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Mail for the week of April 1, 2002

VeloNews.com welcomes your letters. If you run across something inthe pages of VeloNews magazine or see something on VeloNews.comthat causes you to want to write us, drop us a line at WebLetters@7Dogs.com.Please include your full name and home town. By submitting mail to thisaddress, you are consenting to the publication of your letter. A guy who's been there enjoyed news from the gutterDear Editor;Michael Scherer says that the racing in Europe is much faster, longer,against fields over 200 riders, and it's fast from the gun: "no first hourof walking the dog like in the states." (see

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VeloNews.com welcomes your letters. If you run across something inthe pages of VeloNews magazine or see something on VeloNews.comthat causes you to want to write us, drop us a line at WebLetters@7Dogs.com.Please include your full name and home town. By submitting mail to thisaddress, you are consenting to the publication of your letter. A guy who’s been there enjoyed news from the gutterDear Editor;Michael Scherer says that the racing in Europe is much faster, longer,against fields over 200 riders, and it’s fast from the gun: “no first hourof walking the dog like in the states.” (see “Newsfrom a Belgian gutter: An American in Europe“)  I did three yearsof pro/am racing in Europe with the U.S. National team.  Admittedlyit was 1995 last time I raced a full Euro’ season, and the 1997 Peace Racewas the last Euro’ race I did.  Nevertheless, racing in the AmericanNRC and USPro Tour is rarely like walking the dog.  It is fastfrom the gun and there are often fields exceeding 200, especially in March. Ask anyone who rode the 2 hour Cannery Row Criterium in Monterey how thattongue dragger compared to an amateur or espoir race in Europe.  ReadHorner’s (no stranger to Euro’ racing himself) description of the Solanoroad race, for example.As far as distances (he says 160-190km is typical) I recall that theaverage French stage race averaged 140km a day.  We do have more criteriums,but the average speed of a major crit’ is similar to the final hour ofa Euro’ road race.   Perhaps Michael’s experience with Americanracing was insufficient, considering that only the top riders have thebudget and team management support to attend the majority of the NRC calendar. The only serious deficiency in the American road scene derives from somany U.S. stage races placing only one time trial, and that in the firststage.  This can have the effect of reducing aggressive racing inthe second stage road race, because the major players simply wait for theleader’s team to wear itself out first.
 
Everything else he talks about is absolutely spot-on.  Road conditions,frequency of races, distance to races, depth of fields.  His descriptionssound exactly like my diaries from 1991-92.  I remember a certainJunior World Champ, Evanshine, plowing into a sign seconds after we spoketo each other during the finale of a road race in East Germany.  Thatstage was over broken concrete roads with canyon width gaps running parallelto our direction of travel.  Some brave riders would advance positionor cut a corner by hammering down a village sidewalk at 45kph, throughblind turns and often straight through startled pedestrians or around theoccasional light pole.   19-year-old Freddie Rodriguez was topten that day.On another stage of that race (I think it was the Niedersachsen Rhundfahrt,when it was still 14 days instead of today’s 5 days)  we had to doa star shaped criterium with  three 180-degree turns.  Fast Freddiecame up with a plan for the whole US team to ride 50m off the back of ahorribly inept (cornering-wise) peloton for the entire race.  We didn’tbrake for the turns and saved tons of energy.  At 3 laps to go wepassed the whole peloton and I led Freddie out for the win.  I tookthe only win of my Euro’ career the next day in the mountains, and Freddiewon the field sprint for 4th.
 
At the Westfalen Rhundfahrt a young George Hincapie had a miserabletime.  After a few days only George, Freddie and I were left for theUSA.  We had to do a team time trial, and the World Champ German teamblew by us with 7 guys in perfect double disc wheeled formation. Jarek Bek (our Polish coach) was fuming mad that we used the TTT as a restday.  What did he expect us to do with 3 men against 7 man teams? On the last day George limped in half an hour after the main pack finished,and I’ll always remember Jarek’s comment: “that Hincapie, he’ll never bea pro!”  Little did Jarek realize that George had showed unbelievablegrit just to finish: he had a stomach bug and had to stop on the side ofthe road repeatedly.
 
