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Friday’s mailbag: The Armstrong/Simeoni rift

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, HOMETOWN and STATE, or NATION if you live outside the United States. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.The code of OmertaEditors,Has the “Blue Train” turned into the “Blue Wall of Silence?” Armstrong should not be making "zip the lips" signals in the pelotonregarding Simeoni. If

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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, HOMETOWN and STATE, or NATION if you live outside the United States. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.


The code of Omerta
Editors,
Has the “Blue Train” turned into the “Blue Wall of Silence?”

Armstrong should not be making “zip the lips” signals in the pelotonregarding Simeoni. If Simeoni told the truth in the Italian court aboutdoping, Armstrong is in effect condoning doping and blocking efforts tofight it.

The whole question will come down to whether Simeoni told the truthor whether he is the “liar” Armstrong claimed he is. I have probablylost some respect for Armstrong today.

Ed Shendell,
New York City

That’s what bosses do
Dear VeloNews,
Armstrong truly deserves the nick name “The Boss” after his impressivereeling in of Simeoni.

Nothing happens in the peloton without his permission.

Edgardo Reyes
Ypsilanti, Michigan

The guy deserved it
Editor:
Armstrong actions on Friday, chasing down Simeoni and forcing him toleave the breakaway, was certainly personal and vindictive. However,I can’t have sympathy for someone who has filed a lawsuit for the emotionaldamages caused by being called a “liar.” I mean, the guy is 32-years-old.I would call him a “baby,” but I am afraid that he might sue me as well.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Simeoni sues Armstrong for “restriction oftrade” for chasing down his breakaway, for “anti-trust violations” forwinning the Tour for six consecutive years, or “discrimination” for beatingtwo Germans the other day. Doping is a problem in sports, and itis commendable that a few athletes are willing to step forward. However,this lawsuit is not about wanting the truth to be told as much as it isabout trying to make some money.

Ferdinand Arcinue
Los Angeles, California

It’s time to go
Editors,
I used to be a fan.

After watching his limited successes over the past few years I’d grownweary of all the hype. The Tour de France isn’t the alpha and omega ofracing after all. As boring as this year’s edition has been, compared towhat it was expected to be, I have to admit that my esteem of his superiorityhad grown.

I was even excited for Armstrong, even though the fight for the whitejersey has been more exciting. That was until today. Today Lance actedlike a childish spoiled ass. To make the Tour a personal battle about thingsoff the bike makes it ugly. As ugly as the doping that surely still exists.At least the dopers are keeping it in their hotel rooms. He may be thefastest, but he will certainly never be a champion. I look forward to hisretirement.

Michael Burch
Denver, Colorado

How does this help?
Editors,
Here I was expecting to watch a cycling race, and I got a rerun ofthe “Sopranos.”

I have admired Armstrong’s career, from the rainy day in Oslo, to thededication to Casartelli in Limoges, to his incredible comeback. His bookmade me cry.

But now, I find it incredible that a yellow jersey chasing a marginal breakmay be explained as a “protection of the peloton.” This is mafia-like behavior,full stop. The fact he was supported by a lot of other riders inthis line of action, including the pressure from Cipollini to keep Simeonifrom even riding in the Tour, just makes me wonder if doping can be fought.let alone defeated.

Nicola Semboloni
Siena, Italy

The greats won’t criticize
Editor
I’m sure that Armstrong will get a bunch of criticism for chasing downFilippo Simeoni when he attacked, but I’ll bet you won’t hear any fromBernard Hinault.

Sure Armstrong’s actions were a bit petty, but Hinault was known tobe that way in his day as well and it didn’t earn him derision, it earnedhim the nickname “the Badger.” Armstrong was just showing that when itcomes to the Tour, he’s The Boss. If he doesn’t want you to win a stage,you’re not going to win a stage.

I think that the big question now is not whether Armstrong will comeback and win a seventh tour, the question is what kind of “hole” is hegoing to leave in the Tour when he does leave. It won’t be as bigas when Eddy Merckx left the peloton, but I’m sure that the Tour won’tfeel the same for awhile.

Mike Chavez
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Okay Lance, what’s the full story?
Dear VeloNews,
Regarding the Armstrong/Simeoni fracas in todays stage: Lance saidthat the press is preoccupied with just a small bit of the story.

He cites your (the media’s) fascination with the Dr. Ferrari trial andthe Simeoni defamation lawsuit as an example and says there is much moreto it than that. Lance claims Simeoni is trying to kill cycling from within.

So is there a full story? Is there more? Is Simeoni reallythe Benedict Arnold that Lance claims or not?

What, in short, is the deal?

Adam Bennett
Boulder, Colorado


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, HOMETOWN and STATE, or NATION if you live outside the United States. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.