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Letters to Cyclingnews - February 24, 2006

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'. 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

Tyler Hamilton
Tyler Hamilton and Roberto Heras
Sanctions for doping
Drug testing
Culture of denial
Tour 2006
Ullrich and the 2006 tour
T-Mobile, Ullrich and Godefroot
Davitamon-Lotto outfits


Tyler Hamilton

Okay everyone...listen up. Everyone hating on Tyler can just stop. He got a two-year ban - it'll be up in September and he will have paid his penance at that point. Story done and over. The problem with all of you is that you speak as though you personally know these athletes. Get over it...they don't come to your home for dinner. They don't call you for Christmas. They don't send you a card for your birthday. What they do is provide you with entertainment - enough said.

So, in my mind, Tyler has provided me with plenty of entertainment. Blood doping or not, I'd like to see any of you climb the mountains of France, on a bike, with a broken collarbone. Blood doping or not, I'd like to see you win a stage of the Tour de France from the front, in the wind, all alone, with a hungry pack of 200 riders chasing you down. These are some of the most entertaining moments in recent cycling history.

Let me make this short...did Tyler cheat? Looks that way. Well he have paid for that come September? Absolutely (especially at his age). Will he be the Tyler that we grew to love? Probably not. But if Richard V can come back from the biggest doping scandal in cycling history (and I hated that guy) then Tyler is MORE than welcome back as far as I'm concerned.

Come September, let me be the first to welcome Mr. Hamilton back to the fold. I hope he provides me with more entertaining moments in the near future.

Warren Beckford

Bloomfield, CT, USA
Thursday, February 23, 2006

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Tyler Hamilton #2

Dear Cyclingnews,

I'm curious. Why isn't a blood test done on Tyler's blood samples from the Vuelta? If there were mixed DNA populations, wouldn't that give a definitive answer as to his doping. Furthermore, why aren't blood DNA tests done all riders to check for homologous blood doping?


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

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Tyler Hamilton #3


Your Letter of the Week from Nicholas Jenkins, published at the head of the February 17 letters list, was superbly crafted. It says it all, thank you sir.

Anyone who has been rumbled - and told face-to-face that he's been sussed - ahead of the heavy hand of the law and the handcuffs, doesn't really have anywhere to hide. What on earth persuaded him to continue - his greed, his team?

I notice that Hamilton's two advance warnings were delivered in the presence of a Phonak team official. On leaving the room, it would be fascinating to know what they advised their star man to do....perhaps to stop or perhaps to continue and bluff it out like Virenque. You're American Tyler, and the world can trust an American. Yeah.

So what other information is there within the Phonak squad's dossier, that folder of rider-data?

Nicholas, in his letter, points out that Hamilton injecting himself with someone else's blood was risking the health of his wife. So more questions; what we don't know here is whether his wife had been kept in the dark, or if she was equally eager to keep the winning flowing in.

I guess the sad reality is that if the professional peloton is made up of 90% doped riders and 10% clean, the odds of Hamilton's place being taken by a drug-free replacement are 9-to-1 against.

John Leitch

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

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Tyler Hamilton #4

After reading the opinion handed down by the CAS dated February 10, 2006, it is evidently easy to didismiss the first four Mr.. Hamilton's defense team. Maybe more intelligent men would have completely forgone those first four points, deferring to the last four. The false positives were not sufficiently answered to a logical rational point of view. They documented three cases where the false positives were easily explained. The other seventeen were, however determined to have never been declared positive even though the results showed them at one time to be thought positive. Just what was going on there that they were once thought to be positive but were later declared negative? Who was making those declarations? And wasn't Tyler's test at Athens originally declared negative before they decided to retest it?

The third point that Tyler's defense team raised was that of an inability to arrive at a consensus opinion by the scientists that were supposed to validate the test. Those two men could not come to a consensus opinion. How can the general public understand or have faith if the experts cannot agree on what is what?

The bottom line is this. The points A, B, C, and D, should have never been raised and really held no water in the first place. However it seems that the last four, namely the false positives, and the disagreement over what constitutes a positive and a negative result would support Mr. Hamilton's contention that the test is not ready and has been rushed into use and validation. Whether or not the five percent objectivity criteria was adopted or not, it would further support the defense's claims that scientists have still not decided on what is actually a positive or negative test.

Just because the criteria was not adopted by reputable scientists should not cause one to dismiss that standard or believe it to be an invalid indication of the result. On the contrary, the inability of scientific minds to arrive at a consensus opinion would indicate that the test is not yet ready to stand up to a standard necessary to take away one's ability to earn a living for two years or that person's credibility which can probably never be restored.

Doug Lister

San Diego, CA
Saturday, February 18, 2006

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Tyler Hamilton #5

Dear Cyclingnews

I think what I find most disturbing about Tyler Hamilton is the gullibility of his many (mostly American) fans. When Hamilton won the TT Olympic Gold in Athens I felt very dissatisfied - to see him beat European heavy-hitters like Ullrich and Ekimov was unlikely to say the least. On the then very lively Eurosport forums I posted my opinion about this and was roundly castigated by all and sundry. When the first news of his positive result became known, I ventured my opinion on this very message-board, again to be shot down in flames - this time by dozens of American fans. Now we can see that common sense is starting to prevail, and posters like Nicholas Jenkins are not on their own.

