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Letters to Cyclingnews - September 17, 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

Alto de Monachil
Tour, technology, predictability
La Vuelta is the race!
Tyler, USPS and Bruyneel
Trent Klasna retires
True ambassadors of the sport
Tour de France
How good is VAM
Super Mario
Alternative criterium formats
Axel, Eddy and the Olympics
Rider of the Year
The coming of the 3 kg bicycle?


Letter of the week

Alto de Monachil

This past summer I spent three weeks in Granada, Spain. I had the 'pleasure' of regularly training on the Alto de Monachil which will feature in two Vuelta stages this year. While the adjoining Sierra climb is fairly well known (long, long, long...), the Calle Monachil is not. It is, as I found out, avoided by most local riders due to its severity. While not hugely tall, the punishing gradient makes it a real beast.

Below is a description I wrote only two hours after climbing it for the first time. Please note that I am not a competitive rider, but an aggressive recreational rider with a penchant for climbing. So these impressions are those of a "mere mortal" cyclist.

To describe the Monachil climb... hmmm... it starts off with a reasonably gentle climb out of the Granada valley by Huetor Vega. The grade kicks up a bit though the town of Monachil and one must negotiate a couple of narrow, unsigned roundabouts. At one point I ended up off the main road, but I was back on it after continuing todo recto (straight) and crossing a little puente (bridge).

Then I rode by the upper Monachil town limit sign and the road proceeded to kick my ass up between my ears. Hey, I was chillin' on the 9% grades and working on the 12%-14% grades. I was able to keep my heart rate between 160 and 3250 as the road kept rearing up fiercely as it climbed the steep, grassy canyon. The best view I had was the sweat dripping onto my forks, followed closely by the lower view of Granada just above Monachil. But who has time for sightseeing? A couple of guys going downhill on MTBs looked at me like "¿Chingao, qué estas haciendo?" (roughly: what the f**k are you doing?). I was wondering that myself when I remembered: I'm having fun!

I was living life between 6 and 7 mph for a good while. Having studied the map and ridden the other direction with my altimeter, I realized that I had less than 2 km to go and 1000 vertical feet to cover. Let's see... multiply kms by 0.62... hmm... 1000 feet in roughly 1.25 miles... OH SHIT! At that moment, rounding one of many hairpins, OH SHIT revealed itself. Being religiously opposed to shifting into the triple chainring that I had installed on my S-Works just so I could be religiously opposed to it, I ground my 39-25 to the top of a long stretch of pure bliss that finished with 200 m of really messed-up pavement. There is a little hotel and campsite here called Percha. I think "Puke-a" is a more appropriate name given my state of oxygen deprivation. But what the hell, it was over.

Except, of course, that IT WASN'T! After dropping down about 75 vertical meters into a saddle on improving pavement, OH SHIT Redeux rose before me, beckoning like, well, a road that was way too steep. The road kicked up in its nastiest tantrum yet. The only saving grace was that I had a bit of downhill and flat in the saddle to get my life together and do some well deserved oxygen replacement prior to climbing to the true summit. This grind was longer than the previous funfest and just as steep. This time though, as if the road meant it, the pavement totally disappeared at the top for 100 m or so. (I hope they fixed the pavement for the big boys.)

Hey... that was really f**king difficult. Being the sensible, well-balanced individual I am, this became one of my regular rides while in Spain. Do I know how to party or what?

I turned left and headed down toward the Dam at Quentar. The poor bastards in the Vuelta will be disqualified if they do the same. Instead, they get to turn right and climb the other 3000 feet to the Sierra Nevada Ski Village. They will still face several 7%-8% sections and quite a few miles before the road nearly flattens out prior to arriving in the finish.

So when we are watching or otherwise following the Malaga-Granada stage or the Sierra Nevada ITT, remember that the big boys will be having some real "fun" on that little hill known as Monachil!

Jim Strange
Riding Uphill Both Ways, Nevada
Tuesday, September 14, 2004

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Tour, technology, predictability

It's been some time now that I've wanted to respond to letters that claim that cycling (with the TdF as a prime example) has become: 1) boring; 2) too predictable; 3) overly dependent on technology; or (other end of the spectrum) 4) has not embraced technology enough.

Here we go...

