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Friday’s mail bag; George, Lance, Greg and more

The Mail Bag is a Monday-Wednesday-Friday feature on VeloNews.com, but will appear daily during the Tour. If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have seen in cycling, in VeloNews magazine or on VeloNews.com, write to WebLetters@InsideInc.com. Please include your full name and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.Is the fix on?Velo,Regarding George’sprediction of the race(s) outcome I wonder if is going to have theSupreme Court fix the tour too. Bill WilliamsDavis, California Compare and contrastEditors,We are fortunate indeed to stand

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The Mail Bag is a Monday-Wednesday-Friday feature on VeloNews.com, but will appear daily during the Tour. If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have seen in cycling, in VeloNews magazine or on VeloNews.com, write to WebLetters@InsideInc.com. Please include your full name and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.


Is the fix on?
Velo,
Regarding George’sprediction of the race(s) outcome I wonder if is going to have theSupreme Court fix the tour too.

Bill Williams
Davis, California

Compare and contrast
Editors,
We are fortunate indeed to stand witness this year to a pair of suchmonumental competitions – the 2004 Tour de France and the 2004 US Presidentialelection. In one case, we admire a true leader whose skills set him apart,who commands the respect of the citizens of many nations, who respectstraditions and gives tribute to his worthy competition, and who has alwaysdelivered on his promises.

And, then we have George Bush…

William Pittock
East Windsor, New Jersey USA

Go George!
I’m probably in the smallest minority in the country right now, becauseI’m hoping Bush will win and Lance will Lose. Do I think either willhappen? Unfortunately, no.

After today’s stage to La Mongie, Armstrong again appears to be thestrongest in the race. On the other hand, I don’t think Bush truly realizeshow many voters really dislike him, distrust him, or simply thinkhe’s a bonehead.

Statements like Bush made guaranteeing a victory smell like the naivebravado put forth by a certain Gilberto Simoni before he got his (behind)handed to him on the first Alpine stage of last year’s Tour.

Here’s on voter hoping Bush “represents” better than Gilberto.

Paul Danek
Denver, Colorado

Time is money
Editors,
The only benefit to being unemployed during Bush’s jobless economic”recovery”?

More time to watch the Tour.

Christopher Stammer
Arlington, Virginia

Apples and oranges
Dear Velo,
Has Lance ever predicted he would win? That’s one differencebetween Lance and Our Esteemed Misleader.

The other difference? Well, Lance actually DID win the Tour.

Cheers!
Ted Diamond
Seattle, Washington

Strength through adversity
Dear Velo,
Bush and Lance will both win this year.

There are similarities between the two. Both faced devastating momentsin their lives. Heck, we all faced a devastating moment in our lives on9-11-01. The true character of a man and a nation is shown when you lookat the action taken immediately following a major catastrophe. You canlook at Lance’s resolve to win after beating cancer. What sticks out inmy mind is the instant courage and resolve Lance showed after hooking theyellow spectator bag last year. At a time when many would be resolved toan unfortunate fate, Lance simply refused to give up or capitulate. Infact, he seemed to gain strength. Even after facing the setback of thefall, he racked himself on the bike when he slipped. To many, that wouldstop a racer in his tracks. Not Lance. Lance absolutely and resolutelyrefused to quit or give up. No matter the odds, no matter the pain, Lance,with courage and will beyond most people’s understanding, stormed up themountain and devastated the minds of his competitors. He knew he wouldwin. He knew he had to win.

President Bush, after witnessing the murder of three thousand innocenthard working, kind, hopeful, compassionate Americans also had a singleresolve in his mind. He knew that he had to win against terror; he knewthat America had to win against terror; he knew the world had to win againstterror. Bush has just as steely a resolve to stop terrorists and mass murderersas Lance has to win the Tour. Thank God Bush has that will. Thank God forall humankind.

With the war still not over, imagine not having a leader with the resolveof a Lance Armstrong? Imagine if Lance had stood at the side of the roadlast year and started a debate with the bystander? Imagine how Lance wouldfair in the Tour if he was not decisive. Imagine Lance without the courageand resolve he possesses? How effective would he be?

Without courage, dedication, and resolve you can not win the most importantraces in life. Without courage, dedication and resolve Lance would lose.If America does not have the courage, dedication, and resolve that Bushhas as our leader then we stand to lose much more than a race. We standto lose lives. We stand to lose a civilized world to one of mayhem, disarray,and anarchy. One major weapon, one nuke, and a whole city can be lost.If the nation chooses poorly, we stand to lose much more than our pridein our political party, we stand to lose family and friends, and belovedfellow Americans.
Bush will win. Lance will win.

David Haug
Madison, Wisconsin

You have to win once to be able to repeat
Dear VeloNews,
Bush, you didn’t even win the first election. Only a Kerrydoping scandal can help you now.
Alex Smith

If one is tied to the other…
Velo,
If his prediction is destined to come true, though, all I can say is” Go Ullrich!”

Matt Cowgill
Seattle, Washington

Tour de Electorate
Editors:
I think Bush and Kerry should have a bike race to determine the presidentialwinner. I think Kerry would win in a landslide- after all, we always getto see him in pictures driving around in his bike (can we get any informationabout Senator Kerry’s ride?).

Paul Levine
Chicago, Illinois

That’s easy, Paul. Senator Kerry rides a custom-built Serotta andPresident Bush a Trek mountain bike presented by none other than Lancehimself. Both have recently had enough mishaps to have blended in nicelywith the first week of this year’s Tour. – Editor

Greg has his reasons
Editor:
Greg LeMond is smart enough to know that his comments would createan uproar and that people would slam him as being anti-Lance.

So why did he say what he said? Maybe because he has a conscience; somethingthat seems to be lacking in sports today.

Paul Swenson
St. Paul, Minnesota

Don’t shoot the messenger
Dear Velo,
I have immense respect for Greg LeMond, not only as a great championbut as a sportsman and decent fellow. He did and continues to doa great deal for bicycling. I would not be too quick to second-guesshis knowledge or his judgment. He not only knows more than most of us do,but has nothing personal to gain from the current controversy (he has norecent or forthcoming books as far as I can tell).

Lance has claimed in his book and elsewhere, “I never tested positivefor a banned substance.” Sounds like he consulted his lawyers beforemaking that statement. It is just another reminder that in today’s high-dollar,high-stakes competition, every detail is attended to with meticulous care…unless of course you are Richard Virenque or David Millar.

J. Nagiecki
California


The Mail Bag is a Monday-Wednesday-Friday feature on VeloNews.com, but will appear daily during the Tour. If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have seen in cycling, in VeloNews magazine or on VeloNews.com, write to WebLetters@InsideInc.com. Please include your full name and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.