Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recently on

Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Letters to Cyclingnews - February 6, 2004

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; please stick to one topic per letter. We will normally include your name and place of residence, but not your email address unless you specify in the message.

Each week's best letter gets our 'letter of the week' award. We look for for letters that contain strong, well-presented opinions; humour; useful information or unusual levels of sheer helpfulness.

Please email your correspondence to

Recent letters

In case anyone's wondering, yes, this is the second letters page of the week; just a short one to get us back to our normal schedule of running letters pages on Fridays. See you next week!

John Stevenson, Letters Editor

Tour of Qatar
Team names
Australian team
National & world jerseys & regulations
Tour de France 2004
How to lean in corners?
Cyclo-cross & more in Japan


Letter of the week

A signed copy of William Fotheringham's Tom Simpson bio is on its way to David.
Click for larger image

Tour of Qatar

This is really an open letter to the ASO as they (and the STdF) have no apparent open channels of contact for me to submit a message directly.

I live in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. For a long time I thought of the (then) approaching Tour of Qatar (organised by the ASO) as a great opportunity to take a quick vacation and catch some European pro racing. Unfortunately, until very recently there was absolutely no information about this race available (except for the dates, which I found on the UCI website). I was not prepared to take time off and make travel arrangements just to tool around hoping to find a proper race schedule and route map at the last minute. The ASO is a large company which handles some of the biggest sporting events in the world, which would lead one to believe that they know how to handle their business, but I'm amazed and very disappointed at the total lack of information available to racing fans prior to this event.

David Connell
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Respond to this letter

Team names

Raymond, these baseball and football teams you talk of do of course collect gate fees from people who attend the games and the stadium is probably called the "insert corporate name" Dome that is were they get their return for funds invested. How can any one expect a company to invest millions in a pro bike team and get absolutely no return for there money and how would we tell the difference between teams if not for the defining insignia on their kit.

Thom Edwards
Adelaide, South Australia
Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Respond to this letter

Australian team #1

As everyone in Australia now knows, National Australia Bank are the ideal sponsors. Not only do they have a UK subsidiary, from which they took their new CEO, but they can also afford to pay the incompetent outgoing CEO Au$14M just for resigning. At the current exchange rate, that's almost exactly the US$10M we need. Stop that cheque!

Mick Osborne
Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Respond to this letter

Australian team #2

A team comprised principally of Australian riders surely must now be a real possibility. I do not believe, however, that such a team could be made up solely of Australian riders. In much the same way that US Postal has included local nationals in their team then a team based on a core Australian group of talent could be a commercial and sporting success.

Simon van der Aa is correct to suggest the need to identify a sponsor, or sponsors, that could be associated with such an effort. Qantas is an obvious choice given that company's business interests in the European market. Another company with significant interests in the region is News Corporation. News has businesses in the UK and is now involved in Italian satellite broadcasting. The challenge will be to bring together a package of sponsors and riders to satisfy the two objectives. A team including some Italian riders with News Corp as the dominant sponsor could be a starter. After all the AIS has for years based its development squad in Italy and the two countries have a long history of sporting and cultural links.

Maybe somebody should look up Rupert's number.

Greg Cremen
Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Respond to this letter

Australian team #3

What about TNT - now that would be dynamite.

Roger Woolley
Monday, February 2, 2004

Respond to this letter

TNT's no longer an Australian company. Congratulations on winning our inaugural 'Really Bad Gag of the Week' award though. - Letters Ed.

National & world jerseys & regulations

In response to the letter from Ben Atkins regarding National Road and Time Trial Champions Jerseys, and World Champions Jerseys, the regulations are clear, but often confused or misinterpreted.

Trust the following will clarify for those readers not sure of the Regulations.

SECTION 3 - Riders Apparel

Sect.6 - World Champions Jersey

1.3.062 The WORLD ROAD CHAMPION shall wear his/her jersey in all road races in the category of which he/she is world champion, except in time trials and stages, in which he may not wear that jersey, and in no other race.