Hamilton has been involved in a long and sophisticated marketing exercise - he has gone for the battling little guy, the tenacious American boy-next-door who takes on the Europeans at their own game. With his never ending injuries and his goofy teeth, Tyler was always to be seen in the thick of it. I remember notorious hard man Sean Kelly breaking his collarbone in the TdF nearly 20 years ago, and not long after abandoning in tears, partly in disappointment, more than partly in extreme pain. So what were we supposed to believe with Hamilton? As he rode along with his shirt ALWAYS flapping open - bandages ALWAYS on display - were we to be convinced that he was the ultimate tough guy?

There is no doubt that drug taking and medical manipulation have always played a part in our great sport - and if cycling is apparently more afflicted by this than other sports at least we can say that our sport is "for real" - it is not a silly game - it really is the toughest sport of all. What we don't need is the cynical spin and marketing that riders like Hamilton feel necessary - do Petacchi or Bettini have foundations, dogs, rides etc? Of course not, because these are riders of real class.

The truth seems to be that liars are ultimately deceiving themselves - this isn't just playing with words - if somebody embroiders enough deceit and nonsense about themselves, they really do come to believe it. Have a look at Hamilton's website, and it's "moderated" message boards, the deceit goes on - for your own sake Tyler - you need to look yourself in the face and start to deal with the fact that the myth you created has crumbled around you.

Peter Marlow

Friday, February 17, 2006

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Tyler Hamilton #6

I understand the idea of 'the unrepentant doper' and how that would function differently in conversation than a 'repentant doper' and I don't disagree with any of that. Those terms might describe a decision point where some make a better choice than others. The religiosity of the language, however, is a shade weirder and more self righteous than maybe we need to describe the situation.

But there does seem to be, not in any specific letter but across most, an idea that athletes dope because they're 'arrogant' or because they are morally 'heinous' and that cheating is itself a sociopathology of some kind and not the result of other social pathologies. That doesn't seem like a good enough analysis, however well it works as a springboard for self-righteousness and abstract anger (and love!) for people projected you don't even know.

It does allow us to distance ourselves from "cheaters" and to either fail to imagine their motives as radically different than our own or to understand them in ways that turn them into cartoon villains - good people who had a lapse of conscience (Millar, Bergman); bad people with no conscience (Hamilton).

How about if we add to this picture the idea of the normal person with a web of commitments and responsibilities, and with an extra mania to succeed that describes high end athletes whether by nature or nurture. Those drives that we honour so much in athletes when things are going right are themselves nearly pathologic, as is the regard fans often have for the results of that drive.

It's not an excuse for anyone, that's not the point - but can you imagine the various styles of fear that must accompany those drives? If you're imagining motives, I think you can be empathic enough to recognize fear as one of them.

Hamilton's fans seem to have extended their regard for his racing to his wife, his dogs, and a lot of other things that are not related to bike racing. Can you picture what it's like to imagine disappointing all those weird projective relationships that fans construct, not to mention the real economic and personal relationships and expectations that one has built up in a career?

Is it that hard recognising that all the pathetic adoration, venom, and demonisation are part and parcel of what creates this situation in the first place? People don't cheat to excel, they cheat because they're afraid they can't or won't and they're more afraid of the consequences of that imagined failure than of anything else.

Mark Jenkins

Portland, Oregon, USA
Friday, February 17, 2006

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Tyler Hamilton #7

Tyler Hamilton still has some choices in cycling:

1. Begin racing again in September, if he can find a team. Eventually, he'll be tested for blood doping. If he now passes, he was guilty in 2004 (unless we can believe he was the victim of a conspiracy), and is nothing more than a lying cheat. If he fails the blood doping test, as he should based on his claim of a chimera, then he'll be banned again. It won't matter how he does on the bike, Tyler will lose.

2. Don't race again, and quietly let his fans forget about an inspirational career as they debate his guilt or innocence. After the CAS report, Hamilton hasn't left his fans too much to debate though.and I suspect his ability to raise money for any charity is in jeopardy and it certainly won't get better if this option is chosen. We'll find out about his ability to draw fans during the Austin hill climb challenge.

3. Confess and in so doing regain a fan base. Certainly Millar and Bergman's recent stories haven't been lost on Hamilton. Both now have the sympathy of fans (at least the majority of letter writing fans) and fans will always forgive cheating if the cheat comes clean. Confess and race again. Confess and raise money for charity again. Confess and inspire your fans again.

Dear Tyler - We WANT to believe in you - it's your choice.

Jim Church

Port Orchard, WA
Friday, February 17, 2006

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Tyler Hamilton and Roberto Heras

I am disappointed by cycling fans who automatically assume a cyclist is guilty of using banned substances and methods just because WADA and CAS say so. With respect to Heras, taking EPO on the penultimate stage in the Vuelta, for which he had already won, makes no sense. EPO testing is indirect - based on hematocrit levels. It has been demonstrated that natural hematocrit levels vary greatly within individuals and populations, and the standard cutoff number used to make an accusation is somewhat arbitrary.

