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Mailbag: Praise for Phinney, Leipheimer and Barry and the risks of predictions

Do you want to contribute to Mailbag, a regular feature of VeloNews.com? Here's how: Keep it short. And remember that we reserve the right to edit for grammar, length and clarity.Include your full name, hometown and state or nation. Send it to webletters@insideinc.com.

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Do you want to contribute to Mailbag, a regular feature of VeloNews.com? Here’s how:

  • Keep it short. And remember that we reserve the right to edit for grammar, length and clarity.
  • Include your full name, hometown and state or nation.
  • Send it to webletters@insideinc.com.

The dawn of a new era?
Dear Velo,
All who were paying attention knew this ( see “Phinney wins pursuit gold at worlds”) was eventually coming, but nobody really knew it was coming so soon.

Congratulations to Taylor Phinney and his family, this is indeed a huge victory for them as well as American Track Cycling. The Phinneys are true class acts, and Taylor already has the on-camera candor of a superstar. Wishing him all the luck, I get goose bumps thinking about what he may be able to accomplish in the future.

Now the challenge will be to take on Wiggins and move on to Boardman’s record … but for now, he can wear stripes!
Dave Mathias
Seattle Washington

The not-so-dark horse?
Dear Editors,
It’s kinda ironic that all the focus at Astana has been on the “Lance and Alberto Show” while Levi has been not so quietly racking up the results. It’s your time to shine Levi – GO FOR IT!

See you in July.
Neil Hickey
Lake Stevens, Washington

A Michael Barry fan
Dear Velo,
Michael Barry’s diary covering Milan San Remo was a great piece of writing. The visual images it created put me in another world for the moment.

Thanks for that moment.
Bill Bridges

The risks of pre-race predictions
Note: We received this email in response to Andrew Hood’s article “Milan-San Remo: Can Cavendish
get over the Poggio?
” posted in advance of this past Saturday’s 100th edition of Milan-San Remo.


Dear VeloNews,
A catchy title, but it’s a non-starter of a question. Cavendish won’t even be around with the race leaders at the Poggio unless he’s being towed with a bungee cord (something I’ve often wished for).

He is very fast (so is Robbie, but he can’t race much beyond 200K’s), but he’s no Erik Zabel. I recall Zabel flatting out on a key climb in the TdF, getting a new wheel, catching back up to the very diminished lead group, still climbing, and then going on to win the stage. Incredible. Unique.

Cavendish has a long way to go to get to that level of riding. I applauded him for showing up, and I hope he enjoys the day, but I think suggesting that he has a chance is unfair to the young rider.

When Basso drops the hammer well before the Poggio, Cavendish will feel like he’s riding backward.
(Name withheld out of simple courtesy)
Corvallis, Oregon