled Bay Classic
Lance and podium girls
New Hope
What is Possum?
Respect
Wheel Regulation
Julian Winn

John Lieswyn

VDB

Dear Cycling News,
Is there anyone else out there who couldn't care less if he or she EVER reads another segment on your site about Frank Vandenbroucke, king of the head cases? Frank reminds me of the comedian and dog skit of years ago in which the very lethargic dog wouldn't do anything, all the while his human partner was saying ever more hopefully, "He's thinking about it!
He's on the verge! Wait a minute, folks! He's just about to do something!"
How about it, folks? The next time you feel the urge to write about Frank, give us instead a piece about paint drying.

Thanks, and ciao!

Scott Phoenix
Thursday, November 29, 2001

Respond to this letter

Lance to enter Spring Classics - for George

Is Lance going to ride for George like he did for Roberto? (Read story)

Justin N Greene
Thursday, November 29, 2001

 

Respond to this letter

Best wishes to Bart

If it is at all possible, please forward to Bart Bowen.

Just read the update about your unfortunate and untimely meeting with the ground, and second round with the bone-people. I hope your recovery is quick from here on, and the physiotherapy painless. I was just in alb this past week with not much time to visit. Say hello to any and everyone if you think of it. Again best wishes, enjoy the time off.

Spotcalm
Chile
Thursday, November 29 2001

Respond to this letter

Bad Australian news

Sounds a lot like the Nicole Reinhart tragedy in September 2000 ...

I'm very sorry to hear of the loss to the Australian cycling and triathlon communities. (Read story)

Steven L. Sheffield
Wednesday, November 28 2001

 

Respond to this letter

Cycling better than Viagra

There is an error in your explanation of the action of Viagra which does not explain why Viagra and nitrate drugs are typically not used together (Read story). Viagra inhibits the degradation of cyclic-GMP in vascular smooth muscle (VSM). Cyclic-GMP is a compound produced in vascular smooth muscle cells upon stimulation by nitric oxide. It is ultimately intracellular cyclic-GMP which triggers a relaxation by the VSM which leads to an erection. Normally, the enzyme cyclic-GMP-esterase degrades the cyclic-GMP to GMP, attenuating the VSM response--this prevents the nitric oxide signal from being a permanent one. Viagra is an inhibitor of cyclic-GMP-esterase. Therefore, it prolongs the effect of nitric oxide signaling though it does not actually modulate nitric oxide production. This is why one should not take nitrate-drugs (which release nitric oxide into the blood stream) and Viagra together. The result could be a complete collapse of blood pressure.

Anthony Smith
Oregon State University
Tuesday, November 27 2001

Respond to this letter

NESP better than EPO?

You are absolutely right. I think lie detector and hair test should complement the idea of holding samples for future testing (Read original letter). A future positive sample could at least reduce the cheater's chance of profiting from the use of these drugs once their careers are finished due to their inability to do endorsements and publish or provide sport commentary.
The machine is so big that it will be hard to break the connections in the establishment. But to not speak out and keep the blinders on only helps the cause of the cheats.

Doug
Sunday, November 25 2001

 

Respond to this letter

Alessandro Forni

Dear Mr. Forni,

Your feats are incredible! On Sunday's I train at our local mountains and before people are having their warm breakfast, I am pedaling at our local mountains (Read Article) with all the "forza" I have. It is always difficult, but I feel that climbing is the best part of cycling.
I wish you the very best and if you ever come to Brazil please let me know. Forza Amigo, you have a lot of heart and thank God for people like you!

