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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Letters to Cyclingnews - August 19, 2005

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 letters@cyclingnews.com.

Recent letters

Ned Overend
Guidi positive
What is going on at Phonak?
Ullrich's riding style
How about credibility from both sides?
Lieswyn's gesture

 

Ned Overend

In a world of over-hyped and often ridiculously self-important athletes, it's refreshing to read about Ned Overend. I've never met the man, but I'm impressed by his desire to race at the highest level, maintain a balanced, healthy life, and be demure about his clearly phenomenal talent and record. Bravo and happy birthday. He's a great model for all us aging cyclists and young ones alike.

Phil Robinson

Waterloo, Canada
Thursday, August 18, 2005

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Guidi positive

So the Phonak Hearing Systems team has announced that Fabrizio Guidi has tested positive for an unspecified banned substance. I wonder what the UCI and Grand Tours organisers are waiting for to ban that team from cycling forever. They changed the management from top to bottom, good, but what if the problem lies elsewhere. I believe Phonak Hearing Systems, as a sponsor, made a big mistake.

They thought a huge budget was all they needed to win right from their debut in the world of cycling, putting a lot of pressure on their riders to get immediate results. I'm sorry, but building a great team takes years of hard work, planning, recruiting, and even some luck.

Look at the US Postal/Discovery team, just to name one, but there are many examples out there. Telling your riders to stay clean then asking for results outside their reach, or for too much too soon, seems to lead to many 'positives'. We know it's probably not the management. I might be wrong, but it can't always be the riders. Correction: it can't always be the PHONAK riders. Maybe it's time to get rid of what is, if not a cancer, the laughing stock of professional cycling.

Keep up the good work and thanks for many years of wonderful cycling coverage.

Ivan Messaggi

Italy
Wednesday, August 17, 2005

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What is going on at Phonak?

Four riders positive for doping in a period of a year at Phonak - I'm sure management will claim that they have no knowledge of what is going on, but that line is beginning to sound a bit disingenuous. Are Phonak the Festina of the new century?

Ben Maziarz

Gillette, Wyoming
Thursday, August 18, 2005

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Ullrich's riding style

I am sure Jan's riding could be improved in some way but do you really think that the highest paid cyclist in the world (yes, L.A has retired so Jan is now #1) would be as lax in his training as some people would have us think? Come on, we all know that Ullrich is seen as one of the biggest stars in Germany so I think he would pay a little more attention to his riding style than just simply jumping in the saddle and pedalling.

Tim Lee
Saturday, August 13, 2005

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Ullrich's riding style #2

Exactly what is there to improve on Ullrich. What is wrong with his record? A Tour de France winner, world time trial champion, plus multiple podium finishes at the Tour De France. He just happened to ride the Tour at the time the greatest Tour rider did. Really, where is there room for improvement? He was a member of the East German team time trial. It's just at the Tour de France he couldn't beat Armstrong. There really is no shame in that. Let him be happy with his success. He has a record any rider in the world would kill for.

Brian Polhemus

Spencertown, NY
Saturday, August 13, 2005

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Ullrich's riding style #3

I would like to disagree with "Felix". Over the years I've seen Jan Ullrich's style change quite a bit. He now has a higher cadence then he did when he won the Tour in '97 and he also seems to have developed a great deal more power.

It's always easy to blame the second place man for not being better than the first place man. Let's not forget that Jan has raced against a man who has set what will probably remain an unbeatable record of Tour de France wins while, I believe, himself setting a record number of Tour podium finishes.

Maybe his break with his long time girlfriend and his new training regime with perhaps a lot less time for fun than in previous years left him unhappy and unmotivated. Perhaps it was better for him to let go in winter and then have to work very hard to come back into form for the Tour. Or perhaps more likely, the truth is that over the years his strengths and weaknesses have become better known to his competitors and they have developed strategies to take advantage of those weaknesses and minimize the advantages of his strengths.

In the end Jan Ullrich has demonstrated that he was number two for so long only because of the presence of Lance Armstrong.

Thomas Kunich

San Leandro, CA, USA
Monday, August 15, 2005

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How about credibility from both sides?

The WADA budget Summery for 2005 is 23,207,349. WADA states 60% of that amount is for research. Given that amount of money, it seems competent reseachers could have been hired. The IOC provides nearly half that amount to WADA.

Where is the outrage from the IOC upon learning the highly touted EPO test results were invalidated by a triathlete? Where is the outrage from the companies and people who support the IOC?

WADA, through it's mouthpiece Dick Pound, keeps claiming it's tests are 100% accurate. How many times does WADA have to be proved wrong before innocent athletes stop being accused of doping?

If an athlete doesn't have the means to fight faulty test results, the athlete has a reputation shattered, a life disconnected from a dream and only the self satisfaction of knowing there was no cheating.

From where does WADA and the IOC acquire money? From the public, by taxes or donation. WE, the people are subsidizing these organizations. WE are not receiving a quality product. Write to every committee in your country that supplies the funds for bogus tests (in the USA: Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, led by Sen. John McCain) and every company who donates/sponsors the IOC. Just think which advertisers; Coca Cola, VISA, CSC, for starters.

Cheating by athletes should be abolished. Mispresenting test results is unforgivable, the worst form of cheating. Until accurate, 100% accurate tests are really available, stop this sham.

Sharon Quinlan
Saturday, August 13, 2005

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How about credibility from both sides? #2

In response to Mr. Gates' comments - I couldn't agree more.

Certainly there is a drug problem in cycling. But cycling is a sport in which more effort is being done to catch the cheaters than any other.

What appears to have occurred is that, those pursuing the cheaters have become so sure of themselves that they no longer question their own perhaps selfish motivations. Obviously you don't want to lose the cooperation or the sympathy of the fans from which so much money flows via sponsor's advertising money. And equally obvious, you don't want to give the cheaters the idea that the tests can be successfully challenged on technicalities.

But when we are treated to the statement, "I know a positive when I see one," from the WADA representative - a statement that would be laughed out of any court in the United States - I find it difficult to view the direction the drug testing is taking without some serious misgivings.

Tom Kunich

San Leandro, CA, USA
Monday, August 15, 2005

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Lieswyn's gesture

For the first time in several years, Health Net's John Lieswyn didn't toe the start line at the Tour of Kansas City this past weekend. But his absence, due to a broken pelvis, didn't slow his efforts to nuture participation by the sport's youngest riders.

Lieswyn (a Cyclingnews.com diarist) donated $500 in primes to the junior race at the Overland Park Criterium. The announcement of his generosity drew an enormous round of applause. It also serves as a reminder that we should all give something back to the sport we love.

Sean Weide

Chief Referee, Tour of Kansas City
Monday, August 15, 2005

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Recent letters pages

Letters 2005

  • 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
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