Friday’s mailbag: Magnus, Alessio, live updates and that dopey rant

The Mail Bag is a regular feature on VeloNews.com, appearing each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 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.Magnus is magnificentEditor:Incredible. Please tell Mr. Backstedt (I believe he’s entitled to be called mister) his entries are riveting. How he competes at this elite level and is able and talented enough to compose such gripping tales could

The Mail Bag is a regular feature on VeloNews.com, appearing each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 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.


Magnus is magnificent
Editor:
Incredible. Please tell Mr. Backstedt (I believe he’s entitled to be called mister) his entries are riveting. How he competes at this elite level and is able and talented enough to compose such gripping tales could cast doubt on the great job you folks do without a bike.

Last night, Houston Chronicle sportswriter Dale Robertson gave a very nice talk on the TdF, supported with video, yada-yada. The two-page story by Mr. Backstedt was more telling on every level.

I’m just saying, watch yer back, dude. And keep up the good work.

Bob Smith
Houston, Texas

We’ll pass the word along to Magnus, Bob. But you’ll excuse us if we’re a little less effusive. We’d like to keep working here. – Editor

What’s with the wheels?
Editor:
As the proud owner of a Bianchi Veloce (celeste, of course), I am obviously thrilled that they are sponsoring a team again this year. The picture of Magnus Backstedt and his diary entries have been fantastic. One question though – in the beautiful photo published on May 9, I noticed something curious: Alessio is a co-sponsor with Bianchi; why is Magnus sporting Campagnolo wheels?

Greg Sessler
Madison, Wisconsin

Greg, we believe Alessio is interested in selling automobile wheels through their connection with the cycling team. You can learn more about the company at www.alessio.it.– Editor

Loves the updates . . .
Editor:
Your live updates of the Giro are fantastic. They contain just the right mix of information and humor. In your stage-3 update, I loved the comment that Mazzoleni must have had a picture of Jacky Durand taped to his handlebars. Very funny! Keep up the good work.

Christopher A. Kall

. . . hates the updates
Editor:
I am really surprised you would waste (my) computer screen space with such a low-life, egotistical comment from some American who obviously doesn’t truly understand big-time cycling. I can just as easily go to another site for a more professional commentary.

Rob Hinton
Canada

We suspect Rob is on about Bradley J. Mortensen’s e-mail suggesting that we host a contest to guess (a) how far Ivan Quaranta will finish behind the leader on the next mountain stage, or (b) who will sign him next year. But then again, we make so many low-life, egotistical comments ourselves that it’s hard to keep track. – Editor

Why do you think they call it dope?
Editor:
Friday’s rant was pathetic. You need to raise your standards.

Scott Loder
Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania 

Okay, Scott, how about this for a contest? Guess (a) how far O’Grady would finish behind all-time-leader Hunter S. Thompson in a substance-abuse contest, and (b) who will sign him next year. Assuming he’s capable of operating a pen, that is.–Editor

Tangential, yes; pathetic, no
Editor:
I don’t think Friday’s rant was pathetic; tangentially related to cycling, maybe, but who gives a shit? Smoke dope, drink bourbon, ride your bike – in whatever order you’d like. Keep your laws off of my body.

By the way, anything that starts off with a Jim Harrison quote automatically becomes more important.

Josh Fairchilds
Redlands, California

Harrison is good, isn’t he? I met him, briefly, after a reading and got him to sign my copy of Warlock, a book I learned later that he despises. So much for my literary taste. His collection of essays, Just Before Dark, is one of my favorite reads; I go back to it again and again to see how the big dogs bark. And here’s another good quote, this time from E.B. White, that’s right on the mark (in my case, anyway): “Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays.” – Patrick O’Grady


The Mail Bag is a regular feature on VeloNews.com, appearing each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 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.