1) Honestly, was the TdF that boring this year? After Lance's struggles last year (also a very exciting Tour), seeing his aggression win him sprints and time trials with ease this year inspired me to take every sprint on the local Wednesday night easy ride. The crashes, the non-performances, the out-of-courtroom dramas (still letters coming in on that topic now aren't they), it was terrific!

To expand to cycling as a whole, how about the Giro for starters? Simoni cursing at the young upstart from his own team in front of a cadre of journalists? Man, who needs soap operas? Paolo Bettini struggles and 'only' finishes second in World Cup races he won last year... but then wins the freakin' Olympics! O'Grady switches teams, can't race because of the druggies in his team (loses world champ teammate to Lampre in the process), WINS TdF stage, WINS gold at Olympics! You're right, cycling is getting boring these days. Sigh.

2) Okay, too predictable? Lemme guess... you mortgaged your house, sold all your bikes, both of your cars and bet it all on Lance winning the Tour? So now you are a multi-crillionaire and are complaining that the TdF is too predictable? Enjoy the good life, my man, and let us suffer knowing that we too should have bet everything we own on Armstrong winning.

And Cunego at the Giro. Everyone saw that coming also. Yup, just played right on out. How 'bout Magnus winning Roubaix?! With a name like Magnus of course he had to win Roubaix sometime in his career, but with a team of only six entered in a race that allows 10 (obviously because of the flats, crashes, stray flags)... what a stud!

Oh, yeah. The team time trial. Totally boring AND predictable: TdF, 2003. Postal wins. First ever Colombian in yellow (and nearly in tears). Boring.

Vuelta, 2004: Postal wins. Gold tunic passes from American domestique to flying Dutchman to first ever Luxemburger to a guy nicknamed "Triki". Boring. Game over. Race already decided. Everyone else go home. Postal Service please stick around for awards ceremony.

3) "Cycling has become so calculated and scientific" (I'm assuming we're talking radios, targeted training, ultra light carbon fiber thingies...) Yup, gotta agree. Who wants another repeat of LeMond's 8 sec win over Fignon (he cheated and used technology, right?) And Moser -- how dare he use disk wheels to brake the hour record! Oh yeah, and Boardman with that Superman thing? Training programs, wind tunnel testing, compact frames, DUAL COMPOUND TYRES?! What have we come to? Every rider should have to weld his own fork together (Eugene Christophe, TdF, 1913) and glue his own tyre after getting a flat -- it's just proper, right? You know, Merckx weighed in (before he started riding again, so trust me, he "weighed in" all right) on this subject by saying that cycling is going to evolve and you just can't stop it. I'll take the Cannibal's opinion over anyone else's.

4) The counter opinion: the UCI has stifled cycling technology by imposing a weight limit? Okay, seriously, this has got to stop. What do you want? Bikes that weigh 25 grams? When was the last time you (or anyone) lost a race or county line sprint because you were on a heavier bike? Raise your hands high lads. Bikes weigh 16 lbs now. Humans weigh 155 lbs (average ± 3 lbs of typical TdF cyclist). Where can you trim the most, erm, "fluff" out? Put down the chocolate-chip-powdered-donut-caramel-vanilla-cream-cherry-on-top-cheese-cake and just ride your carbon fiber masterpeice a few more miles, my friend. Bam! You lost 5 lbs and have essentially made yourself an 11 lb bike. You're gonna kill them now on the Friday night social ride aren't you?

So that's it. Count me in as one who is all for the "boring" status quo. Bring on the team time trial. Bring on the phase training. Bring on the predictable, calculated results. Bring on the Vuelta's podium girls! Ahem.

Boring, predictable, technology-smothered cycling's number one fan,

James Wilson
Atlanta, GA, USA
Friday, September 10, 2004

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La Vuelta is the race!

Wow! Where was I?

In what sleepy haze have I been lost since my wife gave birth to our son three weeks ago? What is day, what is night, and where is Cadel Evans?

I could not manage to follow today's tenth stage of the Vuelta on your always excellent live race coverage. So I did what I do when this happens; I went straight to the results and report, only then did I read through the "not-so-live-coverage-anymore" trying to piece up the puzzle. Today I couldn't! What happened? I just could not "see" the race...