George Doria
Brazil
Tuesday, November 27 2001

Respond to this letter

I'm better in the mountains than Lance Armstrong #1

In response to Nicholas Boyden's response to Scott "I AM SPARTICUS" Goldstein's very funny letter about Gilberto "me and my Hooligan Boneheads" Simoni's comments on his being better than Lance.
It is one thing to be like Ullrich and be respectfully positive. I agree with Nicho, that Ullrich's words where not silliness. His acts in giving Lance someone to beat made this years tour a very good one. And at least Ullrich has bested Lance when it counted in a major tour mountain stage.
It is another thing entirely to be boastful (not confident or positive) before you have earned respect. Simoni is very good, but his Giro win ranks up there with Gotti's. Does any body even remember Gotti winning, or just that Pantani lost..). It's a little easier when your two major challengers get tossed, one for being a Doper and the other for defending himself against Simoni's relatives and "friends," who are far and away the most unsportsman like and dangerous mob in cycling). And lets face it, while being a great race, the Giro is not what it used to be (when men where men, and the greats rode both tours hard) and the Giro is no Tour De France as far as talent goes. Simoni is un-proven against a Primed Armstrong, unlike Ullrich.
There is a difference between Simoni and Ullrich and it is class. You did not see or hear from an Indurain, Roche, Eddy, Coppi or Armstrong what you see (hooligans) or hear (Boastful rubbish) from Simoni. They were a force leading up to their wins and while confident, never let go with the rubbish Simoni has.
Simoni would do well to shut his trap, and cycling would do well if Simoni took the opportunity to get ride of his Brute Squad.

CM
USA
Sunday, November 25 2001

Respond to this letter

I'm better in the mountains than Lance Armstrong #2

Go Scotty!!! Nail, Lance Underpants we are with you!!!

SB
Australia
Sunday, November 25 2001

 

Respond to this letter

I'm better in the mountains than Lance Armstrong #3

To Nicholas Boyden, who thought Goldsteinís letter about Lance was disrespectful to Ullrich and Simoni, I would say you entirely missed the point. I think the main point was that given the UTTER DOMINANCE Lance showed in the mountains this year, it would behove one like Simoni to keep those 'positive thoughts' to oneself, until one has backed it up with actual performances in the race that matters. If youíre going to talk the talk, without having walked the walk, be prepared to get bagged on for it. Wait, hereís an even better idea! Even if you can walk the walk (Lance), shut up about it anyway (Lance)!
You donít see Armstrong predicting who he will and wonít beat. Iím sure he thinks heís the best and that heíll win, but he doesnít show disrespect to the other competitors by blabbing in the press before the fact about how heís going to win. Talk about disrespect! How can you look at what Lance did and think youíre so good that you can tell the world youíre better than him?? I think Lance deserves more respect than that. No matter, itíll likely just be more motivational ammo.
Thanks for the letter Scott totally funny. Been getting tired of hearing the talk myself.

Chris Fox
Seattle, USA
Wednesday, November 28, 2001

 

Respond to this letter

I'm better in the mountains than Lance Armstrong #4

How about:
Lance is going to pummel me in the mountains unless the entire peloton, including the rest of the Postal Service team, rides against him. So maybe I should try to take time out of him in the TT..well crap I won't be able to do that unless he falls off his bike, twice. I guess that leaves a suicidal break where I can gain say 30 minutes on him. The Postal Team leaves very little wiggle room. My only prayer is carnage in the peloton where I am the lone escaper or food poisoning...hum???
As far as Scott being obsessive about statistics, I count one whole statistic.

Eric Kytola
Thursday, November 29 2001

 

Respond to this letter

Derny races

Hey guys at cycling news:
Thanks for the great pics again. In regards to the Derny races, which I've only seen about in pictures (Read original letter). Don't the motors ever drip oil onto the track? Am I a hypochondriac or is that even a concern when it comes to the Six Day Riders' minds?
Learning About 6-Days in Seattle

Dave "Il Gatto" Calabro
USA
Tuesday, November 27, 2001

 

Respond to this letter

National Champions

I was wondering if there is anyone out there who can help me? I collect national champion jerseys and recently I have lost some due to fire / water damage and am looking to replace as many as I can and get as many new ones as I can. If you have any road, mountain, or cyclocross national champion jerseys that you would like to sell contact me at my e-mail address below. If you know of any shops that also might have some old national champion stuff that they might be interested in selling please send me their name and phone number as well. If you have one jersey or a hundred please drop me a line. Thank you for your time.
Reed at reedmccalvin@yahoo.com

Reed McCalvin
Tuesday, November 27 2001

 

Respond to this letter

Bike auction

Your short article on the Criterium in honor of Manuel Sanroma mentioned an upcoming on-line auction on 15th December for Oscar Sevilla's bike.....do you have the Web address for this event.