Also, the same blood sample can have hematocrit levels that vary wildly depending on which lab does the testing. As such, the test is flawed and I wonder how many of those accused of taking EPO actually did. With respect to Hamilton, there are so many irregularities with the alleged blood doping test. What constitutes two blood populations is an interpretation based on the size of different peaks within generated spectra of the sample. A false positive study has not been performed. At present, interpreting the test results can be arbitrary and ad hoc to say the least. This test would never stand up to peer review among scientists and has not.

No test is absolute; mistakes are made and interpretations are sometimes arbitrary. A false positive, for any reason, ruins an athlete’s career. It is well possible that in both Heras and Hamilton are telling the truth, and their character demonstrated over the years, is commensurate with this. So consider the character and motivations of the individuals and agencies involved in these two cases before you make the blanket statement of 'guilty'. The scientific evidence, based on the tests, is not that clear. The agencies involved have so much riding on making sure their claims stand up, irrespective of who they hurt along the way.

Alan Brandon

Houston, Texas
Friday, February 17, 2006

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Sanctions for doping


Like lies and politics, drug taking has been part and parcel of cycle sport since the year dot. The 1998 TdF shenanigans which kick-started the unfortunate criminalisation of drug usage and put it on the agenda out side cycle racing, were nothing to do with cleaning up the sport but the result of a political fall out in France. The results were not the least bit surprising and Festina's watch sales increased by a third that year, despite the best efforts of the media to vilify the team and its riders.
The main reason for sport's tough drug legislation is nothing to do with fair play; it’s first and foremost to protect the protaganist. David Millar was caught transgressing and has been punished, in my opinion, far too severely - he is not a persistent offender, came clean and shows remorse - a year's ban would have been appropriate.

So who cares? The media, because it sells papers, and riders if they get caught and banned.

As a spectator you can choose to watch another sport if you feel cheated - though finding one as closely monitored for drugs as cycling is difficult - or accept the status quo, sit back and enjoy the spectacle. Drugs have never turned a donkey into a race horse and never will. I for one can't wait to see David Millar back in action.

Ian Glen

Thursday, February 23, 2006

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Drug testing

Mr Fine’s letter is precisely on-point. When you read the stories about the various athletes who have been accused of doping, it appears that WADA targets specific athletes. Further, in most cycling events, only a small handful of athletes are tested (e.g., stage winner, race leader, etc.). These actions by the various "anti-doping" groups certainly give one the impression that they are trying to find doping violations - rather than testing for doping violations.

A better system that would engender confidence in the process would be if independent third parties conducted the testing (someone who would be subject to lawsuits if they made an error in either direction). Further, all athletes should be tested equally - not just the race leader or stage winner.

Patrick J. Wilkie
Friday, February 17, 2006

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Dear Cyclingnews

With all the press that has been centered around Tyler Hamilton, Roberto Heras, and many other convicted dopers its interesting to see the letters that people send in to and the other cycling website. Its easy to convict someone when you dont know the facts, and its also easy to proclaim their innocence but what we all need to remember is that doping may be morally reprehensible but that doesn't make it ok for us to pass judgement on everyone accused. Watch races, enjoy the sport as its covered on television, the internet and in print magazines and let the doping be controlled by scientists in a laboratory. It does our sport no good to publisize this dark area, I'm not suggesting that the uci turn a blind eye or that we allow doping, just that we talk less about the bad, and more about the good......Its just a sport after all.

Jesse Stevens

Huntington, WV
Friday, February 17, 2006

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Culture of denial

Mr. Fry makes a very good point - when was the last time you heard (any so called criminal) proclaim their guilt when caught? It is a regrettable and unpleasant side of human nature to deny when caught, or to rationalise it away (everybody does it) or justify it (I was in a hurry officer, I HAD to speed) - or one of my favourites; “who am I's my body!” We should NOT be at all surprised by the fact that our beloved sport has cheats, as every sport does - as a matter of FACT every time money, power or influence is involved (to be gained, to manipulated) man (and select women) have proven the fact over and over again.

We can blame the UCI, the WADA, or any number of "other" agents, but at the end of the day (at the end of YOUR LIFE) you and you alone will have to account for your errors.

Patrick Buono

Dallas, Texas
Sunday, February 19, 2006

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Tour 2006

I can't say for sure but assuming good health look for Basso, Vino, Popo, Landis, Leipheimer, Mancebo, Rasmussen and Ullrich to be up there in this year’s Tour de France. Tactically if Ullrich and Co. can neutralize an early mountain attack (which will certainly happen) by either Basso or Popo (read Lance) and limit the loss (which he usually does not successfully do), then he stands a very good chance of controlling the race and winning. Basso on the other hand has demonstrated (Giro 2005) an ability to crack those defenses and with the support of an incredibly strong team can control the outcome and sit on top of the podium. Vino although incredibly talented has always been a one man team, maybe Saiz (Liberty Seguros) can reign him in (I doubt it). They certainly have the team.

Popo, Discovery's Dark Star has the team, the talent (2005 ToC) but maybe lacks the experience. If Hincapie goes he'll be watched, so no for him. Landis has the team, the experience and is an incredibly nice guy and can definitely stay with the best. Their-in lies the problem staying with as opposed to beating, personally I hope he never changes. Mancebo is dangerous and a consistent threat though this year I don't think he has the team. Leipheimer is experienced and has definitely got the team and is getting stronger by the year, so why not? Is he strong enough to withstand the attacks should he go?