This must have been the best stage in ages. Here's a pick up from your race description, somewhere with less than 7k's to go:

"Fuentes, Elias and Zabel lead the break. Ivanov, O'Grady, Freire and Jimenez are being dropped. O'Grady goes past and Freire takes his wheel. Zabel falls back. It's now Fuentes alone, with Elias at 20m, then O'Grady."

Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever pictured that! Only to find Mister 'Hard Yakka' O'Grady made it to the finish in 2nd place! I was tuning in to see if one of my ever favorite Cadel Evans had made his big break... There was just about no words on him. What happened to him? Why and how did he slip back so far? A guy from the top ten falls to 133rd about 1/2 an hour down? A climber who could time trial with the super speed freaks? I remember reading yesterday he said he did not feel good after the ITT, but to fall so far? Petacchi rode better! Can you help me?


Stuey is MY Jalabert from now on. After seeing his face at the Athens race finish, after what he did today, he just made it as my favorite overall (no pun intended to the hard yakka) best all-around rider. And my brother Louis can very well shut his mouth now.

Now I got to go back to make a baby burp. Cheers.

Monday, September 13, 2004

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Tyler, USPS and Bruyneel

A well respected rider (Tyler Hamilton) criticized the USPS team for not working hard enough to support Floyd Landis. Johan Bruyneel lashes out at Tyler and essentially tells Tyler to stick it.

Well, I'm gonna take Tyler's side in this. For the last four weeks we've heard Johan and the others say "we're only hear for stage wins". I think everyone knew that he was bluffing. But when Tyler called him, he should have been much more respectful. Johan was way off base. If Johan lives by the sword he better be ready to be hoisted on his own petard. (How's that for mixing metaphors?)

David C. Brayton
Santa Rosa, CA
Wednesday, September 15, 2004

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Frank Vandenbrouke has crossed to the dark side for good. The golden days (and there weren't that many) of the wonder boy are phhttttt! I think it's time he put some of that 'untapped' talent towards being a family man. Surely he can afford to let go of the impossible dream, perhaps set up a little bike shop in Brussells and reminisce about it all? Maybe polish some rough Belgian diamonds into a small amateur outfit?

Having another crack at it with the Belgian team, Mr. Bookmaker is a little too ironic don't you think? That's one ticket you can tear up.

Greg O'Connor
Monday, September 13, 2004

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Trent Klasna retires

Pro road racing lost a star Sunday when Trent Klasna pinned a number to his jersey for the last time, declaring that the T-Mobile International would be his final race as a professional.

Though this announcement was mostly lost in the celebration of the race, Trent's departure from the scene marks the end of a great racing career, and leaves a large hole in the sport, as well as his Sierra Nevada team.

I had the privilege of working for Trent's team as a mechanic at the Tour de Georgia this year, and my earlier impressions of this man were redoubled: He is a true champion, and one of the most articulate and professional riders in the peloton. Trent provided guidance to newer riders without them even knowing it, he stayed cool under circumstances where I've seen other riders melt down, and could then mix it up in the race with the day's leaders. And all the while, he made it look easy every step of the way. Any rider entering the sport or wondering how to compose oneself would do well to use Trent as an example and role model.

I hope to see TK back in the sport as soon as possible in whatever capacity suits him-we have to few of his kind.

Wil Matthews
San Rafael CA
Monday, September 13, 2004

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True ambassadors of the sport

I was lucky enough to make it to the 2003 TDF, ride the Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden, and then position myself just up the road from where Armstrong famously stacked it after riding far too close to the crowd. (And Jan did wait - lets have it out all over again!)

On the descent the right lane was filled with cyclotourists holding firmly onto their brakes, and the left lane filled with people walking back down the hill. Every so often a pro would tear down the 1m gap between the two streams of traffic.

Roberto Heras went past and a friend and I jumped on to his tail pretending that the cheers for him were really for us. Near the bottom of the climb the suddenly slowed, pulled into the stream of cyclotourists next to a boy about 10-12 years old on a bike that was far too big for his young frame. Heras pulled off his cap and reached over to hand it to the young cyclist who looked up and almost fell off before accepting the gift.

Another True Ambassador!

Darren Powrie
Brisbane, Australia
Friday, September 10, 2004

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Tour de France

Enough is enough. All conjecture, every one of the letters I ever read about so and so being better than the other rider. The simple facts are that Lance is a great TdF stage rider, Merckx was the acknowledged all time best rider BUT many riders make up a race. The TdF is not the only race on the block. Sure having a 6 time winner is great but I doubt some followers will be around when America doesn't have a top rider.