By the way, as everyone has been telling you, cyclingnews is the best. Bill Mitchell set the stage several years ago and now Gerard has moved it into new dimensions...... thanks, you are part of my daily routine.

Barry Whitworth
Oregon USA
Monday, November 26 2001

 

Respond to this letter

Running red lights #1

I'm from Australia, but am now living in the Czech Republic. Back home I often had the problem of not setting off the sensors for traffic lights and being 'forced' to go through a red one. They have what seems a very sensible system with lights here that pretty much negates this problem (Read original letter). At smaller intersections (those with less traffic) at non-peak times of the day, the lights flash orange, which means you treat it as a regular intersection and pass through with some care (well actually a great deal of care, lest some insane Czech driver clean you up, but that's a different story). Anyway this means you almost never sit at a set of lights with no one else around and don't make the lights turn. This is also great when driving as well as riding..

Sam
Czech Republic
Friday, November 23 2001

 

Respond to this letter

Running red lights #2

The secret of red lights...

I find that if I roll slowly over the supposed sensor grid/plate/coil in a zig-zagging fashion (more sine like), it appears to trigger the lights - green to go!! I even think that there may be a way of triggering the lights with the cleats of your shoes; it seems to open up boom-gates without delay and also makes a disturbing sight when walking over such sensors; do cyclists have such magical properties??
I'm still wondering how to speed up the signal sequence - supposedly police cars can quicken the sequence procedure by possibly rolling the car back and forth; any ideas anyone, it would help to break the prime reason for running red lights - the time factor!

Andre Duszynski,
Adelaide, South Australia
Tuesday, November 27 2001

Respond to this letter

Tour du Faso

I've been following the Tour Du Faso coverage with a great deal of interest. Hopefully, I'll be traveling to Nigeria in a year and a half to conduct fieldwork for school, and if my presence there could help the development of racing in the area, I would like to do whatever I could.
I was in Belgium a few years ago and met a lot of US, Canadian and Australian riders being hosted by teams. Fostering similar links between Africa and Europe would seem like a good idea.
Perhaps if a forum were created in which organisations like Marco Polo, African teams/federations, and interested parties like myself, Mr. Woodall and his Togo friends could start communicating, African cycling could see some real benefits. (Read full story)

Brad Thompson.
London, UK
Friday, November 23 2001

Respond to this letter

Cadel Evans #1

Frank,
I don't see why not! Just maybe not next year. He is undeniably a very strong climber, most mountain bikers make pretty good time trialists due to being able suffer by themselves, and he showed in this year's worlds that he can hold his own in a big fast bunch of roadies (Read original letter). I think the only thing he will have to adapt to greatly, is riding a three week tour and (although I've never done it), I'm sure this is much easier said than done.

Sam
Friday, November 23 2001

Respond to this letter

Cadel Evans #2

Cadel has many years in front of him. He's been hired by an ultra powerful team; he can choose the Colnago bike he wants (imagine; choose!). Awesome team; they have sea deep resources of all racer types, and also have money and doc's. I believe he's fair dinkum star material.
For one thing, he can race alone. The guy is as tough as a blue heeler; he'll go forever! He can climb. Then with the form of a world class mountain biker who knows what to do with the skinny stuff - as shown by Roland Green's performance in the world's time trial (14th, wasn't he?), Cadel would know how to bite the bars... So he should hold his own in a time trial. The rest is the team thingy... Will they ride for him, will he ride only one day races first so he don't get burned too soon? I just can't wait to see him up a hill with some big names...

I really hope they play this card soon... He's the next big winner, I say.