Rasmussen? He doesn't have the team but he doesn't need it he can climb so well. If only he could TT. Still if he were to be constantly attacked he ultimately would need the team. There are others of course who could do really well or even win but for me this crew is really strong. Lance picked Ullrich and so did Eddy. Armstrong said the main impetus of Discovery was to keep Jan in check. Mercx said he was not always the strongest on the mountains but he knew when to attack, he also said that maybe Lance won because he was a little bit smarter. These two greats said a mouthful there.

I believe that small variances in skill can be overcome by smart tactics. I also think the days of one guy winning the TdF over another are history. Rather I believe won team beat another and as I believe Basso said 'we now know how to prepare for the TdF, Discovery taught us". I would also like to say "sour grapes" to you who say, that such and such is washed up or sucks because they lost placings in the GC or finished third instead of second or first. What then does that say about the remaining 190 participants of which you were probably not a part of? All in all it should be a very exciting Tour.

Walter Lindsay

New York
Saturday, February 18, 2006

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Ullrich and the 2006 tour

I have to respond to my thoughts on Jan Ullrich. I have to agree with some people's thoughts of Jan's lack of attacking ability. IF you watched some of the earlier tours (1997, 98, 2001) you see a fit Ullrich, an attacking Ullrich. I think Jan Ullrich can’t attack like he used too and I think he is still about 5-10 kg more than in 1997 when he won.

I think he has become complacent in many years after 1997, his only Tour win, even if someone argues 2003 as a sign. I think that Tour was more about Lance not being at his best…people have to stop making excuses for Jan Ullrich. I am one of his biggest fans and actually wanted to see him win last year to make Lance’s decision harder to walk away but also to see Jan beat Lance once seemed fair, it seemed fitting. I have seen Jan pour his heart out on the mountain's to only see others pass him hurts in a way…it disappoints me.

I want Jan Ullrich to win the 2006 Tour more than anyone else in this race. Mostly because he hasn’t given up and has been absolutely dogged by the media - rightfully and wrongfully - at times. I hope that Jan wins this Tour convincingly…I want to see him attack Basso, Valverde, Cunego, Leipheimer in the high mountains. I don’t know why I never give up on Ullrich, because he has disappointed me with his weight and ambition at times seems questionable, but he is a man of class and it would sure be sweet for him to see Yellow again. I am sick of seeing him gasp and get dropped in the Alps and Pyrenees, I can’t take it anymore. I hope Jan doesn’t let me down this time. No more excuses for Der Kaiser.

Todd Peddie

Toronto, Ontario
Friday, February 17, 2006

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T-Mobile, Ullrich and Godefroot

Dear Cyclingnews

It consistently amazes me the amount of criticism the T-Mobile Team draws in regard to its performance at the Tour de France.

First there's the complaint about Godefroot’s questionable tactics. Under his tutelage, since 1995, a T-Mobile (or Telekom) rider has placed on the podium every year (with the exception of 1999). Twice during that period two T-Mobile riders have finished on the same podium. Two of those podium finishes have been on the top step.

Oh yeah, during that decade, a certain magenta clad cyclist won the green jersey a record SIX times. Not bad for a director who some believe cannot perform well at the big race.

Then there's the myth that Ulrich can't win the big one again because he gets too fat in the winter. This guy who many say he lets himself go every winter has never finished lower than FOURTH. He was even third last year after putting his head through a car window. The main reason why he hasn't won at least three Tours is because of a guy from Texas named Armstrong. It is only by poor luck that Jan happened to peak at the same time as the one cyclist who achieved something we may never see again in our lifetime.

I just never have understood why Godefroot's T-Mobile has garnered such criticism, after accomplishing more than most other teams could ever hope for.

Joe Ajello

McLean, Virginia, USA
Friday, February 17, 2006

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Davitamon-Lotto outfits

Well for eye catching impact (on a global level) it's certainly hard to beat...

Every year, pro teams plod along with the same old stuff, maybe dressing the riders in casual sportswear, and maybe that inspired the change of thought, with management in suits, smart, etc.

Marc Coucke wore the same outfit too, so perhaps it’s a case of the sponsor telling the team what to do - who knows...but it got you lot talking, so maybe that was the point!

Kev Dakin

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Remembering the Anniversary of Marco's passing; I hope as Mike Underwood said, he is not forgotten. I would urge people, doubters and fans alike to read "Man on the Run" - The Life & Death of Marco Pantani, by Manuela Ronchi and Gianfranco Josti.

Also as a Scot, read the Graeme Obree Story "Flying Scot" as well. There was a man who stood up to the doping culture, and lost his professional contract because of it. He makes me proud to be Scottish.

Alistair Bell.