At another race, Chann and I finished absolutely shattered.  (happenshere in the US too, if you grab the bull by the horns and try to win one). We got our room key and fell into bed without unpacking.  The nextmorning we had to drive a long way and we left before breakfast. We didn’t touch a thing, but the hotel owner told the race organizer thatwe trashed the room.  What little prize money we made was withheldby the organizer to pay damages.  That year Chann and I pledged toeach other not to take drugs if and when they were offered.  I alsoremember how badly he wanted to “make it” as a Euro-pro.  He workedhard at it year after year, and it was racing with a primarily USA basedteam (Saturn) that enabled him to get his big break, when he led the PeaceRace until the penultimate stage.
 
Hopefully the peloton is a little “cleaner” than it was back then,and Michael will have a better chance to shine than we did.  I lookforward to his next installment.John Lieswyn
7UP-NutraFig Cycling TeamPlease, sir, I’d like some moreThis was awsome writing (see “OCEO, CEO!  Wherefore art thou, CEO?).Please more.Andrew WellmanFans of the foaming rantPatrick,
 
No matter how bad a day I have you always bring a smile to my face.
 
ThanksBillPlease turn to page 43 in your HymnalsWhen I first saw the title ofthis column, I thought “You guys are having a religious studies column on the Bible on your website?  What’s going on here?”My confusion ended when I read the page.  Good column.Len GoodmanNow there’s a thoughtHi VeloNews,
 
How about some race talk?The spring classics are here, tchmil is down and out, which every othercompetitor at Flanders and Paris-Roubaix must secretly appreciate, andall a lot of your pseudo-intellectual
readers want to talk about is the literary pedigree of some of yourcanines there on staff.What gives?  I hope you are providing more than just an outletfor these journalist/editor wannabees?  Keep up the good work.
 
Scott Broaddus
Richmond, VirginiaSomebody has to provide an outlet for these journalist/editor wannabees,– Editor (wannabee)


Thursday’s mail
 Apples to Oranges?Editor, VeloNewsMaynard Hershon reveals far more about himself than he does the subjectsof his article on the classic French Lyotard “Berthet” pedals (see “NicePaperweights,” VeloNews, March 18, 2002, page 24).  Heignores the countless cyclists who rode those pedals for more than fourdecades.  He takes a swipe at The Rivendell Reader, whose greatestsin (apart from focusing on daily cycling instead of fetishizing racers)was to publish his work on a regular basis.He does at least admit that the Campagnolo pedals he preferred wereat least three times as expensive, but he would have you believe that ifyou didn’t have top quality racing parts, you were a loser.  Finally,he misses the point – both the pedals he
lambasts and the pedals he eulogizes were swept away by clipless systems.While I’m especially touched that Maynard has treated me as he wouldan old friend, I can only say, “Aw, you shouldn’t have.”Russ Fitzgerald
Greenwood, SCFitzgerald was the author of the original Lyotard article that appearedin The Rivendell Reader — EditorNeed more news from the gutterMichael’s letter of the his week of racing in Belgium (see “Newsfrom a Belgian gutter: An American in Europe“) was one of the mostinsightful pieces I have read about competitive cycling in Europe.Bring it on! Send more! Give us the skinny !Reading his letter made me go out ride like the wind just thinking ofbanging elbows with the Euro’s as well as cars and signs!Please do you best to get more from Michael and his teammates.A regular feature although might be difficult would go a long way toinspiring other Americans to get up the nerve to go race across the Atlantic.If we want another hero to watch in the tour in the next 5-10 years thatis how we are going to get one..Thanks again to Mike and the teamI look forward to more articles from Belgium.Gary Sanders
Denver CODittoHey, I loved Michael Scherer’ article.  Keep ’em coming.Also, your recent issue of VN about the last 30 years of cycling wasfantastic.  Some of the best stuff ever.Fred CraneNo, what I meant to say was…I did not mean to say throw the race, (See “No, it’s big teams thatare the problem,” under Monday’s letters, below)  but after youhave the overall and 3/4 of the stage wins, chasing down a break that hasno threat to the overall just because you can, is greedy.Professional cycling is more than just “sport.”  It is also verymuch a business.  If sponsors pull out because they don’t get results,there ends up being fewer pro teams, lower turnouts at races, and the racesfold, or at least the woman’s prize list diminshes and they get a shortcrit instead of a big road race.
 
