1. VeloNews / Mailbag / ASO v. Astana: Readers react

ASO v. Astana: Readers react

By VeloNews.com • Published

The Mailbag is a regular department on VeloNews.com. If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have read in VeloNews magazine or on VeloNews.com, write to webletters@insideinc.com. Please include your full name, hometown and state or nation. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Writers are encouraged to limit their submissions to one letter per month. The letters published here contain the opinions of the submitting authors and should not be viewed as reflecting the opinions, policies or positions of VeloNews.com, VeloNews magazine or our parent company, Inside Communications, Inc.


Au revoir to Le Tour
Editor:
I want to thank the ASO for giving me some free time to spend with my family in the month of July. Banning a restructured team, team management and team riders that had nothing to with any of the Astana fiasco of last year’s Tour is nothing short of ludicrous and shows just how politically motivated professional cycling has become.

After watching and admiring the Tour since Laurent Fignon won it in 1983, I no longer want to be a part of it. Count me out!

Martin McCreary
Atlanta, Georgia

Ditto
Editor:
It was nice knowing ya. But excluding the arguably best stage-race team in the world makes a mockery of your so-called “grand” tour. I’ll not be watching this year, unless you come to your senses (which I very much doubt you will).

Thom Falter
Westby, Wisconsin

ASO’s decision is outrageous
Editor:
This is the issue of letting the past influence the present. Banning Astana is cutting the legs off of men who are making a living and supporting families from the riders to the support crew. This is almost enough to make me want to not watch the TDF at all!

I am simply glad that I have started to follow triathlon more often, no one seems selfish there, just simply glad to be working. Outrageous, Prudhomme! Learn to play well with others!

W. Andrew Corbin
High Point, North Carolina

No wonder bull riding gets more TV time
Editor:
Cycling is truly eating its young. ASO is barring Astana and three podium winners from competing in any of its races because of violations from former riders? Sounds more to me like pique at the current management.

Pro cycling, while I dearly love it, has reduced itself to the level of pre-schoolers squabbling in a sandbox, peeing in their drawers, and whining loudly over the wet gritty discomfort. Hopefully someday the sport will return, but right now, manipulating the races by banning competitive teams makes it as credible as WWE.

Maybe Versus has it right to show more bull riding – it seems to have less bullsh*t and more sportsmanship.

David Parish
Houston, Texas

ASO is destroying cycling
Editor:
What can be done to prevent the ASO from destroying cycling (not excluding dopers)? Not inviting the champion is a slap in the face of fans and supporters of any team.

Eric Sigmon

ASO shot itself in the foot
Editor:
One of the things ASO seems to have ignored is the vast media interest, especially in America, regarding the Tour. By excluding Astana they have basically wiped out considerable interest (and dollars) from a North American audience that is more interested in following their own exports versus the other global riders.

Let’s be realistic. The Tour is a media property and this is all about money. They just killed half of a global audience and probably reduced the European one as well. Will sponsors step up to the plate and write huge checks if the audience for their sponsored team is in doubt? I doubt it.

Ego and the battle between the competing interest groups for the control of cycling just reared its ugly head, and these buffoons have probably shot themselves in the foot as well. When the audience drops so does the value of their property. Not very clever but c’est la vie.

David Wilson
Oakville, Ontario

Teams should boycott ASO races
Editor:
I would love to say that I am surprised by the ASO’s decision, but I am not. As a lifelong cyclist and devotee to the Tour and any other cycling race I can tune in, I am truly disappointed. The ASO seems to have made a game of their pursuit to control professional cycling worldwide. They have long realized that their yea or nea can make or destroy a professional team and they are completely abusing their power. Making riders suffer for something they were no part of is simply stupid.

The invited teams should support their brethren by boycotting the race and truly reducing it to the French national championship the ASO feel it should be. I for one will turn off the Tour for the first time since touching a handlebar; I can not support in any way fools of this sort.

If anyone has a better idea of how to impact the ASO financially (because I believe this is the only notice they will respond to) so they have motivation towards fair practices, please let me know, I will join in the ranks.

Mike Gann II
Richmond, Virginia

Teams must unite
Editor:
It would be nice if the other teams would unite and all decline an invitation to the Tour this year. I am becoming so fed up with cycling. My initial excitement of the upcoming Tour de Califorinia has been setback by this decision. ASO must go.

Chris Schultz
Medford Lakes, New Jersey

Sad day for pro cycling
Editor:
Do the folks at ASO truly believe this is in cycling’s best interest? At a time when the resolve to’clean up cycling is at its zenith they make this ridiculously arrogant decision, which does nothing to help the sport.

I went to the 2005 Tour de France and had hoped to see another one. But instead I will probably “ban” the Tour and their other events from my vacation possibilities.

I have told friends the Tour was the greatest sporting event I have ever attended because of the training, mental preparation and resolve required just to finish, and because the best riders, and the best teams are there.

A very sad day for professional cycling.

Ed Tiles

This power struggle is obscene
Editor:
So Astana is the Unibet of 2008? I wish the ASO would stop taking us for fools with their talk of ethics. Their power struggle with the UCI is obscene. I would beg Mme. Bachelot to call them to order. Otherwise, sooner rather than later, there will be no sponsors, no TV and no fans.

Sophia Maris
France

One more act in the farce
Editor:
The Tour, as well as the Giro and the Vuelta, will continue to have an asterisk next to them as long as they refuse to invite the best-quality riders in the world to their events. If there’s a clean, fair testing procedure in place, why would they hesitate in asking the best teams to come to their events? It’s ridiculous, and for sure viewers will turn away, and these events will suffer even more as a result.

But this type of European political back-and-forth has dominated cycling for years, so this is just one step in the farce that has become professional cycling. It’s a shame for the rest of us who live to watch these great athletes.

Scott Stoll
Moline, Illinois


The Mailbag is a regular department on VeloNews.com. If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have read in VeloNews magazine or on VeloNews.com, write to webletters@insideinc.com. Please include your full name, hometown and state or nation. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Writers are encouraged to limit their submissions to one letter per month. The letters published here contain the opinions of the submitting authors and should not be viewed as reflecting the opinions, policies or positions of VeloNews.com, VeloNews magazine or our parent company, Inside Communications, Inc.

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