Perthshire, Scotland.
Sunday, February 19, 2006

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Recent letters pages

Letters 2006

  • February 17: Tyler Hamilton, Hamilton's decision, Culture of denial, Drug testing, Pantani, Support for Mark French, Heras' positive doping results, EPO, Bergman, Sanctions for doping, Ben Kersten, Hour record, Davitamon circus clowns, Team CSC at Solvang, Ullrich and the 2006 Tour, Confused about doping
  • February 10: Ullrich and the 2006 Tour, Too early to call the Tour, AIS crash verdict, Punishment for the death of Amy Gillett, Women's cycling, Support for Mark French, Michael Rassmussen, More Kilo and 500m TT argument, Liberty Seguros at Tour Down Under, Hour record, Sanctions for doping
  • February 3: International teams, Liberty Seguros at Tour Down Under, Anti-doping tactics, Ullrich and the 2006 Tour, Too early to call the Tour, Tour of California, Phonak training camp feature, Aussie national champs, More Kilo and 500m TT argument, McQuaid and the UCI, Australian championships, Support for Mark French, Sanctions for doping, Women's cycling, Team strip
  • January 24: Future of Spanish cycling, Australian championships, Aussie national champs - a deserved winner, Aussie nationals, World champion kit, Ullrich and the 2006 Tour, With Lance gone, Some observations on Oz, PCA suing Dick Pound, International teams
  • January 17: EGO Mania, Basso: seeing double, Aussie nationals, Australian championships, Russell Mockridge, PCA suing Dick Pound, USA cycling, World champion kit, The future, Some observations on Oz
  • January 6: The Tour hypocrisy, Pat McQuaid, McQuaid, Bart Wellens, Urine testing, Dope so you can
  • January 3: That damn Lance, Bart Wellens, Cyclists in South Australia, EGO Mania, King Pound, Urine testing for rEPO, The Tour hypocrisy, Dope so you can, Give McQuaid a chance, Elimination Tour de France