That is just my opinion, I could be wrong.Mike Elmer
Davis CA


Wednesday’s LettersMissy, is it really worth it?For Missy Giove is the risk really worth the reward?  (see “Gioveto keep racing despite doctor’s concerns“)In a career that’s spanned over ten years and garnered just about everymajor title in the sport, what’s left to prove?
 
Missy has said that she is willing to change her approach to the sportas well as “back off just a little bit” to help avoid another serious headinjury.  Missy, if you have to change your style of racing, a stylethat has earned you the respect of everyone in the sport, is it reallyworth continuing?  In a race against the clock you have to go 100-percentballs-out the whole time if you want to win, if you’re willing to backoff a little so you don’t sustain another life (let alone career) threateninginjury then it’s probably time to reevaluate the reasons why you’reracing.Missy Giove has very little left to accomplish is the sport of downhill. If she bowed out now she could go out on top, an opportunity that veryfew professional athletes get.  She could go into coaching, youthdevelopment, equipment design, there’s a million ways for her to remainactive and be an ambassador for the sport.  Or, she can keep racingand risk another head injury that could taint an otherwise outstandingcareer.
 
Patrick Rocchi
Santa Rosa, CAA foaming rant is just that: a foaming rantDear Editor,In response to Ginny Oyhenart’s response (see Tuesday’s letters below)to Patrick O’Grady’s response to Mountain Cross: I don’t agree with oreven understand you’re outrage, but I’ll fight to the death for your rightto get all weird about it.Perhaps what you don’t realize is that the O’Grady piece is an editorial.Which, coincidentally, is also the class you’re letter is in. Now, whenI go to an editorial section of VeloNews or wherever, I know I’mabout to hit something salacious. I have to believe you knew what you weregetting into as well.An O’Grady editorial especially, is like when Little Joe punched someoneon Bonanza. It really shouldn’t take anyone by surprise; he’s done it beforeand it’ll be obvious when he’s about to do it again.The telegraphed swing in this case read, “O’Grady’sfoaming rant: Down with mountain cross.” Come on, you knew what wascoming.Why are “His religious references not only un-called for, but down rightignorant” and his “relating a biking sport to the likes of eternal damnationnot just ridiculous, but irreverent and offensive?” I say if you’ve gotthe rhetorical temerity to construct the argument, then you should do it.Let him quote anyone he wants. Articulation is a gift and, like all God’sgifts, we are obliged to exercise them. He even means for us to examinefaith and maybe ball it up and fling it, foaming rant style. God’s up tothe task of being questioned, which happens every time a sprinter has toclimb a col or a bikercross rider becomes one with a Beachwood.Modern faith seems so reactionary and quick to subdue turmoil, kindof like a peloton. But as God and every Belgian know: He who dares, wins.Tom Patten
Madison, WIA bit of health adviceIn response the letter written by Ginny Oyhenart about the O’Grady article.Lighten up.  You are going to die of stress at an early age.Paul Stein