Séb
Montréal, Canada
Tuesday, November 27 2001

Respond to this letter

The Tour is boring #1

Garth asks: "Is it just me, or is the Tour boring and formulaic?"
Sorry, it's just you. (Read original letter)

Shane Stanley
Melbourne, Australia
Friday, November 23 2001

Respond to this letter

The Tour is boring #2

I agree. The problem is that the finish in Paris is now politically essential, despite it resulting in a final week that is something of an anticlimax.
How much better to go to Paris during the first week, for the team time trial perhaps, and to finish the Tour in the Alps at somewhere such as Alpe d'Huez.
The Giro and Vuelta are moving ahead by staging an event where the outcome is unresolved even down to the wire.
With the the Tour de France becoming the Tour for the French, how about downgrading it further by introducing a Tour of Europe where teams would win places based on their UCI points tally.

John Leitch
Surrey, England
Saturday, November 24 2001

Respond to this letter

The Tour is boring #3

Dear Garth,

Lance 30 minutes behind going into the mountains, Jan's valiant effort, the race for the Green Jersey, Ja Ja.
It's just you.

Michael Sylvan
Seattle, USA
Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Respond to this letter

Skilled Bay Cycling Classic #1

Thanks to Leslie for bringing this to my attention. Yes there certainly will be the 14th edition of the Skilled Bay Cycling Classic held next year.
The series starts in Rye on January 2, then Barwon Heads Jan 3, Geelong (evening) Jan 4, Portarlington Jan 5 and Crown Complex (morning) Jan 6.
The event has again attracted the cream of Australian cyclists, including Stuart O'Grady, Robbie McEwen, Scott McGrory, Brett Aitken, Matt White, David McKenzie, Jamie Drew and Peter Rogers, as well as well as many internationals. McEwen, the defending champion, will be vying for a record fourth win. Many experts claim that McEwen is the best criterium rider in the world, but he will be under enormous pressure, with the quality of this field, to win again The international women's event will feature world number one Anna Millward (Read original letter). Anna is also the defending champion, but she already holds the record with four wins and is looking for number five. The cream of Australian women's racing will be out to stop her.

John Trevorrow, Race Director
Australia
Saturday, November 24 2001

Respond to this letter

Skilled Bay Cycling Classic #2

In reply to request from Lesley in London regarding the Tour Down Under, my strong advice is to come. The tour is based in central Adelaide and while some stages start or finish out of Adelaide, it is easy to get to these destinations. (Public transport, tour coaches etc, network with friends etc).
Willunga Hill and Barossa stages are always popular (many spectators). For those able, riding to the stages is usually an added bonus.
The tour village is based in central Adelaide opposite the hotel where riders are accommodated.
It is a great event to see and be involved in. Good luck. You will hope you can make it.

David
Adelaide, Australia
Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Respond to this letter

Lance and podium girls

To tell you the truth about what the podium girls said about Lance would be outright dangerous and un-American. I was listening to the French channel and they had a show on what the podium girls thought of the different riders that reached the podium on the tour. They all had thumbs up for Oscar Sevilla of course, and one of them said Lance was very aggressive and cocky. I think a lot of these French girls are only flattering themselves and confidence is often mistaken for aggressive behavior. Especially when it comes to Americans in Europe.

Franky the"Roller"
Winnipeg,Canada
Saturday, November 24 2001

Respond to this letter

A new hope

Episode IV A New Hope
Yes you have to admit it, the past three years (episodes) of The Tour De France have been the Lance Armstrong story, no one has touched him or even come close to challenging him, before faltering.
Yes both Ullrich & Pantani have tried, but that was it. Lance has proven himself to the world, he has stood up to the world and said, "Yes I'm the best!" And yes he has what it takes to be a cycling legend and win two more tours!
You've got to admit it, it's great for Lance, but pretty boring for the cycling enthusiast/the fan. The only real interest in this year's tour was the race for green, which we all enjoyed. But we want more than this, we want to see Lance pushed to the wire, we want to see him hurt, we want Lance to prove that he is the greatest tour winner of all time.

But what hope have we. What hope have we of pushing Lance to his greatest!