1.3.063 The WORLD INDIVIDUAL ROAD TIME TRIAL CHAMPION shall wear his/her jersey in One-Day Time Trials and Time Trial Stages in the category of which he/she is World Champion and in no other race.

Sect.7 - National Champions Jersey

1.3.068 The NATIONAL INDIVIDUAL ROAD CHAMPION shall wear his/her jersey in all road races except One-Day Time Trials and during the World Championships, for which they may not wear the jersey.

(This paragraph is also interpreted that the national road champion will also wear the national champion's colours in time trial stages of tours).

The NATIONAL INDIVIDUAL ROAD TIME TRIAL CHAMPION shall wear his/her jersey in One-Day Individual Road Time Trials only (except the World Championships) but in no other race.

James Victor
Queensland, Australia
Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Respond to this letter

National & world jerseys & regulations

I think Ben raises a very valid point. Without meaning to criticise Zabel (because he is a legend) To use his example of wearing the national champion's skinsuit in a TT is wrong. I believe you should only be allowed to wear the jersey in the event in which it was won, because, as many have pointed out, it simply devalues the meaning of wearing such a special jersey. On the other side of the coin, I've never seen a world TT champ wearing the rainbow stripes in a road race, so why do road champions often do it in a TT?

On the subject of post Tour crits, then yes, I think it is a good idea that makes the event that much more special when you see THE green or yellow jersey fly past. At the end of 2002 and 2003, Robbie McEwen and Baden Cooke made a few appearances on home soil in their respective green jerseys, which I think was great for the publicity of those races.

In terms of Jan and co not having their previous stripes on collars and sleeves, well, I have often asked this and am yet to find a sensible answer. I do make one notable observation though, and that it seems to be on German teams that this happens. I mean, most of T Mobile are past German champs, along with others like Botero. But similarly, I have seen stripes on Gerolsteiner's or Coast's (when they were around) uniforms.

Tim Lee
Monday, February 2, 2004

Respond to this letter

Tour de France 2004 #1

Okay. Here are my picks for l'Alpe d'Huez ITT. Top 11:

1 Mayo
2 Heras
3 Armstrong
4 Beloki
5 Ullrich
6 Simoni
7 Zubeldia
8 Pecharroman
9 Hamilton
10 Sevilla
11 Frigo

Of course these picks are provided that they ride the TdF. Let me know what you think.

Eddie Bethel
Nassau, Bahamas
Monday, February 2, 2004

Respond to this letter

Tour de France 2004 #2

Just a short comment on Mr. Almeida's letter - even though Luz Ardiden may have been the best performance of Armstrong in 2003, he took even more time of Ullrich on Alpe D'Huez, namely 1'24". All calculated, Armstrong gained cca 2 minutes on Ullrich in all mountain stages, Ullrich got back cca 1.20 in 2 ITT's and lost cca 40 sec. in TTT. And TdF 2004 is going to be more mountainous then TdF 2003, which will suit Armstrong more than Ullrich.

Marek Sasik
Bratislava, Slovakia
Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Respond to this letter

How to lean in corners? #1

Mr. Rinehart, I have to disagree with your analysis of Beloki's unfortunate fall. The reason that front wheel tubulars are generally the ones to suffer from "roll-off" is because the front wheel turns the bike by applying a side thrust to the frame through the tire. The rear tracks straight along the frame and consequently rarely gets any substantial side thrust.

In Beloki's case, while cornering very hard his rear wheel stepped out almost 90 degrees to the direction of motion. You can plainly see the tire roll off the rim in the recordings. You might argue that the tire flatted just previously to the tire rolling but that is somewhat beside the point since none of it would have happened save the slip.

Tom Kunich
Monday, February 2, 2004

Respond to this letter

How to lean in corners? #2

Larry, where were you six years ago?

In 1998 I won, by an embarrassing margin, the inaugural (and only) "Motathlon," in Portland, Oregon. As the name sort of suggests, this was a combination of motorcycle, bicycle, and foot racing. My competitors were other motorcycle road racers who were relatively fit, but did not have a background as a former Cat-2 bicycle racer. I hear Troy Corser rides ~15 hours a week in Monaco, so he would be an interesting guy to race against.