I have visited France twice in the past 3 years and seen a number of tour stages. What is noticeable is the view of the race by Americans as if Lance is all that matters. By his admission the race is becoming a little predictable and he may do other races. I hope he does as he is supremely talented. I grew up reading about the classics and it all sounded so exotic to a young teenager 12000 miles away in mid 60s Australia. I hope to realise that far off dream and see these races to put more of the jigsaw together. Who wins is not so important to me as cycling is more about the drama and battle against the elements and your opponent.

Incidentally I was on the Champs Elysee to see the last stage this year and the sea of yellow and American flags were everywhere. You couldn't get near the barriers despite us arriving 6 hours before the race. The American fans had eyes for only their man and my suspicions about their understanding of the race was confirmed when I asked out loud who had won the last stage. "Don't care!" was the response from an American sharing my perch on a bench. A German woman also standing on the bench engaged him in conversation to point out this was offensive to all the efforts of the riders but he was unrepentant. I know his view doesn't represent all Americans, but my travels around France suggest that the French don't warm to Lance's style or the unabashed ignorance of his followers. So, fans, learn more about the sport, its history, its nuances and appreciate the efforts of all.

Justin Quinn
Friday, September 10, 2004

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How good is VAM

Your commentator Dr Ferrari uses the vertical speed of ascent as a quick way of estimating the relative power exerted by riders on hill climbs.

While it is a quick estimator, it is not a very accurate one for comparing different climbs. Let's go to analyticcycling and see what VAM one gets for a 66 kg cyclist riding a 7.5 kg bike with an extra 1.5 kg of equipment, i.e. a total of 75 kg.

For the other numbers to plug in, let's say the rider has CdA of 0.38 square meters, air density is 1.1 and rolling resistance = 0.004

Then, for whatever slope, let's say the exerted power is a CONSTANT 430 watts at the back wheel, ie about 440 watts at the crank ( 6.67 watts/kg).

How much will his/her VAM vary according to the steepness of the climb?

Here are the answer from analyticcycling:

 % VAM
-- -----
 6 1590 meters/hr
 7 1696
 8 1777
 9 1837
10 1883
11 1917
12 1948
15 1998

One can readily see that the VAM is really a crude estimator of efforts on climbs of different steepness as for the same given power the VAM drops from 1883 m/hr on a 10% incline to 1590 m/hr on a 6% slope, a difference of more than 15%.

So, for accuracy go to analyticcycling or correct VAM according to slope.

François Siohan
Thursday, September 16, 2004

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Super Mario

Has anyone heard from Cipo since the first week of Le Tour? The latest information on his official web site is dated January 2003!

Monday, September 13, 2004

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Alternative criterium formats #1

[Previous letters]

I would like to bring velodrome excitement to city criteriums that do not have velodromes. I do not want to forget track racing at all, rather to strengthen the fans' appeal for it by introducing them to the velodrome style. I would love every city to have a velodrome. As a racer myself, the Trexlertown velodrome is full every Friday. It is still half the price of a movie ticket and 3 hours of exciting races. However, it is hard to get the funding to build a velodrome. Too, it would be nice to inspire the children in our urban cities to race. Very few can afford to travel to a velodrome in the USA, so criteriums bring the race to them.

What I find is that 'endurance' criteriums do not get a lot of people excited, nor do they bring people into the city to watch (and spend money). We should praise the Philadelphia race (made famous by its road course style and the great wall of Manayunk) and the Tour of Georgia, which brought out the big stars.

While it is true that some find NASCAR exciting, it is the crashes fans watch for. This is the keirin style I mentioned. It is not enjoyed by all racers (because it hurts more to fall on pavement than the boards). Racers at velodromes welcome the loud music, but no one should desire fans with 'plenty of alcohol' . That was a remark that should be erased and forgotten. What NASCAR has is money and television revenue (because fans want to see it) Cycling needs more fans who want cycling on television.

NBC gave horrible Olympic cycling coverage despite the fact that velodrome tickets were the hardest ticket in town. The road races were free events. Yet, there were no crowds at all. Criteriums could make their events more exciting. Then they could overcome the past horrors of the ill-fated US pro team criterium. It was a poor attempt to make cycling like football or indoor soccer teams.