Chicago, ILThe voice of reasonHi Patrick,Penny Davidson here.  Instead of “Amen”, I offer “Ahem.”I got my first look at MountainCross at Sea Otter also.  I feltlucky to be invited to announce for the weekend after not going to mountainbike events for quite a few years after retirement.I had just finished two days of downhill announcing and then ran upto check out the Mountain Cross venue with Larry Longo.  I hear whatyou are saying about being disappointed.  Both my body and my announcingwere aching for something more visceral, something that could pull morestory into the action, something more to draw out the drama of the racing. My mind flashed back to the Roostmasters and “Ride of Your Life” also.Sidebar – I just finished going through some of my VeloNews collectionfrom the early 90’s and ran across the coverage of ABC’s “Ride of YourLife”; although with the network coverage, prize purse and challenging3000 foot climb it did seem like a “Ride For (sic) Your Life.”I remember that race well.  I was psyched to be invited and evenmore relieved to not place last since my skills were stronger on the darkside.  That’s another reason I remember the Budlight Roostmasters;winning the female category and racing alongside the men not only burnedmy lungs but also boosted my career and ego for a while.Both were challenging courses.  As you stated, they mixed the hurtof the uphill with the daring and thrill of the down…or as you and Miltonmight say, the dark side.  A side that you seem to not embrace aswholly as those whose skills and genetics are both suited for and crave.But back to MountainCross, I applaud Eric Carter and anyone else tryingto recapture the attention of the media toward mountain biking.  Fortoo long, NORBA’s management of the sport has lacked an ability to appealto advertisers and television.  It’s a tough road to recapture theattention of the sponsors and television in this era of freestyle motox,skateboarding and snowboarding.So a few riders and promoters (and perhaps even NORBA, although I havenot been paying enough attention lately to fully know) are trying to finda solution.Perhaps MountainCross in its current genesis is not the final solution. But considering the current tastes of our culture toward sports where sponsordollars and television time are not as lacking, I put my money on sportsthat throw both the athlete and the spectator, “Hurl’d headlong flaming… with hideous ruin and combustion down….”To Eric Carter and other racers and promoters out risking their careersand bodies to find a solution, I say “Amen.”Respectfully,
Penny DavidsonIf you like mountain cross get out there and make some noiseDear VeloNews hounds,Let me first say that I did not attend Sea Otter.  Work and playhaving something to do with that.  That and the fact that the rainstorm that hit NoCal that weekend made Monterey not sound like a fun placeto be.As such I cannot comment on what happened in said race and Patrick O’Grady’scoverage of it.  If his report was accurate then so be it.  Ifnot, then maybe someone else should cover races in the future.  However,to read that a few racers who may be stars or not are mad is silly. Four-up downhill racing is NOT new.  The folks at Snow Summit weredoing it 10 years ago with Downhill Mania.  BMX kids were doing itin the 1970s in SoCal at Corona. This whole sport is evolving.  Folks– if you think that “gravity racing” is new and hip — you have anotherthing coming.  It has been done before. And from the sound of O’Graady’srant it is headed the same direction as before — downhill.If you (racers and fans) like something, say so.  Show up. Cheer for your favorite racers.  Yell at the racers.  Make somenoise.  All I can say is that if the only noise coming from the arenais blasting music from some 5 foot tall speakers then you have a problem. If you see a problem then maybe fix it.  You can make your sport better. The media is obliged to cover it as they see it.  If it is boringto them, then how can they get the average TV watching, coach potato inUpper Skagaway MI interested?Besides to all of O’Grady’s detractors I ask the following: if you thinkO’Grady is not fond of ‘Gravity Racing’ then maybe you should LOOK at hiscartoons a little closer.  The Old Guy Who Gets Fat in Winter is reallyloved by Mother Earth.  And he races!!  Ergo, he isa ‘Gravity Racer.’James Darlow
Sacramento CA