Letters 2005

  • December 23: McQuaid and the UCI, Cyclists in South Australia, Bart Wellens, That Damn Lance, Patrice Clerc Interview, Don't accuse every top athlete, Dope so you can, Sanctions for doping - episode 99, Allan Butler tribute
  • December 16: An embarrassment of riches, The chickens have come home to roost, McQuaid and the UCI, UCI vs Grand Tour organisers, At least they have something in common, Back to the seventies, Basso at Giro 2006, Cycling is best at what it does, Dope so you can, Cycling one dimensional, Don't accuse every top athlete, Heras and drugs, Where are all of Heras' supporters?, Dick Pound, Chasing an inevitable high, SF Grand Prix
  • December 9: Basso at Giro 2006, Heras EPO test procedure, The Heras case, Where are all of Heras' supporters?, Heras and drugs, Do you have to ask why?, Dope so you can, Global doping, The burden of proof, Chasing an inevitable high, EPO, Colorado State Patrol, SFGP - Bring it back!
  • December 2: Heras EPO test procedure, Heras - three times lucky, The Heras case, Another profile in disappointment, SFGP - Bring it back!, San Francisco Grand Prix, San Francisco GP, Tyler Hamilton, Chasing an inevitable high, Circumstantial evidence, The burden of proof, Global Doping, Graeme Obree, Moron or marketing genius, Exciting again
  • November 25: San Francisco GP, San Fran Grand Prix, San Fran GP, San Francisco city supervisor responds, A tale of two cities, Tyler Hamilton - UCI leaks, Wire in the blood part II, Tyler Hamilton, Hamilton wait time, Heras - three times lucky?, What is the UCI doing?, Exciting again, Le Tour will live on without Armstrong, Moron or marketing genius, A modest proposal, Weekend club racing world championships
  • November 18: Heras - three times lucky?, What is the UCI doing?, Exciting again, 2006 Tour de France, Positive urine EPO tests, Le Tour will live on without Armstrong, LeBlanc's Tour snub of Armstrong, Tour of Southland, Schlimmer response, Exercise-induced asthma
  • November 11: LeBlanc's Tour snub of Armstrong, Exciting again, Le Tour will live on without Armstrong, Armstrong, the TdF, etc, The 2006 Tour de France and Lance, Lance, Le Tour and Ethics, Armstrong snub at Tour presentation, Pro wrestling and cycling, Swimming and Cycling, What TdF?, Fair justice, Another doping letter, Where has common sense gone?, Technology in cycling, Schlimmer
  • November 4: LeBlanc's Tour snub of Armstrong, The 2006 Tour de France and Lance, Le Tour de malcontent, Tour de France 2006, What TdF?, Le Tour wounded, Gossip ruins cycling, EPO, Exercise-induced asthma, Dick Pound and soccer, Tour of US, Tour of California, Swimming and Cycling
  • October 28: Le Tour de Malcontent, LeBlanc's Tour snub of Armstrong, Caution needed, TdF 2006, Has cycling become a honky tonk sport?, Tristan Hoffman, UN effort to fight doping in sport, UCI ProTour, Cam Jennings, Exercise-induced asthma, Chris Sheppard is a class act, Why?, Crocodile Trophy - worlds' toughest race?
  • October 14: Infallible doping tests?, Get on with your life, Doping. What else?, Pound versus Armstrong, Hamilton, etc, L'Equipe forgot - or not, John Lieswyn, Eddy Merckx
  • October 7: John Lieswyn, Bravo, Lieswyn, 1999 Tour de France urine samples, Allan Butler, Tyler Hamilton, Doping versus biomechanical enhancements, Doping control, McQuaid's image, Comment on Chris Horner at Zuri Metzgete, Scientific proof, Thank goodness Moreno lost, What has happened to American Cycling?, Pound versus Armstrong, Hamilton, etc, French bias
  • September 30: Petacchi and McEwen's reactions, Ale-Jet, Ale-Jet blasts his critics..., Petacchi's class, Petacchi, Bravo, Lieswyn, French bias, Tom Danielson, What has happened to American Cycling?, Quote of the year, At the heart of the matter, Lance's EPO tests, Doping control, On Pound and the like, Pound Ill informed, Verbruggen is wrong, Doping and apparel
  • September 23: A quick thanks, Australian worlds team, Go Mick!, Infighting, Pound Ill informed, WADA mess, Heras and the Giro, Verbruggen is wrong, Chris Sheppard busted for EPO, Explaining increases in performance, Quote of the year, Vuelta rest day observations
  • September 16: Vuelta rest day observations, Australian worlds team, Explaining the increases in performance, Debate settled, doping lives on, Samuel Sanchez, Scientific proof, The perfect crime, Another topic please,, Doping, Illegal motivation, Illegal motivation - another possibility, Lance and the Tour de France, Drug use, Alternate Universe, WADA, Chris Sheppard busted for EPO, Just Do It
  • September 9: The debate rages, Bad for cycling, Lance and the Tour de France, EPO Testing and Haematocrit, Doping, Illegal motivation, Lance the Man, Armstrong and doping, Question for Dick Pound..., Land of the Free, home of the Brave, Lance, I have a better idea, Where are the results?, Armstrong's Tour comeback, Don't make that mistake, Lance, Response to the test
  • September 2: Lance Armstrong, all-American boy, Doping, Claude Droussent lies, L'Equipe credibility, Lance versus Jan, Jan versus Lance, Cold fusion and Lance, The perfect crime, EPO and the Wink Wink Standard, Germany owed four yellow jerseys?, Lance, cycling and cancer, Lance issues, The whole Lance doping issue, Neither defense nor attack, The test, Land of the Free, home of the Brave, Armstong couldn't come clean, Summarising the Lance situation, Lance's tests, Keep an open mind, Lance and doping, Check results before you wreck yourself, Seeing is believing, L'Equipe and ASO, and Lance, Lance and EPO, Aussie perspective on the upcoming worlds, A rave rather than a rant
  • August 26: Lance and LeBlanc, Lance versus France, Can of worms story, The Test, Benoit Salmon wins the 1999 Tour, The perfect crime, Armstrong tests positive, L'Equipe and ASO, Lance rubbish, Lance and the French yellow press, Armstrong, EPO and WADA, Lance Downgrading Armstrong victories, Lance doping garbage, Lance versus Jan, Doping, Six stages to win the 99 tour, EPO test under scrutiny, Lance irony, Lance as a spokesman, Cyclists and politicians, Verbruggen's campaign to elect his successor, John Lieswyn, Can of worms, Americans in Paris
  • August 19: Ned Overend, Guidi positive, What is going on at Phonak?, Ullrich's riding style, How about credibility from both sides?, Lieswyn's gesture
  • August 12: Pro Tour 2006, Credibility from both sides?, Zabel leaves T-Mobile, Chris Horner, Ullrich's riding style, Well done Wayne!, Armstrong and class, Possible correlations
  • August 5: Zabel leaves T-Mobile, Thanks from a survivor, Bicycle safety, Message for Chris Horner, Perspective, Discovery in ninth, Tech, Armstrong and class, The King of July!, Heras through rose colored glasses, Possible correlations
  • July 29: Perspective, France and Lance's Legacy, Armstrong and class, Best Wishes to Louise, Levi's Diary, Heras through rose colored glasses, The King of July, Here we go again!, Treat Lance like the others, Tech, Lance Armstrong's time trial equation, Life begins at 30
  • July 22: McEwen - villain to superhero, Underdogs and overdogs at the Tour, Big George, George Hincape, Hincapie's stage win, Cadel's Tour memory, What the fans would love to see, Is Godefroot really NOT the man?, A true classic, Phonak's poor sportsmanship, Phonak double standards, My new hero, Discovery Channel tactics, Lance Infomercial?, Treat Lance like the others, TdF sprint finishes, Leaky Gas?, Little black box
  • July 15: The best seat in the house, Joseba Beloki, Message for Chris Horner, Treat Lance like the others, Lance Infomercial?, McEwen defense, Rail lines in the TdF, Ruse Discovered?, Discovery's unanimous breakdown, IS Jan really the man?, Cycling socks, Patrick Lefevre quit your whining, Armstrong and class, Leaky Gas?, TdF sprint finishes, Who is in charge of the UCI?, Tires and slippery roads, Response to the Vowels of Cycling, Little black box
