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Letters to Cyclingnews - May 29, 2002

Here's your chance to get more involved with Cyclingnews. Comments and criticism on current stories, races, coverage and anything cycling related are welcomed, even pictures if you wish. Letters should be brief (less than 300 words), with the sender clearly identified. They may be edited for space and clarity. We will normally include your name and place of residence, but not your email address unless you specify in the message.

Please email your correspondence to

This week's letters page is, unsurprisingly devoted to the 'interesting' events of the past week and your take on them.

Recent letters

Go Cadel
Tyler: Cycling Demi-God
Bob Roll's comments
Does it matter?

Go Cadel! #1

Just a quick note to pass on to Cadel. On behalf of all the weekend MTB hacks that aspire to your greatness during our winter FTF / Kinglake rides, best of luck.

Following you every step of the way on the Giro through cyclingnews. Can't wait to see you strut your stuff up Passo Pordoi! Go get 'em!

Richard Leslie
Tuesday, May 28, 2002

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Go Cadel! #2

A bit of a repeat on a letter I sent in some time ago regarding Cadel Evans , recent form in Italy shows I'm still on track though.

A few years ago I saw a junior going around at a national MTB race here in Queensland, he was turning laps which would have won him the senior/pro race and won by somewhere close to 15 minutes. He impressed the hell out of me, the way he sat a bike, his style....everything said this kid has class.

I said then, to anyone who would listen that this kid will be Australia's first TdF winner. I was offered another beer and told to wake up to myself, after all he was a mountain bike rider, not a roadie.

Since then he's just got better and better. I was overjoyed early this year to see he had gone to the road full time and with a team which would let him full-fill his potential.

Again I say, this kid from Katherine will be our first Tour de France winner. Doesn't look such a stupid statement now does it?

Dave Arnold
Emerald, Australia
Monday, May 27, 2002

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Tyler: Cycling Demi-God

Forza Tyler! Congratulations on being the third American ever to win a Giro stage. We are very proud.

Barry Johnson
Monday, May 27, 2002

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McEwen #1

Wake up Antony. Professional Cycling is not just about personal glory. It is also about getting the team sponsor up there on the podium so they get maximum exposure for the dollars they invest. This is what Robbie and Mario did well this week at the Giro. If you're like me in Australia, then you have probably followed the Giro on because there is none on TV.

The Lotto-Addeco team knows this also, and that's why they pulled him from the Giro, so you and I will be able to see him (hopefully) win a stage of Le Tour, which I will be watching on TV.

I think Robbie has the ability to finish a Grande Tour. He is definitely not scarred of the mountains as he proved a few years back when he hung around to win the last stage of Le Tour.

Danny Hennessy
Wollongong, Australia
Sunday, May 26, 2002

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McEwen #2

The guy is in the best form of his life and has finally got the team support he deserves. By pulling out of the Giro, it shows that he has got bigger fish to fry, why not save yourself for the Tour de France, I'm sure if Cippo was racing the tour, he too would pull out. Hey, even Armstrong is saving himself by not racing the Giro. Anyway, which gets more attention, finishing the Giro or winning a stage in the tour? Think about it!

Anyway how about Evans in the tour, top 10 in the Giro and he could quite easily back it up in France!

M Tirabassi
Mt. Gambier, Australia
Sunday, May 26, 2002

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McEwen #3

The only reason McEwen is riding the Giro is because he was obliged by the team's manager. He quit after 10 races to prepare for the TdF.

Dries Goutsmit
Saturday, May 25, 2002

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Bob Roll's comments #1

Bravo to Bob Roll for speaking the truth!! It's refreshing. Had commentators been as forthright about the drug problem years ago, perhaps the situation would not be so extreme today.

Brian Lafferty
Monday, May 27, 2002

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Bob Roll's comments #2

Bob may have put things rather harsher than me, but I couldn't agree more with the theme of his comments. Chris Boardman was alongside David Duffield during the commentary on the Fleche Wallone race and very succinctly put Pantani (and Duffield) firmly in place - Duffield for his on-going ambivalence to the cycling cheats. Chris said " I don't know how he has the cheek to even be in the peloton," let alone make nasty comments about other riders and teams! The time arrived three years ago for everyone to say it has got to stop and penalties for those detected must reflect the determination of our sport to clean up - or we will lose the big sponsors! A six month ban during the "close" season is a joke! If it means races must be shorter (and possibly slower) so be it.

Malcolm Hargreaves,
Colchester Rovers Cycling Club, UK
Sunday, May 26, 2002

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Does it matter?

Why are so many people saying they are becoming disillusioned with cycling as a result of the doping. The people who should really be concerned are the riders and teams. Why don't the spectators just enjoy watching, what difference does it make to them? The spectators are not having to race against doped athletes. At the end of the day, spectators want to see exciting racing, watch the spectacle of hundreds of cyclists flying down the road. If I put two races side by side, one completely clean, the other with a few doped riders, for the spectator there is no difference in enjoyment. Don't take a couple of recent incidents with top riders out of context. Riders are still racing, you can still watch. Stop moaning about the doping problem, let the authorities deal with that and enjoy watching cycling again.

James Hewitt
Saturday, May 25, 2002

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Generally it passes through a body system within 10 hours, hence the time results from a non-negative, to a "clean" test result.

The two dope test samples are taken at the same time, and labelled with codes to identify each sample, one "A" one "B."