Tuesday’s Letters Surely, sir, you are not suggesting that…One of Monday’s letters a Mike Elmer wrote something about suggestingthat the Saturn women’s team should let some of the smaller teams win some.So I just want to ask Mike, if he thought they should throw therace? Cause, to me that is surely what it sounded like he was suggesting.Sorry, I just don’t subscribe to that notion.Ron Stanevich
Milton, WVYou don’t see that everydayYa know, that’s why I don’t subscribe to mountain bike mags any longer…theyjust never quoted Milton! (see “O’Grady’sfoaming rant: Down with mountain cross“)Excellent article, and I couldn’t agree more.Terry D Brown
Santa Barbara, CAUsually he just quotes Milton Berle — EditorGive O’Grady a raiseIt was great.  It is rare to read such intelligent wit anywhere,let alone in a cycling venue.  Keep him on.Increase his stipend.  Hats off to anyone who can quote Miltonin a cycling piece.I challenge him to next use some of recently deceased Harvard philosopherW.V.O. Quine, from his book “Word and Object” (MIT Press, 1960) p. 199who says:  “Mathematicians may conceivably be said to be necessarilyrational and not necessarily two-legged; and cyclists necessarily two-leggedand not necessarily rational.  But what of an individual who countsamong his eccentricities both mathematics and cycling?  Is this concreteindividual necessarily rational and contingently two-legged or vice versa?”Eric Snider
Toledo, OHO’Grady not just ridiculous, he’s  irreverent andoffensiveDear Editor,I’m extremely disappointed with your news service.Why on earth would you send someone with such obvious disdain for anykind of gravity sport to cover a Mountain-Cross event?  It’s not likehe got to Sea Otter and then realized he didn’t like what he was watching.His religious references are not only un-called for, but down rightignorant and your news service should be ashamed to have such irresponsibleramblings published on your site.  If O’Grady wants to express hisopinion of the sport, that’s one thing, but to relate a biking sport tothe likes of eternal damnation is not just ridiculous, but irreverent andoffensive.”…I’ve always felt there was something wrong with gravity sports,and with Easter just around the corner, I think I’ve finally figured outwhat it is. Down is to hell.”What?????  Where did you find this guy?  Were you desperatefor coverage after your real writer dropped out?  It wouldhave been better if you had sent no one at all.  I for one love thissport and I did compete in Mountain Cross and Dual Slalom in the Women’sAmateur class.  I may not prefer to road bike or race cross country,but I have tremendous respect for both sports.  The least you coulddo is send representation with the same respect.  No matter what disclaimersyou print about how the opinions of the writers don’t necessarily representthe opinion of VeloNews, it still ultimately paints your service in a terriblelight.This was poor decision making on your part.  You cannot absolveyourselves of responsibility with disclaimers – someone on your end stillhad to push the button to upload the article.  Unless an apology toall racers and fans of gravity sports is printed, I never again will looktoward your service for information.  Remember your competition doesa superb job.You should be ashamed and embarrassed.Ginny OyhenartReader attempts to look into O’Grady’s headI can hear you thinking, “Should I include the ‘sinister’ pun? Willanybody get it? Screw ’em, I think it’s funny.”I got it.Thank you. Keep writing.P. KroghOn the ideal USA Cycling CEOEditor’s note: Now that USA Cycling has seriously enteredthe hunt for a new chief executive officer, we asked our readers to makea few suggestionsof their own as to who should get the job, what sorts of characteristicshe or she should bring to the job and what tasks should be tackled first.A few of you have come up with some interesting ideas.Our fearless leader?Give it to (VeloNews Editorial Director John) Wilcockson, andlet him tackle whatever he thinks is first priority.We’ll mow em’ down one-by-one.Gerry Barber
Valrico, FLGood idea, but he’d never take a job that wouldn’t allow him to spendJuly in France. — EditorA frightening suggestionBob Roll.  ’nuff said.Andy GuthrieDarn! Now I’m going to have that image in my head all day.– Editor