Timothy Shame
Friday, September 10, 2004

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Alternative criterium formats #2

I've always thought that a crit run on a cloverleaf (exits off a highway) would be an awesome and brutal format. The spectators could follow nearly all the action the entire circuit.

Jim Small
Haddonfield, NJ
Friday, September 10, 2004

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Axel, Eddy and the Olympics #1

Totally agree with the editor's comment on my letter. Things have changed and there is no doubt Eddy would have won at least one medal and probably numerous if the Pros would have been allowed to ride in the '60s and '70s. But Axel still has something his father doesn't. Out of the shadow there!

Also, as far as 'amateurs' goes. Yes, they weren't the 'pinnacle' but we used to say in those times the difference between a amateur and a Pro was the size of the paycheck, and in some cases it's probably higher for the amateur. There were (and are) so many fully sponsored 'amateur' teams where all the riders did was ride. And of course all of the Russian riders were 'in the Army'. If all you're doing is riding, then that's your job. Even if not official it sounds like a Pro to me. (and yes I realize some 'pros' had/have to work part time to make ends meet).

Thanks, and your site remains the best!

Rex Gilmore
Springfield, VA, USA Friday, September 10, 2004

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Axel, Eddy and the Olympics #2

I'm with Rex on this: finally Axel has something to brag about that the Old Man hasn't done 25 times and better. Eddy is Eddy, but Axel's a good guy who lives under the shadow of his father with a lot more class than I think I could muster. Good for him!

Raymond F. Martin
Friday, September 10, 2004

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Rider of the Year #1

I'd like to see Rebellin get it myself. Lance doesn't need any of this hype: he's a Hollywood star already and has transcended cycling. That trifecta earlier in the year was a major accomplishment we won't see duplicated any time soon. Not like we'll see a 6th Tour any time soon either.

Raymond F. Martin
Friday, September 10, 2004

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Rider of the Year #2

Johan Museeuw is the only rider to have achieved the World Cup - World Championship double back in 1996.

Jozef Cesek
Humenne, Slovakia
Friday, September 10, 2004

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The coming of the 3 kg bicycle?

Carbon Nanotube fiber cycling products? Great! I'm already pretty tired of this old C-50 lying around the house. Beryllium was touted as another possible new material a few years ago and we've seen nothing. But maybe this will be the real deal. At some point, the weight of the bike isn't really that big a deal. I mean, racing flats for runners aren't usually judged by weight alone.... I've got a pair of 5oz shoes that nobody would use for tarmac.

