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

Recently on

Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Letters to Cyclingnews - April 21, 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

Paris-Roubaix final say
Paris-Roubaix controversy
Paris-Roubaix and technology
George and the fork issue
Quotable quotes
Cycling technology
Behaving like a champion
Paris-Roubaix: UCI Code of Ethics
Jan doesn't have to prove a thing


Paris-Roubaix final say

Just one more thing about Paris-Roubaix; it wasn't George Hincapie's race - it was Cancellara's! The guy won fair and square and that's it.

Lots of other top pros 'could have' won P-R had it not been for punctures, crashes, dogs etc - whatever! If it happens, it happens; if it doesn't - so be it. I bet Museeuw thought he could win until he crashed and busted his knee; Sean Yates could have been a lot nearer had he not punctured umpteen times and so it goes on. I'm sure there are many examples from readers better informed than I.

Hard lines, George; you are a great athlete and very professional but if it ain't your day, try again with everyone else who trained like you - in all weathers etc.

Best wishes

Dave H
Wigan, UK

Paris-Roubaix controversy

I watched Paris Roubaix live on French TV, obviously the rail-crossing incident was big news and there were numerous repeats of it. From the coverage what appeared to happen was that a motorcycle marshal gestured twice to the Van Petegem group to stop, but they didn't, they clearly ignored the marshal. The same marshal waited at the crossing for the Boonen group who did stop. I think, though it wasn't clear from the footage, that the marshal gestured for this group to restart once he was sure another train was not on the way. The race jury presumably took into account the marshal's account when reaching their decision.

Stephen Burke

Kent, UK
Friday, April 21, 2006

Respond to this letter

Paris-Roubaix and technology

Regarding Jason Kilmer's letter complaining about the lack of "quality" in today's bikes and his suggestion that Paris Roubaix riders should be mounted on steel frames; he conveniently failed to notice that all the top positions were filled by riders on carbon frames.

Why? Because carbon frames, by all measure, are lighter and stronger.

In the days of steel frames, forks would snap, frames would break, and other components made of steel would fail. It's a bit Luddite to condemn widely used and popular materials based on one high profile failure of dubious origin, and proclaim all would be well if manufacturers only went down a technological dead end.

Kurt R. Bickel

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Respond to this letter

George and the fork issue

I am sick of hearing about how Discovery dropped the ball. In case people have forgotten, they are a world class team. Trek is a leader in the industry, do you really think they half asses his bike? He had crashed earlier in the day, the bike was "riding fine (by his words) except as the race went on the headset felt like it lossened a bit"
In that type of race you either are in the break or not! People need to lay off, if George wanted a bike HE could have changed, it wasn't like the team wouldn't let him.

On that note, for everyone who has been in "disbelief" about this...think this through a little more! You have a top level athlete and a top level team trying to win one of the largest races of the year.

Matt Reynolds


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Respond to this letter

Quotable quotes

(From a Cyclingnews live coverage) 14:43 CEST 150km/52km to go:

They are on a fast descent now, with the gap rising to 23 seconds. Freire's on the front, giving it socks.

-Giving it socks? Never heard that one before - is it just me, or has bike journalism gotten a bit more colourful this year? Maybe because of Phil Liggett's "Found Poetry".

A quick review of your site finds the following:

Tom Boonen: I was de-motivated on Monday, but last night there was a big celebration because it was Kevin Hulsmans' birthday, and when we were drinking, we said we would go full gas one more time. So it was the Duvel [Dutch for devil but also a strong beer, even by Belgian standards - ed.] that did it!

- Boonen's always good for a quote.

Michael Boogerd: "Ah, there will always be some critic if you don't win. It is true, I didn't study at the university, but I'm not stupid.

- Interesting phrasing on an old expression.

Christophe Moreau: Next week we'll try it again, but now I'll have to recuperate from this hard day at the office.

- Yeah, just another day at the office.

Fabian Cancellera: I have never been that comfortable on the cobbles. The frame; the wheels, everything was picobello.

- No translation required

Steve O'Dell

Peachtree City, Georgia
Thursday, April 20, 2006

Respond to this letter

Cycling technology

I agree with Mr.Kilmer's letter regarding the hype and marketing of cycling technology. Last year I bought a new cross-country racing bike. It had disk brakes, of course, and I hate them. Why? They rub. I complained to my bike shop, to the manufacturer directly (who ignored me), but was told "that's just the way disk brakes are...they rub". I find it incomprehensible that people spend $3000 or more on a bike and have to accept having their brakes rubbing. My problem is that I can't stand listening to my the rubbing sound, no mechanic can fix it, the manufacturer says there is no problem, I can't afford to get new disk brakes, and I can't swith to V-brakes because the fork is not set up for them! All this new technology and I have to suffer from a problem I don't even have to deal with on my $15 town-bike!

Rob Found,
Jasper, Canada

Respond to this letter

Behaving like a champion

Boonen indeed deserves credit, and I agree that it's refreshing to see that modesty especially given the season he's had so far. The only difference is that Boonen will never know the level of hostility and hypocrisy Armstrong had to endure from the "elite" cycling media.