Monday’s Letters It’s all downhill from here on outEditor:I’m sure you will get tons of letters about the pointlessramblings of Patrick O’Grady.  Four-man racing is the future ofour sport, if that hurts his little feelings, sorry, he needs to take hisblinders off.What does he think? Time will stand still for those who never imagineda bicycle leaving the ground?  If you are sent to cover an event O’Grady,earn your all-important check, and cover the event.  You never evengave the riders the respect of acknowledging the winners.If this is the type of journalism VeloNews is changing it’s formatto, please sign me up for a job to cover the boring, never changing, neverprogressing sport of road racing. That way, I can get a free trip somewhereto let roadies know how lame their sport is (apparently, they don’t know).Or, better yet, donate some of that cash wasted on sending that ungratefulsap to the best race on U.S. soil.Yes, riding uphill in those tight little outfits is hard, and sure it’sbeen around forever, but come on.  O’Grady, do us a favor; don’t everwrite anything that includes the words dirt, air, or gravity anymore. Thoseof us who’s idea of fun actually involves smiling and adrenaline, ratherthan suffering and looking at another guy’s skinsuit, would prefer yousaid nothing at all rather that waste of ink you called an article.One last comment, and you can delete my e-mail; you want to talk aboutriding into hell?  Let’s not forget the sport with its blatant disregardfor anti-blood-doping laws, who is that again, ah yes your beloved roadracers.Chris McGibbonMuzzle that O’Grady, will ya?Mr. O’Grady’s coverage of the Mt. cross was lazy, boring and generallylacked any creativity.  I’m not a fan of this endeavor of our sport,but how can you really dislike it?  His report sounded like some ofthe letters or articles VeloNews would publish in the early daysof mt. bike racing.  Gee, I bet those people feel really stupid now. Next time, spend your money and my time more wisely, and send someone whohas a genuine interest in this sort of thing.Robin SansomYes, he’s opinionated and, yes, he’s grouchy, but to be fair, hereally did do a racereport before he spouted off. — EditorDown with down..it’s BMX with bigger wheels.Couldn’t agree with you more about gravity sports, being a road cyclist,mountain biker, runner, orienteerer and Nordic skier (although I do enjoya little downhill every now and again).It could be a bit of the Calvinistic work ethic in me, but I think theagony of climb must proceed the joy of the downhill to find the properbalance in life; pain before pleasure, work before play, etc.  Ormaybe I’m addicted to the mix of endorphins and adrenaline.  Whateverthe explanation, my philosophy has always been If you can’t get there onthe price of you’re own power, it ain’t worth it at all.
 Glenn Mohler
Lancaster, PAOn O’Grady and PantaniThanks for not listening to those who would take all the alternativeviewpoints out of your coverage and giving us more of O’Grady.  Henever fails to entertain and I was especially pleased to read his commentsabout the Roostmaster.  I watched several editions of this event beforeit’s demise, and to my mind it was the most exciting spectating I’ve everexperienced in Mt. Bike racing.On another front I’d like to agree with Jeff Landauer’s opinion thatPantani would be better off to let his legs do his talking.  I lovedto watch him launch his unanswerable attacks on the mountain slopes inthe 90’s, but every time he opens his mouth he loses a little more respect. I was interested to see that at the C-I this weekend Mr. “nothing special”Armstrong put 1:40 into him in 3 days.  That should translate to about30 minutes in a three-week tour.Unfortunately for Marco, he will never have the chance to take on Armstrongagain in Le Tour as, from my viewpoint, it seems pretty certain he willnever be selected to ride the tour again.
 Steve Farris
Silver City, NMO’Grady and Pantani… what a combination. We’ll at least they’reboth bald — EditorFan mail from the home frontRoll and O’Grady make New Mexicans proud.Matthew Purcell