  • July 8: McEwen defends himself, Tires and slippery roads, Random test on Lance Armstrong, French Government dope controls, The Pro Tour and Grand Tours, Tour de France's early finish?, Here we go again!, Thank you, Ed Kriege, Lance Infomercial?, No, the other Merckx!, The Vowels of Cycling, Armstrong's pre-Tour communiqués, Armstrong and class
  • July 1: No, the other Merckx!, Armstrong's pre-Tour communiqués, The Vowels of Cycling, Figures of merit - TdF tipping, Lance Infomercial?, Daily Terror, Sydney article, Why Michael Rogers will be awesome with T-Mobile, I love it!, MTB news, Twins
  • June 24: Sydney article, Hit and run on cyclists - Australia's new blood sport?, Another fatal hit and run on Australian cyclists, How can Ullrich win the Tour?, Drop Verbruggen, The second American, When the Tour heads up, Droppin' the Kilo!, Kilo or no go, What is Michael Rogers thinking?, Rogers to T-Mobile, For the love of god don't do it Mick!, The first yellow jersey, Horner Impressive, Leave T-Mobile/Fassa Bortolo, renew your career!, Horner's stage win at the Tour de Suisse, Bobby Julich, Daily Terror, Hell on Wheels review
  • June 17: Droppin' the Kilo!, Killing the kilo and 500, The kilo, Axing the Kilo?, The track Time Trials, The first yellow jersey, Armstrong and Class, The year of the comeback, Horner's stage win at the Tour de Suisse
  • June 10: The year of the comeback, An open letter to Cadel Evans, How Ullrich can win the Tour, USPRO/Liberty, Lance, the Tour and the Giro, Lance and the Tour, Show us your discards Godefroot!, Armstrong and Class, Ivan's training ride, Giro comments
  • June 3: Giro comments, Giro excitement vs Tour blah, Ivan Basso, Ivan's training ride, Discovering the future, Jose Rujano, Savoldelli vs Simoni, How Ullrich can win the Tour, Eddy Merckx Interview, Johan Bruyneel, Show us your discards Godefroot!, Improving Pro Tour Team Rankings, Lance and the Tour, Armstrong and class
  • May 27: Giro excitement vs Tour blah, Great Giro!, Double or nothing..., Colle delle Finestre and a Cipo farewell, Joseba Beloki, Ivan's training ride, Hell on Wheels, Matt Wittig, How Ullrich can win the Tour, UCI fines, Armstrong and class, Eddy Merckx Interview, The disappointment of Viatcheslav Ekimov, You have let us down Paolo
  • May 20: Colle delle Finestre tactics, Rogues, It just keeps happening, Davis Phinney, Joseba Beloki, Australia - number one, You have let us down Paolo, Bettini/Cooke, What's up with pro cyclists these days?, Cipo, Cipo, Cipo, A question about team names, The disappointment of Viatcheslav Ekimov, Go Eki!
  • May 13: Hit and run, Bettini vs Cooke, Bettini's Illegal sprint, You have let us down Paolo, Giro, Bettini/Cooke, Cookie's crumble, Bjarne's right: There's only one Jens Voigt!, Jens Voigt and the blind, South Australians protest against hit-and-run death, It just keeps happening, Liberty Seguros, The disappointment of Viatcheslav Ekimov, Go Eki!, Australia - number one, Irresistible in July, UCI weight rule
  • May 6: South Australians protest against hit-and-run death, Tyler Hamilton's case, Hamilton and the facts The USADA decision on Tyler Hamilton, Tyler Hamilton, Tyler, Testing and the Virenque Comparison, How do dopers live with themselves?, General view on doping, Hamilton guilty regardless of the facts, Hamilton verdict, Tyler is good going uphill, Hamilton interview, Klöden comments, Tyler H, Simoni, Grazie Mario, Sheryl Crow, or should we say...Yoko Ono
  • April 29: South Australians protest against hit-and-run death, Tyler Hamilton's case, Hamilton and the facts The USADA decision on Tyler Hamilton, Tyler Hamilton, Tyler, Testing and the Virenque Comparison, How do dopers live with themselves?, General view on doping, Hamilton guilty regardless of the facts, Hamilton verdict, Tyler is good going uphill, Hamilton interview, Klöden comments, Tyler H, Simoni, Grazie Mario, Sheryl Crow, or should we say...Yoko Ono
  • April 22: Lance Armstrong's retirement, W is for Witchhunt, Tyler's mishandling defense, Not for real, is it?, Bad Science, Blood testing issues, Hamilton - finally a decision, Regarding the Tyler Hamilton decision, Tyler Hamilton, Satisfying Verdict for Hamilton Case, How do dopers live with themselves?, Hamilton's case, Tyler Hamilton's case, Hamilton, Hamilton verdict and a call for outside expertise, Tyler Hamilton saga..., Tour de France preview...2006!, Klöden comments, Tour de France Training, The New Dynamic Duo, Sheryl Crow, or should we say...Yoko Ono, Random Musings
  • April 15: Glenn Wilkinson, USADA and Hamilton, Bergman; so sad, ProTour leader's jersey, That's a Jersey?, Too many chiefs?, Track World Championships, What do you think?
  • April 8: The New Dynamic Duo, Boonen's Hairdo, Viral infections and antibiotics, George Hincapie, What do you think?, Track World Championships, VDB?, A little bit more about blood doping, Blood testing issues
  • April 1: Well done Ale-jet, Eyes of tigers..., Viral infections and antibiotics, Let's talk about cycling…, What's worth talking about in cycling?, First Ride of the season, The New Dynamic Duo, Blood testing issues, Sydney Thousand, UCI Pro Tour Grand Theft, not Grand Tour
  • March 18: The Forgotten Hero!, Way to go Bobby, Bobby J, Lance has lost the ‘Eye of the tiger’, Blood testing issues and Hamilton, With all Due Respect, All this Lance Talk..., Is Lance getting soft?
  • March 11: Blood testing issues and Hamilton, Cycling on TV, In Defence of UCI president Hein Verbruggen, Defending the Pro Tour?, Is Lance getting soft?, Lance has lost the "eye of the tiger"
  • March 4: In Defence of the Pro-Tour, Grand Tours back down...for now, Armstrong and Simeoni,Help - what’s on the TV?, Cycling on TV, Lance Defends His Title!, Hamilton movie role downplayed, Blood testing issues and Hamilton, I really don't know when it happened
  • February 25: Lance Defends His Title!, Build it and tear it down?, Build, dismantle and donate!, Lance's Hour Record attempt, I really don't know when it happened, Can't get enough!, Dream on
  • February 18: Build it and tear it down?, Remember Marco, One Reason I Love Cycling, The ongoing Hour Record Saga, Lance’s Hour Record attempt, Can't get enough!
  • February 11: One Reason I Love Cycling, Francisco Cuevas, F-One - Come down to earth Lance!, Armstrong and the Hour, Can't get enough!, Greatest of all time
  • February 4: F-One - Come down to earth Lance!, Armstrong and the Hour, Armstrong and Simeoni, Can't get enough!, Help, Greatest of all time Eddy is King, but who is second best?
  • January 28: "I am the greatest of all time", Armstrong and the Hour Record, F-One - Come down to earth Lance!, Lance Drug Probe, Armstrong and Simeoni, Can’t get enough!, Help, NBC's 2004 RAAM Coverage, Doping, Crash distance from 1km to 3km, Eddy is King, but who is second best?
  • January 21: Professional Cyclists, Der Kaiser's Goals, Jan Ullrich's problem = Lance, Rider of the Year, Crash distance from 1km to 3km, Help, Lance vs. Eddy
  • January 14: Der Kaiser's goals, Help, Foreign stage races, Lance vs. Eddy, Tour '05, Rider of the Year, Best bikes for heavy riders, Quick Step helmets
  • January 7: Death of Dmitri Neliubin, Der Kaiser’s goals, Rider of the Year, Best bikes for heavy riders, Who's Greater? Come on now!, Virenque "most charismatic"?, Downhilling, Downhill time trial, Trendy cyclists, No flat tyres, Spring classics trip advice, Bettini's trainer
  • January 3: Spring classics trip advice, Big Bear ends downhilling, Armstrong and Simeoni, Holding teams accountable, Downhill time trial, Trendy cyclists, Bettini's trainer, No flat tyres