John Caceres
Lancaster, PA

Respond to this letter

Paris-Roubaix: UCI Code of Ethics

When Pat McQuaid interpreted the rules the way he chose to do, I claim that he is at fault with the UCI code of ethics article 2, where the principles applicable to Mr McQuaid and other members of the management committee state that:

"Principles - Art. 2:

Each Party must, both in the carrying out of its duties within the UCI as well as on a day-today basis, comply with the principles of:

1. Human dignity
2. Non-discrimination, for whatever reason: race, gender, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, philosophical and political opinions, marital status or any other
3. Non-violence, including abstaining from any kind of pressure and harassment, whether physical, mental, professional or sexual
4. Friendship, mutual aid and fair-play
5. Integrity
6. Priority to the interests of the sport of cycling and the UCI in relation to personal interests
7. Priority to the interests of sport and athletes in relation to financial interests
8. Protection of the environment
9. Political neutrality
10. "Olympism"

He clearly discriminates the Hoste group and favours the Boonen group, he does not enforce fair-play and perhaps his political neutrality may be questioned as well. Most of all I think that the integrity of UCI is very questionable after this ruling.

I can only repeat what others have said: It is a disgrace for cycling!

Joan Blomsterberg

Respond to this letter

Jan doesn't have to prove a thing

What is this obsession about Jan (Ullrich) “not being a great cyclist” and cannot “perform under pressure” and “will not win the TdF”.

Jan has an exceptional palmares and if he never wins another race would always be recognised as a “true hard man” of cycling. Forget all this in-depth assassination of his character and this “what if” and “if only” rubbish and simply respect the fact that he can ride a bike; very very well.

Before you criticise him again take the time to look at his results (and go back past 15 years) and see who else is comparable. Winning the TdF is not Jan’s obsession; it is the obsession of those punters who do not understand the sport of cycling.

Nick Sima

Respond to this letter

Recent letters pages

Letters 2006

  • April 14: Continuing to behave like a champion, No curse of the rainbow jersey, Tom Boonen, Hang in there, Saul, The gods of cycling, Trek and Paris-Roubaix, Looking out for George, Paris-Roubaix and technology, Broken forks and broken dreams, Jan Ullrich, Jan dramas, Disqualifications, So you know, Paris - Roubaix, THAT railway crossing incident, Need for consistency, Paris-Roubaix - poor Cancellara, Paris Roubaix disqualification, Paris-Roubaix: setting a good example, Roubaix disqualification decision, UCI Roubaix disgrace, Paris Roubaix disqualification, Paris Roubaix affair, Paris-Roubaix fiasco, Paris-Roubaix sham, Racing's railroad crossings, George's bike failure, Let them race, Roubaix controversy
  • April 12 (Special Paris Roubaix edition): Paris-Roubaix disqualification, Disqualification on the pave, Level crossing in Paris-Roubaix, Rules are rules, Paris-Roubaix, McQuaid's reasoning, Pat McQuaid and train barriers, Railway crossing at Paris-Roubaix, Disqualifications in Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Roubaix crossing, Roubaix controversy, Grade crossings, Railroad crossings, Safety at Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Roubaix sham, Paris-Roubaix safety, Paris-Roubaix rail crossing, Boonen and friends cross the tracks, McQuaid's explanation, Roubaix disqualification decision
  • April 7: Hang in there Saul, De Ronde parcours, Edwig van Hooydonk, Discovery’s American riders, Tom Boonen, April fools, Hair care product line, Brave new world, Commonwealth Games time trial, Photo of the year
  • March 31: Discovery’s American riders, Photo of the year, Commonwealth Games time trial, Edwig van Hooydonk
  • March 24: Discovery’s American riders, Samantha Hellyer, Commonwealth Games time trial, UCI needs to grow up, Licensed riders in non-sanctioned events, Strong for the Tour, Electronic shifting
  • March 17: Guess who I am, Floyd Landis, The next Lance, The race I'm watching, EPO test and credibility, Blood doping detection and altitude training, Electronic shifting, Electronic Dura Ace, Discovery’s American riders, Petacchi - Shiva
  • March 13: The race I'm watching, Tour of California, Floyd Landis, Rory Sutherland and clomiphene, Rory Sutherland, Tyler Hamilton, Effect of doping on young cyclists, EPO test and credibility, Winter Olympics and Cyclocross, Cyclocross in the winter Olympics, Electronic Dura Ace, Big Jan Ullrich
  • March 3: Tour of California, Sanctions for doping, UCI/WADA, Tyler Hamilton and Roberto Heras, Tyler Hamilton, Hamilton and testing, Blood doping detection and altitude training, Serrano, Drug testing, Tour of California, Laurie Schmidtke, Our wonderful sport!, Leave Jan alone, T-Mobile and Ullrich, Tour 2006
  • February 24: Tyler Hamilton, Tyler Hamilton and Roberto Heras, Sanctions for doping, Drug testing, Doping, Culture of denial, Tour 2006, Ullrich and the 2006 tour, T-Mobile, Ullrich and Godefroot, Davitamon-Lotto outfits, Pantani
  • 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 Index – The complete index to every letters page on