PDM Sports

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Doping #1

Put the decisions in the hands of the riders? You mean like the rider who buys ampoules from somebody he's never seen for a huge amount of money only to have it revealed later that they contain salt water? Or the rider, great as he was, who 'assisted' himself so much that he died in a mountain stage? Or the riders whose haemocrit levels were so high that their blood was described by doctors as 'like sludge'? Or the riders who froze new recruits out of their teams because they refused to take drugs?

The decisions used to be in the hands of the riders - that's why we got into the appalling state which the national and international authorities are trying to drag our sport out of. OK - maybe the pendulum has swung a bit too far with last year's Giro raid, but giving the control back to the riders would be like putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse.

Chris Whiley
Monday, May 27, 2002

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Doping #2

It's May so we must be talking about doping at the Giro

I have to start by saying I'm just a fan. I like following the races and I enjoy riding my bike. That said, the drug controversy at the Giro just kills me. Garzelli's problems especially. I can think of three scenarios, all of which suck. I'm sure there are more. I don't know enough about pro cycling to be comprehensive.

1) He doped. That was too bad, I really enjoyed watching him ride and I want to believe it was talent plus hard work and sacrifice.

2) He was sabotaged. That would be even worse. To have what he did be ruined by some jerk.

3) He was negligent. Not careful enough in what he was eating/drinking. The suck metre is heading off the scale.

For some reason, I wasn't shocked about Simoni. Maybe I'm just numb.

I do have to say that in spite of this I can still admire cyclists. To put all the work into what they do, and to put up with this. They must really love to ride. I hope it gets better.

Mike Gates
Colorado Springs, USA
Saturday, May 25, 2002

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Doping #3

Here we go again. Yet more doping scandals hit the cycling world. That is it. I have had it with professional cycling. No, I have had it with professional cyclists. I love the drama of a well timed attack, the majesty of the peleton and the way those boys zip up the mountains. But enough is enough. I will continue to support the bike manufacturers I like but as for the cyclists, forget it. No jerseys, no items endorsed by any cyclist, NOTHING. When Gibi won the Giro last year, I researched the steed and ultimately purchased a Fondriest. I know the bike got to the finish line without substance assistance. I can't be sure of the rider anymore. Cyclingnews needs a new page--riders disqualified in each race and or what substance. For you professional cyclist that have skills most of us riders dream of--you are pathetic.

Sean Jones
Superior, Wisconsin
Saturday, May 25, 2002

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Recent letters pages

  • May 24 - Pantani, Probenecid, LeBlanc, Bob Roll, Garzelli, Simoni, Giro, McEwen
  • May 17 - Eurosport, Worst Tour in 20 years, Who now for second place, Radios, Coming to NY, Saddle tags
  • May 13 - Eurosport, Worst Tour in 20 years, Who now for second place, Radios, Coming to NY
  • May 6- Eurosport, Live coverage, RAI for free, Amstel Gold, Bike Tech a waste of time?, Radios, Hincapie
  • April 26 - Eurosport, Armstrong's tax problem, Johan Museeuw, Shelby Crit, Podium Girl
  • April 19 - Cipollini, 30's Classics Club, Eurosport, Paris Roubaix - a touch of sanity, new site design, Armstrong's tax problem, Freddie's "Quiet" Classics Campaign, Sports Crimes, Roubaix winner Johan Museeuw, Hincapie
  • April 12 - Cipollini, Armstrong's Tax problem, Love the new site design, Lieswyn a class act, Tour of Flanders, Agilis test, Atrial Fibrilation
  • April 4 - Cipollini and Paris-Roubaix, Milano-San Remo Live, To the top of the Mont Ventoux, Lance Armstrong Article, Cyclists as second class citizens, Marcel Wust, Atrial Fibrilation, Raybestos Brakes Advertisement , Question Regarding knee patches, Roland Green winning the Canadian Athlete of the year , Lieswyn diary on Valley of the Sun
  • March 28 – Cipollini, Milano-San Remo Live, 50km Madison Championship, Cyclists as second class citizens, Motorcycle/cameraman, 96 Atlanta Road Team, Baby Boomer, Raybestos Brakes Advertisement, Tour De France , Lieswyn diary on Valley of the Sun, Milano-San Remo Live, Marcel Wust
  • March 23 -Vasseur comments, Motorcycle/cameraman, Sponsored teams, 96 Atlanta Road Team, Insurance and police costs
  • March 14 -VDB, Vasseur comments, Cross-over champs, Langkawi, Hernias, Paris-Roubaix
  • March 7 - Cross-over champs, Press to blame?, VDB & doping, Langkawi, Hernias, Paris-Roubaix
  • February 28 - Tour de Langkawi, Olympic cyclo-cross, rest heart rates, domestiques
  • Valley of the Sun special edition, part 2
  • Valley of the Sun special edition, part 1
  • February 19 Tour de Langkawi, Olympic cyclo-cross, rest heart rates, domestiques.
  • February 8 - Where's Greg?, Road rage rampage, Team listings, Who's the best climber? Canadian 'cross selection, TV Coverage of Worlds 'cross championships, Worst Team Kit
  • January 31 – Vasectomy and cycling, Road rage rampage, To edit or not to edit, Worlds selections, Simoni vs Armstrong, ugly kit, reader poll
  • January 24 – Worlds selections, Simoni vs Armstrong, ugly kit, reader poll
  • January 18 – About the poll, Acqua&Sapone, Canadian athlete of the year, Lance & the Spring Classics, Mystery Aussies, Broken Hips
  • Letters Index – The complete index to every letters page on