Letters 2004

  • December 24 letters - Why are cyclists so trendy?, Business and cycling, Big Bear ends downhilling, Off-bike weight gain, No flat tires, Armstrong and Simeoni
  • December 17 letters - Business and cycling, Tom versus Axel , Big Bear ends downhilling, Shane Perkins, Spring classics trip advice, Tyler Hamilton, Phonak and the UCI, Why are cyclists so trendy?, Mark Webber interview, Armstrong and Simeoni, Injured and missing it: an update, Clyde Sefton
  • December 10 letters - Why are cyclists so trendy?, Big Bear ends downhilling, Floyd's choices?, Merckx, fit and trim, Pound must go, Spring classics trip advice, Tyler Hamilton, Phonak and the UCI, Punishment: Vandenbroucke vs Hamilton, Prosthetic hip, Armstrong and Simeoni, Dave Fuentes, Homeopathy, Jeremy Yates, TDF coverage for Australia, Weight limits and maintenance, Mark Webber interview
  • December 3 letters - Domestiques vs Lieutenants, Tyler Hamilton, Phonak and the UCI, Dave Fuentes, Santa vs Hairy Guy, Why are cyclists so trendy?, Mark French and homeopathy, Shane Perkins, Jeremy Yates, Weight limits and maintenance, UCI regulations, Armstrong and Simeoni, Prosthetic hip
  • November 26 letters - Mark French and homeopathy, Two big guns in one team, Tyler Hamilton case, Bartoli's retirement, Dave Fuentes, Shane Perkins, Merckx and Armstrong, Training like Lance, Lance Armstrong, Why are cyclists so trendy?, Phonak gets what it deserves, Armstrong and Simeoni, Bike weight, Spouseless riders, Mary McConneloug, Adam Craig, Mark Webber interview, Santa vs Hairy Guy
  • November 19 letters - Tyler Hamilton case, Phonak gets what it deserves, Are you there Mr Coates?, Bike Weight, Merckx and Maertens make up, Heart troubles, Where to find cycling spouses, Mark Webber interview, Lance Armstrong, Where's Greg?, What ever happened to..., Why are cyclists so trendy?, Armstrong and Simeoni, l'Etape du Tour registration, Still Laughing
  • November 12 letters - Why Armstrong will ride the 2005 Tour, Scott Sunderland, Why are cyclists so trendy?, Armstrong and Simeoni, Where to find cycling spouses, Lance on Italian selection, Heart troubles, l'Etape du Tour registration, Tour 2005 team time trial, What ever happened to..., Love and a yellow bike
  • November 5 letters - Love and a yellow bike, Tour 2005, Where to find cycling spouses, Why are cyclists so trendy?, Lance on Italian selection, Armstrong and Simeoni, Tour of Southland, Construction technique for veloway, Heart troubles, l'Etape du Tour registration, Rahsaan Bahati
  • Letters Index – The complete index to every letters page on