Raymond F. Martin
Friday, September 10, 2004

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Recent letters pages

  • September 10 letters - Olympic Madison lemon wedges, Axel, Eddy and the Olympics, The coming of the 3 kg bicycle? Rider of the Year, Tour de France, Rider wages, Alternative criterium formats, Chris Horner, Judith Arndt, John Coates
  • September 3 letters - Posties at the Vuelta, Rider of the Year, Tour de France, Chris Horner, Scott Sunderland, What is going on in Belgian track cycling?, John Coates , Judith Arndt, Criterium in Charlotte, Embrace technology, Rider wages
  • August 27 letters - Olympic road races, Kudos, Medals, John Coates must go!, $125,000 Criterium in Charlotte, Judith Arndt, Death wobbles, Pedaling furiously, Rewriting history, IAAF getting tough?, Rider Wages, Tour de France, UCI Bike Weight Restrictions, Mactier's reaction, Yiddish Cycling Terms
  • August 20 letters - Rewriting history, Arndt should have been relegated, Crowds at the Olympic road races, Olympic road races, Racing with a concussion?, Sponsors and Olympics, Hamilton, Julich & CSC, True ambassadors of the sport, Death wobbles, There are other races, CSC tactics, Shmenges, The debate begins, Tour de France, UCI Bike Weight Restrictions, Pedaling furiously
  • August 13 letters - Bush vs. Kerry, Brits at the track, Nicholas Roche, Olympics and Lance, UCI Bike Weight Restrictions, Pedaling furiously, Armstrong vs the hour, Armstrong vs Simeoni, David Millar, Greg LeMond's comments, No romance in France, The debate begins, The power of a team, The Tour 2004
  • August 6 letters - John Coates must go!, Witch hunting in the 21st century, Greg LeMond's comments, Bush vs. Kerry, David Millar, Adam Bergman
  • August 6 Tour letters - If you had told me before the Tour..., Looking to the future, The Tour 2004, The power of a team, The debate begins, Fan behavior, The anti-Lance attitude at Tour 2004, TdF blood bath, No romance in France, Italian investigators, I hope to see the Giro at last, CSC tactics, Armstrong vs Simeoni, Armstrong vs Klöden, A Legend
  • July 30 Tour letters - The Tour 2004, The Debate Begins, Armstrong vs Simeoni, Italian investigators, Ullrich and T-Mobile, Fan behaviour, The supporting actors, The power of a team, The anti-Lance attitude at Tour 2004: A French view, TdF blood bath, TdF 2004 ITT profile, Tour Favourites, Most inspiring ride of the Tour, Postal for la Vuelta? Poor prize money, LAF Bands CSC tactics, A Legend
  • July 30 letters - Adam Bergman, Greg LeMond's comments, Drugs in cycling, Doping reporting, David Millar, Museeuw and getting doored
  • July 16 Tour letters - The TdF saved my life, A sad day for Hamilton, T-Mobile's choices, LAF Bands, Mario Cipollini vs. Jaan Kirsipuu, Playing by the rules of the game, Robbie McEwen and sprinters, Ullrich v. Riis, Stage 3, Stage 4 TTT, Stage 5 - 12 minutes?
  • July 16 letters - Greg LeMond's comments, Drugs in cycling, Museeuw and getting doored, Human evolution and cycling, David Millar, The French affair, Why thank Lance?, Canadian TV
  • July 9 letters - Drugs in cycling, David Millar, Cadel Evans, John Lieswyn, Human evolution and cycling, Museeuw and traffic, Canadian TV
  • July 9 Tour letters - Stage 5 - 12 minutes?, Stage 4 - The team time trial & those rules..., Stage 3 - Should the leaders have waited?, Jan Ullrich / Lance Armstrong
  • June 25 letters - Chris Horner & US Olympic Trial, The French affair, Cadel Evans, The battle for the commentary podium, Tour contenders, Will stage four decide the Tour, A thank you letter for USCF, USADA, AAA/CAS, Museeuw doored - his fault?, Beloki's allergy medication, Discovery Channel kit, Green jersey dog fight, Iban Mayo's uphill TT bike, LA Confidential, Tour-Giro double, Why thank Lance?, Searching for Bill Clawson
  • June 18 letters - A thank you letter for USCF, USADA, AAA/CAS, LA Confidential, Green jersey dog fight, Iban Mayo's uphill TT bike, Museeuw doored - his fault?, Why thank Lance?, Will stage four decide the Tour?, Beloki's allergy medication, Discovery Channel kit, Does Zabel go?, Jan Ullrich / Lance Armstrong, Rochelle Gilmore, Tour-Giro double, Cycling and hip replacement
  • June 11 letters - Will stage four decide the Tour?, How Ulle will win this year's TdF, Climbers' Jersey, Rochelle Gilmore, Simoni and "the impossible", Cycling among top five tested sports, Rousseau's au revoir, Jan Ullrich / Lance Armstrong, Giro, Does Zabel go?, Days of racing needed to prepare, Cunego's Giro victory, Chris Horner, Robbie McEwen, Cycling and hip replacement