With the recent signing of Cadel Evans to Mapei-quickstep, it not only gives Australia, but the world hope that Lance can be pushed even further, especially in the mountains. At only 24, Evans too has the chance to be one of the greatest tour riders of our generation, after a couple of seasons behind him.

Yes now we all have something to look forward to come July.


Vivian Tirabassi
Australia

Respond to this letter

What is Possum? #1

Brilliant - made my morning reading this and chuckling out loud at work! (Read original letter)

John Andrews
Singapore
Friday, November 23 2001

Respond to this letter

What is Possum? #2

I love Yanks!!! What a load of crap!!! Keep it coming I need a laugh!!!

SB.
Sydney, Australia
Sunday, November 25 2001

Respond to this letter

Wheel regulations

Steve, I've worked in bike shops for almost 20 years and campy hasn't touched Shimano in the last 10 in any catagorie! Do you know how many failed and screwed up campy hubs I have seen? Have you tried getting eight speed anything from campy? And look at the back side of a record crank sometime...they don't even polish it, a small thing granted, but Shimano dura ace is!

Robyne Bridgeman
Wednesday, September 12 2001

Respond to this letter

Respect

One thing I've noticed about cycling Web sites and magazines is that they constantly talk about and have interviews with their favourites, for example, how many interviews have I read about bloody Lance Armstrong!! Don't get me wrong, I love Lance as a rider and a person, but, I can't take hearing the same stories over and over again.

Cycling should be about the so-called "little men" as much as the big boys,just because they weren't given the god given talent to win the Tour or Giro does not mean that the fans don't want to hear from them. Now, my favourite rider is Andrea Tafi,he is one of the greats, but, not totally respected for it because he's no big mouth or because he can't climb the Alps faster than Pantani. Since you like glorying other rider's comebacks and great achievements and forget about Tafi's, I'll explain his story in 2001!

Tafi should have ridden the Tour of Langkawi in Malasyia to set his form for the season, but, sickness at the last minute meant he had to stay home, 12 days of racing missed already in a country where he is a cycling king. Lanfranchi took his place and won three stages plus the overall.

Then his first objective of the season was ruined, the Tour of Flanders. The night before the three Days of De Panne he got severe stomach cramps and headed back to Italy and was operated on. The same weekend, unbelievably, he rode Flanders, working for the team before his poor form made him drop back.

In Paris-Roubaix he really wanted to win, and after some brave riding dropped back, why? Well unknown to him and Mapei he had two hernias in his left shin bone, Tafi was riding like this and finished Roubaix, top Mapei in 27th place just outsprinted for a World Cup Point!!!

Another operation followed and a cast resulting in 3 weeks not walking and 5 weeks not training let alone racing, really Tafi's season should have been over and perhaps his career, but, after two canceled race appointments he came back attacking at the Regio Tour in Germany, and then in only his sixth day back he won after an 80km break, the first stage of the Tour of Burgos, and took the lead in all the jerseys, he then finished 16th in the Tour of Poland, 13th in GP Prato and was constantly attaking.

He was once again stupidly left out of the World's and then finished 16th in Milan-Turin and 2nd in Firenze-Pistonia and recently re-signed for Mapei for 2002, his 9th successive season with the world's best team. 2002 could be his last season, but in 2001 he fought back from injury, sickness, two operations, poor form and thoughts of retirement to become a winner again.

Now that's a comeback for a so called poor rider, respect everyone and their stories guys, because concentrating on the same characters means you're missing out on the other heroes, they really are the backbone of our great sport.

Naz Sullivan
Ireland

Sunday, November 25 2001

Respond to this letter

Julian Winn #1

I think the BCF did the right thing in letting him off with a warning. When I was racing it was ridiculous the lengths I'd go to to avoid taking a normal cold remedy. And I know most riders are the same. Just because we ride a bike at a competent level we're not allowed to live normal lives. Since in Britain basically all elite riders are working full time too, it's a bit cheeky to expect people with normal lives to lead to drag themselves around with colds and flu and not get treated like everyone else.
But you're right about two rules. Perhaps if Julian Winn had won the National RR on some proper drugs he'd have got away with it. With just a year off for some obscure back injury as payment.