Back to cornering. Motorcyclists don't hang off their bikes because they're "heavy." There are actually several reasons, the primary one being that you can get more tire "meat" in contact with the pavement the more upright the bike is. A second reason is that when you're between the bike and the pavement, you get a better feel for your rear traction which is something that is played with in most corners (unlike on a bicycle.) The third reason is to get your knee on the ground which helps with the whole feel and traction thing. Some of the guys I raced with said it was also a good lean-angle indicator, but I never found myself thinking, "Oh, I've leaned too far" when I was hanging off.

Tom mentioned that it isn't necessary anymore to lean off race motorcycles since bits don't drag as much. He is wrong. The last pro-level holdout against hanging off was Christian Sarron who retired in the 80s. I guarantee you that if you keep you butt on the seat, you won't see a podium finish at even a club-level 600 race.

And now back to bicycles. I've experimented with cornering technique quite a bit, and found that leaning off A LITTLE BIT seems to be the best on a road bike. Like motorcycles, there is better grip towards the center of the tire. Like motorcycles, I get the best feel for the corner by being between the bike and the pavement. However, no matter how good you are on 23c tires, we're never going to back it into T-3 at SIR or use our .4 hp to finish off a turn by powering out the rear. I haven't found line corrections to be a problem in this position. I have found that I corner faster than most of the Master 1,2,3s I race with, but I'm guessing that has less to do with technique and more to do with comfort gained on a racetrack. Perhaps this comfort is misguided as I crashed last weekend on some hidden ice and broke three bones (more than any crash in 7 years of racing motorcycles!)

Peter Krogh
Redding, CA, USA
Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Respond to this letter

How to lean in corners? #3

This is in response to Paul Rinehart's letter about rolling of rear tires and him stating that it's not possible to do such things.

I have to wholeheartedly disagree with you on that point. I personally saw two crashes last season, and several more in season's past where the rear tire (clinchers and tubulars) rolled off of the rim and caused a massive pile-up. Just remember, three coats of glue on those tires boys, three coats.

Tom Arsenault
Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Monday, February 02, 2004

Respond to this letter

Cyclo-cross & more in Japan

Thanks to David Alvarez for his recent article on 'cross in Japan.

Could he (or any reader) supply me with contacts for training rides and/or races in the Kansai area (particularly: north-side of Kyoto, Lake Biwa)? I am referring to road or cyclo-cross and low-category amateur/master level.