  • June 4 letters - Giro, Cunego's Giro victory, Damiano Cunego, Cunego in stage 18, Team tactics at the Giro, Simoni trying the impossible?, Robbie McEwen, Pavel Tonkov, Jan Ullrich, Chris Horner, Cycling among top five tested sports, Cycling and hip replacement
  • May 31 letters - Au revoir Lance, Cunego's Giro victory, Pavel Tonkov, Serguei Gontchar, Dr Ferrari's Giro stage 13 analysis, When the boss has to go..., US Postal makes waves?, Robbie McEwen, US Postal stops sponsorship, US Postal sponsorship replacements, Jan Ullrich, Iban Mayo & the Tour, Tour de Georgia, Chris Horner, Orbea Orca
  • May 21 letters - US Postal sponsorship replacements, Chris Horner, Fred Rodriguez - persistence pays, Donuts. Is there anything they can't do? , McEwen's sprint, US Postal stops sponsorship, Soooper Mario, Jesus Manzano, Jan Ullrich, Orbea Orca, Trying to contact John Auer
  • May 14 letters - Tour de Georgia, Chris Horner, McEwen's sprint, US Postal stops sponsorship, Seating requirements, Aero Helmets, A different Wheaties box, George Hincapie, Jan Ullrich, Skip Spangenburg, Cycling and hip replacement, Afscheids Criterium Johan Museeuw, indeed, Timing, Davide Rebellin's remarkable feat, Orbea Orca
  • May 7 letters - A different Wheaties box?, Afscheids Criterium Johan Museeuw, Jan Ullrich, George Hincapie, Doping and team doctors, Davide Rebellin's remarkable feat, US Postal stops sponsorship, Top 5 at TdF 2004 - not Mercado!, Two Men and a Dog, UCI Pro Tour, Cycling and hip replacement, Timing
  • April 30 letters - Doping and team doctors, Davide Rebellin's remarkable feat, Spring Classics slam, Mercado - the time is now, USPS stops sponsorship, UCI Pro Tour, George Hincapie, Gilberto Simoni, Jan Ullrich, Harmonic motion, Tour de Georgia, Cycling and hip replacement, Timing
  • April 23 letters - The rainbow curse, Verbruggen is the problem, Gilberto Simoni, George Hincapie, Jan Ullrich, Questions on doping, The doom of doping, Floyd the future of USPS?, Dope testing, Magnus Backstedt, Roger Hammond, Gear ratio chart
  • April 16 letters - Floyd the future of USPS?, Magnus Backstedt, Jan Ullrich, David get outta there!, Cofidis and the Tour, Michelin Tubeless at Roubaix, Manzano, Vale Muur van Geraardsbergen, The Doom of doping, Hincapie, Javier Oxtoa, U.S. Excitement, Radios, Roger Hammond, England or Wales?
  • April 9 letters - Vale Muur van Geraardsbergen, Manzano, The Doom of doping, Amore e Vita, Boonen, Two Speed Cycling?, A welcome end to pro cycling?, Stripes, Karma, Wesemann's setup, Roger Hammond, USPS sponsorship, Javier Oxtoa, April Fool's, UK to Geneva route?
  • April 2 letters - A welcome end to pro cycling?, Manzano & doping, Finding the right team?, USPS sponsorship, WADA and Armstrong, Karma, Bjarne Riis, Is Tobias Steinhauser a real person?, Javier Oxtoa, Max number of champions in a TdF, Radios, Stripes, Chamois: real or synthetic?
  • March 26 letters - A cycling fan's prayer, Manzano, USPS serendipity, UCI statement post Jesus Manzano, Jonathan Vaughters doping response, Moser comments about "updating" the MSR, WADA and Armstrong, Parsimony, Drugs, Genes, US MTB racing, Bjarne Riis, Iban Mayo, O'Grady & Milan Sanremo, The 'World' Cycling Series, Javier Oxtoa, Max number of champions in a TDF, Radios, Sean Kelly and the 1992 Milan-San Remo, We're not sprinters, Is Tobias Steinhauser a real person?, An old cycling top
  • March 21 letters - Bjarne Riis, Radios, US MTB racing, WADA and Armstrong, The "World" Cycling Series, Doping, Iban Mayo, Armstrong's brakes, Fixing Cipo's problem, Max number of champions in a TDF?, Sean Kelly and the 1992 Milan-San Remo, The most fashionable men of the peloton, We're not sprinters, Jame's Diarrhea, Bobby Julich Interview
  • March 12 letters - Radios, WADA and Mr Armstrong, Speculation about Genevieve, Doping, Aero helmets, Brad McGee, Chubby Lance?, How many more have to die?, Iban Mayo, Lance's Performance, Marco Pantani - who is guilty?, Rabobank and U. S. Postal, There's more to life than sprinting, Tour without Kelme?
  • March 5 letters - Speculation about Genevieve, Brad McGee, Doping, How many more have to die?, Tour without Kelme?, Aero helmets, Chubby Lance?, Climbers and sprinters, Fixed gear, Mt Wallace climb, Stage 3 of di Lucca, TdF04 travel itinerary?, Tour de France 2004
  • Letters Index – The complete index to every letters page on