Richard Hare
Essex, England
Saturday, November 24 2001

Respond to this letter

Julian Winn #2

Well said Gert, and it also helps if one is related to someone on the "inside" it would seem!

Harley Jimpsey
Saturday, November 24 2001

 

Respond to this letter

Julian Winn #3

There seems to be some confusion over what was clearly marked on the product that Winn took (Trim Right). He did test positive for ephedrine, but this, nor Ma-Haung was listed on any of the ingredients, literature, Web sites etc.
Further investigations revealed that it was the 'Country Mallow' that gave the positive result. Which is a form of Chinese ephedra.
So I think that it is perfectly acceptable that he produced an "accidental" positive. After all Country Mallow is not listed in the BCF handbook as a banned substance is it?
How far do athletes have to go to check these things?
I only found this out through some delving on the Internet. As for Winn not being fat. I would agree. But all athlete are under a constant scrutiny of weight management in there chosen sport. I'm pretty sure Winn made a genuine mistake, and I don't think he needs ephidrine to help him Win races.

John Morris
Sunday, November 25 2001

Respond to this letter

John Lieswyn'

Rather belatedly I read John Lieswyn's diary account from the Tour of Southland. I must say that I thought John's comments were incredibly mature and I was very impressed by his honesty and his ability to put things in perspective. I only hope that John comes back to do the Tour of Southland again next year (or any other New Zealand tour for that matter), as I am sure that his attitude is the kind we should all admire and try to emulate. For my part I will be circulating John's comments to as many NZ cyclists as I can, in the hope that they will recognise his balanced outlook on life and bike racing (in that order) and give him a better chance next time.
Cheers

Wayne Hudson

Friday, November 30 2001

Respond to this letter

 

The last month's letters

  • November 22 - Transfer News, Great coverage, NESP, Recovery from back surgery, Better than Lance Armstrong, Indoor Trainers, Running Red Lights,
  • November 16 - Transfer News, NESP,Tour du Faso, Better than Lance Armstrong, Indoor Trainers, Running Red Lights, Golden Age, Tour Duration
  • November 12 - Virenque, Indoor Trainers, Running Red Lights, UCI Points, Golden age, Worlds Format, Coaches,Tour Duration, Delatour
  • November 1 - Virenque, Golden age, Worlds Format, Coaches,Tour Duration, Ullrich
  • October 25 - Virenque, Pietrzak, Ullrich Worlds TT, Coaches Wheel Regulations, Support Vehicles
  • October 17 - Virenque, EPO Testing, Ullrich Worlds TT, Millar's TT helmet, Wheel Regulations, Support Vehicles
  • October 11 - Tribute song to Lance Armstrong, Podium Girls, High blood pressure, Saddle Hieghts, Santiago Botero
  • October 2 - High Blood pressure, Saddle height, Podium Girls, Vuelta, cycle bashing, Oscar Egg
  • September 20 - Vuelta, cycle bashing, Oscar Egg, Bupropion, climbing times
  • September 11 - Altitude tents, high BP, attacks, Oscar Egg, Bupropion
  • September 5 - Mckenzie & Vaughters respond, climbing times, anti-doping, 1989, Pantani
  • August 29 - Pantani, Vaughters, Where's Cipo?, McKenzie, Velodromes, 1989, Armstrong
  • August 23 - Vuelta, Mercury, Ullrich, Soviets, 1989 again
  • August 17 - Doping, Armstrong, LeMond and The Devil
  • August 14 - Tour, Armstrong, Chemo, Vuelta, Doping, Rooting, & more
  • August 8, part 2 - More about the Tour, and more
  • August 8, part 1 - Tour reflections, chemotherapy, commentary, commercials
  • July 31 - Armstrong, Ullrich, Rous, Hamilton, Drugs, Canada
  • July 18 - Armstrong on l'Alpe, Cycling Manager, food, 35 minutes, commentary, Men's World Cup, Schmoo, van Vliet
  • Letters Index - The complete index to every letters page on cyclingnews.com