Markus Uhlmann
Kyoto, Japan
Thursday, February 5, 2004

Respond to this letter

Recent letters pages

  • February 2 letters - Australian team, Cofidis: All publicity is good publicity? Anyone Traveling to TDF 2004? 24 hour race timing, World Jerseys, Team Names, Training location, How to lean in corners? Mullet time again? Tour de France 2004, Aussies Around the World
  • January 27 letters - Embarrassing Team names presented by Corporate Sponsors, Cycling and the heart, David McPartland, Tour de France 2004, Tour de France - Visiting, 24 hour race timing, How to lean in corners?, Mullet time again?, Riding Etiquette, Tom Simpson Ventoux Monument, World Jerseys, Wust on Armstrong, Zarrabeitia interview
  • January 14 letters - Cycling over-represented in heart fatalities, Fitness?, Tour de France 2004, Greatest of all time, Adham Sbeih, Clinger to fill Cipo's shoes?, How to lean in corners?, Riding Etiquette, Tom Simpson Ventoux Monument, Reader Poll - Best Bike, Tour de France - Visiting, The Ras
  • January 4 letters - Greatest of all time?, Reader Poll - Rider of the Year, Geniuses Feature, Flemish Flags, Adham Sbeih, Mountain Biking and Doping, Tour 2004, Heras: Mission Impossible?, Put me back on my bike
  • December 24 letters - Inverell Track Open, Tour 2004, Roberto Heras, Greatest of all time?, Mountain Biking and Doping, Positive Tests, Geniuses Feature
  • December 19 letters - Heras: Mission Impossible?, Eating Disorders and Cycling, Tour 2004, Garzelli, Greatest of all time?, Geniuses
  • December 12 letters special: Vale Jiménez - Cyclingnews readers bid farewell to Spanish rider José María Jiménez (more letters added December 24)
  • December 5 letters - Learning respect, Heras transfer, Beloki's choice of team, Roberto Heras, Simoni's challenge, Greatest of all time?, Giro d'Italia stage for the public, Put me back on my bike
  • November 28 letters - Anonymous sources, Simoni's challenge, Bobby Julich, Beloki's choice of team, Floyd Landis, Punishing fatal driving, Roberto Heras, Greatest of all time?, Italians spending €600 million/year on drugs, Put me back on my bike, Tour climbers analysed, Giro d'Italia stage for the public
  • November 21 letters - Tour climbers analysed, Beloki's choice of team, Simoni's Challenge, Floyd Landis, Roberto Heras, UCI plans, Cyclist of the year, Tour 2004 - TTT rule change, Punishing fatal driving, Hamilton world's, Italians spending €600 million/year on drugs, Amateur racing in France, 2003 World's video wanted, Put me back on my bike
  • November 14 letters - Simoni's Challenge, Italians spending €600 million/year on drugs, Cyclist of the year, Tour 2004, Heather French Henry, Drugs in Cycling and in Baseball, VDB, Uphill Battle, Armstrong's inspiration?, Bobby Julich at world's, IteamNova, The Hour, Whither Vinokourov?, Three Wheels?, Hamilton world's, Amateur racing in France, 2003 World's video wanted
  • November 6 letters - Cyclist of the year?, Tour 2004, Bobby Julich at world's, Heather French Henry, Whither Vinokourov?, Amateur racing in France?, Six Day Bike Rider
  • October 31 letters - Charly Wegelius, $4000+ derailleur, Tour 2004 - TTT rule change, Bobby Julich at world's, Closure on the Mario Cipollini reign, Heather French Henry, Raimondas Rumsas debacle, Whither Vinokourov?, Six Day Bike Rider
  • October 24 letters - Tour 2004, New Pro Tour, What goes on the road stays on the road, Bobby Julich at world's, The Brits, Closure on the Mario Cipollini reign, World's absentees, Mario Cipollini, US media coverage, Heather French Henry, Jan Ullrich to T-Mobile - Whither Vinokourov?, Kelme's real problem, Every Second Counts--incorrect account?, Raimondas Rumsas debacle, Six Day Racer, UCI outlaws CX disc brakes, US$4000+ rear derailleur, Amateur racing in Spain
  • October 17 letters - What goes on the road stays on the road, THG, David Millar & the Brits, Every second counts -- incorrect account?, Hamilton course, Heather French Henry news piece, Viva Hein Verbruggen, Jan Ullrich to T-Mobile - Whither Vinokourov?, Bobby Julich at world's, Kelme's real problem, Lance Armstrong, Mario Cipollini, UCI rankings, What's that on Igor's bike?, Two Grand Tours with two different riders, Cycling etiquette, Amateur racing in Spain, Six-Day Bike Rider, Medal chewing
  • October 10 letters - Jan Ullrich to T-Mobile - Whither Vinokourov?, Hamilton race course, Caffeine and sport, WADA rule changes, UCI rankings, Hein Verbruggen, Roberto Heras, Mario Cipollini, Clear Channel, Two Grand Tours with two riders, Vets distances, Oscar Egg bike, Six-Day Bike Rider, Cycling etiquette
  • October 1 letters - Caffeine and sport, Vuelta? What Vuelta?, WADA rule changes, A sleepy thank you to WADA, Clear Channel, Roberto Heras, George Hincapie and Roberto Heras, Goodbye Saturn, Gran Fondo del Monte Grappa, Greg LeMond, Lance Armstrong's divorce, Suggestion for the big Tours, Supplements, UCI rankings, Ullrich's comments on Luz-Ardiden, Cycling etiquette
  • Letters Index – The complete index to every letters page on