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On Gerdemann’s comments, the CVV cover and lifetime bans

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Pots and Kettles
Re: Gerdemann criticizes Armstrong comeback

Now the Germans have every right to be upset about the recent doping cases surrounding their fellow countrymen.

Do they have to bash Armstrong for coming back because he is of the same generation as those involved in the Festina scandal and other admitted confessions of rampant systematic doping in years past? How about Riccò and other “new generation” dopers — I mean cyclists? Are they any better?

At least Armstrong has never been found guilty of doping. And if he is intent on coming back to the peloton with such transparency and the will to win again, my only suspicion of Armstrong is that he in fact won cleanly in the past.

How do you say “Pot Calling the Kettle Black” in German?
Jacob Balderas,
Portland, Oregon

More on Gerdemann’s comments

I like Lance but I’m no Lance worshiper, but give the guy a break already.

Linus Gerdemann’s complaints that Lance’s comeback is somehow tainted from cycling doping past is ridiculous. Doesn’t he read the newspapers?

Hello! Riccardo Riccò, Stefan Schumacher, Bernard Kohl!

Cycling’s doping present is bringing enough damage to an already tainted sport. Lance has never tested positive and he was tested thousands of times. If I was one of Lance’s teammates that got caught doping (which were numerous) I would have turned him in in a heartbeat and cashed in on the book deal.

As for cycling’s doping future, Germany isn’t helping. The first signs of trouble, they cancel races and refuse to televise important cycling events. In America teams like Garmin-Chipotle and Team Columbia (formerly Deutsche Telecom) have the right idea by their testing programs and their total non-doping philosophy.

Because of these efforts cycling is growing in America with well-attended tours and new events opening even after dope scandalized tours.

Whining about the past and cutting and running from cycling doesn’t help anyone
Stephen O’Halloran,
Boulder, Colorado

On lifetime bans

I read one reader’s e-mail comparing a lifetime ban to “one-and-done” scenarios which are completely different. More correctly, it would be like not allowing convicted pedophiles around children, alcoholics around beer, or abusive fans at sporting events.

A two-year ban is not enough of a deterrent. These clowns keep doping year after year, messing up all level races of the sport we love, giving it horrible publicity, and robbing the best cyclists of the rewards and accolades they deserve.

How much of a consolation is it for the three guys who moved up one slot on the podium in Paris a year after Floyd Landis was stripped of his title (assuming for the moment he doped), or for the runners up to Piepoli, Riccò, Schumacher, and Kohl in this years’ Tour, who never got to step onto the podium and grab their flowers and stuffed lion and to spray the onlookers with champagne?

When it comes down to it, these guys are stealing hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars from the people who deserve to win based on natural ability and training.

Doping in professional cycling is nothing at all like looking over your classmate’s shoulder to note that the answer for #22 is “C”. It is more like stealing the answer sheet from the teacher’s desk for every examination for the entire year. It is time to get rid of these jokers for good because they are making a mockery of the sport. At the very least there should be a lifetime ban from the race in which you were caught cheating.

Another point the same reader made was that “But does that give us the right to take away their entire future when they fall short of our expectations? Try to keep some perspective, it’s just a bicycle race. And consider to some it is their lifeline to making something out of their life — let’s not forget the outcome with Mr. Pantani.”

This point really irked me. They attempt to win at all cost to satisfy their own egos and pocketbooks. And if a rider gets depressed because he is not good enough to ride in the professional peloton or win great stage races, there are plenty of other people in the world who are very happy doing much less glamorous jobs, like working the cash registers at Wal-Mart. And to plead that this is many cyclists’ chance to make something out of their life? Please, get real It’s not like these guys come from some underpriviliged ghetto.
Christopher Grady,
Leesburg, Virginia (and Duryea, Pennsylvania)

Likes the CVV cover

Kudos to VeloNews for putting VDV on this month’s cover. Now all you have left to do is make him North American Cyclist of the Year!
Colin Turner
Homer Glen, Illinois

Best wishes to the Farrars

I know this letter is a little late in the “news” sense but I wanted to state our sadness at hearing of Ed Farrar’s accident.

My son and I met Ed and Tyler through Team Washington a local amateur road and track team. At that time it was obvious that Tyler had an eye on a goal loftier than the other juniors but was always encouraging to his teammates both junior and senior.

Ed, in his gentle matter, advised us with riding techniques and training ideas. He was a strong rider and cross county skier.

We hope for his recovery and are thinking of his family.
Tim Griffin,
Reed Griffin,
Seattle, Washington

Editor’s Note: Thank you, Tim and Reed, and we are sending our best wishes to the Farrar family, as well.

As of Thursday afternoon, Dr. Farrar was listed in serious condition at the Central Washington Hospital. Police told the Wenatcheeworld newspaper that the driver in the accident will be cited for second-degree negligent-driving.

The Farrar family is asking that in lieu for flowers, supporters make donations to the Wenatchee Valley Velo club. The club’s address is P.O. Box 1991, Wenatchee, WA 98807.

A morning ride report

This morning was cold and foggy … drippy trees, dripping eaves, wet road … it was headlights on even after the occasional thinning in the fog showed the glow of the early sun. Jacket cold and run the defroster to keep the windshield from fogging up …. here and there an SUV dashing through the fog oblivious of the rules of physics.

Got off the freeway at Cabrillo and couldn’t see the next bend in the road … the last few days of 80 deg temp and here-and-there warm east wind are gone … and gone with them the horde of riders out in the morning enjoying that matchless morning sunshine of an Indian summer on the central coast. Cabrillo was ghostly this morning … billows of fog snaking among the palm trees and along the empty sidewalks .. no dog walkers, no ladies out for a morning jaunt, no joggers, no homeless shuffling their shopping carts along and the bike lanes were empty.

The mind’s eye can see, movie-like, the pages of the calendar flipping away and the year settling into winter and cold mornings better spent under the covers …. “Oh, I don’t WANT to get on a bicycle” … “GET UP, you lazy dog,” says your inner voice …. now it’s time to get some new long gloves, find the missing toe warmer, is that a hole in the right leggie, this year I’m getting an undershirt and another long-sleeved jersey …. “Oh, it’s too COLD to go for a ride!”

But still you get up, add layer to layer, steel yourself for that bitter nip at your eyes when you start
moving and then, a mile down the road, it all doesn’t matter too much … let those idle sods huddle under their comfortable blankets … you’re out with friends and ears burning with cold, are climbing that hill …. but it does take an adjustment and today was a reminder … time to steel yourself for gray blinky days and mud on the road … time to start paying the fare for the passage to that morning when you look out the bedroom window and see the butter yellow sun that says spring
and long, gorgeous days ahead.
John Lorelli,
Ventura, California

Note from VeloNews Editor in Chief Ben Delaney: Glad you like the cover, Colin. We all liked that photo a lot and Christian deserves the attention. The VeloNews staff is bumping heads as we speak, deciding who to name the North American Cyclist of the Year, which will announced in the January issue. For the next few days VeloNews.com readers also can vote for their choice on the homepage poll.

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