Somewhere in New MexicoWas he preachin’ to the choir?Amen, brother!Raymond McCoyIt’s not dope that’s the problem… it’s radiosEditor:We all talk about doping all the time. Doping this, and doping that.Moral outrage, blah blah blah….It’s not just doping that is the problem. If it’s possible to monitorathletes and performances down to the last little part, and control it,we will. This is the real problem. I am not sure why this is. We shouldfocus on the athletes, as humans striving for the best that they can be,not as little RC cars with little purple upgrade parts.I think radios, used by teams to communicate to the riders are killingour sport. Since they came in- racing has been booooooooring. Now, it’sboring on OLN TV.Hey, I still watch it, but still, the life has gone out of races. Wehave the scripted first k attack (thanks to Jacky Durand for this new mandatoryprocedure), and then the BIG TEAM chase-down, and then some attacking,and maybe someone will win. Yaaawwwnnnn.I liked Lance’s whole acting thing in last year’s Tour because it wasa deliberate poke in the eye to this problem. Hey folks- what happenedto knowing what’s going on up the road?Everything is controlled down to the last pedal stroke. All sports andsportspeople these days are being turned into robots, with little upgradeableparts (aka doping). Athletes are being selected for their VO2 Max’s andnot their ability to win races, or think on their feet. Don’t think, justdo like I tell you…..The UCI should outlaw race radios, in my humbug opinion, along withall of their other Elizabethan measures.Thanks,
Regis ChapmanNo, it’s big teams that are the problemWhy is the Saturn Women’s team bad for woman’s cycling?Very simply put, they are the 400 pound gorilla at every single racethey enter.  They are the World’s number one team, and they hog everypodium spot at every race they do.Sponsors do not want to hear “We had a strong race, and got a great5th place!” Sponsors want victories.Take a ‘for instance:’ The Saturn woman had this year’s Solano classicwrapped up with two stage wins and the top 3 on the podium!  Do theyprotect the lead on the last criterium and let another team share a littleglory?  No, they take 1-2 in the piddly little criterium, too.A second ‘for instance:’ Last year’s Sea Otter; Anna Millward won threestages and the overall, and one of her teammates, Ina Teutenberg, won the4th stage.   The Sea Otter is one of the biggest races in America,certainly best televised and Saturn dominated every aspect.  How manyWomen’s teams folded over the winter from sponsor’s pulling out?The Saturn Women’s team is made up an amazing group of athletes. However, to be a great champion means realizing that when the big goalis accomplished, throw a few scraps to the rest, i.e., some times you needto take a back seat and let others get a little glory for the sake of thesport.Perfect examples are Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong.  Bothof them have won the big prize, the overall in the Tour, and several stagesalong the way.  But have shown generosity in sometimes not contestingthe victory for the stage.  In 2000, Armstrong was even too generousand didn’t win a stage until the penultimate stage.  He didn’t evencontest the biggest stage, Mt Ventoux, when the victory was right therefor him to take.Anyway, for the sake of the sport, once you have the big prizes, sharethe wealth and don’t contest every single finish!Mike Elmer
Davis CABut then if they didn’t contest every finish it wouldn’t bea sport, now would it? — EditorBuild your own CEODear VeloNews,The next CEO at USAC should be part Operations Manager, part Marketing
Director, part P-R and Promotions whiz, and part legal eagle. He shouldbe earnest and trustworthy.He should temper action with wisdom. He should pursue potential relationshipswith current USAC members, while not being afraid to make cold calls. Heshould blend charisma with passion. He should be willing to travel andlisten. He should focus on education as well as promotion at all levels,and work to create a system of competition, development, and retentionthat will yield consistent growth in all four cycling disciplines.If the new CEO can neutralize politics and elitism within the sport,he should be successful in his efforts to make cycling a viable sport forthe public. Ultimately, he should show the world that cycling is fun, healthy,safe, and cheap, and the benefits of competition will last a lifetime.Richard Wharton
Dallas, TXYeah. That’s not asking for much, is it? — EditorOne simple task is all he asksDear VeloNews,The CEO should avoid making shortsighted penny-pinching moves that hurtclubs and riders, such as putting the entire North Atlantic and East regionsunder one person.  Even Superman couldn’t handle the load, so is anyonesurprised that no one answers the phone or answers our mail?  Bringback our North Atlantic rep!Jeffrey S. Poulin


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