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Saturday’s mail bag: Olympic pick, Foaming Rant, Greg, Lance and spittin’ fans

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.Numbers don't lie, do they?Dear Editors,I guess I'm in the minority of those who can't quite figure out howUSA Cycling totals its points. (see "Withsingle-point margin, Haywood gets Olympic nod ")I went to the UCI website and as of

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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.


Numbers don’t lie, do they?
Dear Editors,
I guess I’m in the minority of those who can’t quite figure out howUSA Cycling totals its points. (see “Withsingle-point margin, Haywood gets Olympic nod “)I went to the UCI website and as of July 14th, Mary McConneloug wasranked No. 2 in the world and Sue Haywood was ranked No. 4, separated byquite a large margin, way more than the 15 points USAC said Sue was owed.

Isn’t USAC going by current UCI point standings? Does UCI not know howto add? Does USAC have a special totaling that UCI doesn’t get? How canthe woman’s Olympic berth be decided by 1 point, seemingly out of nowhere,after a year of racing? The woman who just finished on the podium at aworld cup isn’t going to the Olympics? This is a travesty. This is classicUSAC bullshit. They somehow show their incompetence ever season with somemajor blunder or another, and here we go again. I’m sure there is a reason,but I wouldn’t be surprised to see TREK on some sponsors list at USAC.

Sue is a good rider, but there is no way she’s going to podium or Top-eightat the Olympics and that’s seems to be USA Cycling’s whole purpose. Mary,on the other hand, has just placed second in a world cup and is rankedNo. 2 in the world, proving her ability to rise to the occasion at a Worldlevel. I don’t get it. I haven’t had a USAC license for years and now I’mglad. I won’t be getting another one ever again. I would encourage everyother rider, blown away by this whole process, to turn in their licensesand hope for some privateer group to take over as our national governingbody of cycling.

These bureaucrat and coaches just prove how out of touch they are everyyear. It’s too bad that really good athletes who make major financial andphysical commitments aren’t treated with the respect they are due.

Todd Christy
Chilmark, Massachusetts

Alas alack, Todd. You’re looking at the UCI standings as of July 14. The fed counted points for the 365 days up to and including July 12. According to the Fed’, it did make a difference. – Editor

Rant fan
My sentiments exactly, Patrick (see “Friday’sfoaming rant: Something happens”).

So far, watching the Tour has been like watching the last two Star Warsmovies. Rich heritage, lots of promise, but halfway through them, you lookup and ask – why am I watching this? It isn’t the least bit interesting…
Then comes stage 12, and you remember why you were interested. Okay,everyone can wake up and start watching the Tour now.

John O’Rear
Versailles, Kentucky

Keeping quiet
Editors,
O’Grady’s polemic made me laugh so hard I had to go into the otherroom and shut the door.

Well done.

Christopher Scott
San Francisco, California

That’s what you get for reading this stuff at work. – Edtitor

If it was gift, why say so?
Editors,
Well, just when I was about to sort of start respecting Lance again,I open today’s newspaper and read that Lance has stuck his Texas sizedboot into his arrogant mouth. Again.

Ivan Basso and Lance both rode great races on La Mongie. Basso establishedhimself as a bona fide Tour contender and not just another pretender. Lanceleft his hyped rivals in a withering heap and his sixth is now a real foregoneconclusion.

You’d think that Lance would have learned just to keep his big arrogantmouth shut after the firestorm he created the last time he “let” a rivalwin on a big mountain stage.

Think again.

On Friday he said, “It was a pleasure to let him (Basso) win. He wassuper strong.” (see “Bassoedges Armstrong for win at La Mongie”)

It’s okay to make a gesture, motion your rival to the front fifty feetfrom the line, shake his hand, then glide off and as a public statementof respect, not contest the sprint. The whole world sees this and knowsexactly what it means. But Lance was still racing and then afterwards hesays, well, “I just gave it to him”.

I’m waiting to hear Basso tell us that Lance said, “You take it, bro”.If I do, then I’ll change my mind. If not, Lance is once again a publica jerk and probably more importantly, one that has no respect for his rivals.

Dick Howard
Salem, Virginia

Greg don’t attack an icon
Editors,
Can Greg LeMond stop for one second and consider how many millionsof people worldwide, suffering from cancer, view Lance as their Messiah?(see “Armstrong’disappointed and dismayed’ at LeMond’s criticism“) Armstrong cameback from the dead and is an inspiration to cancer patients every momenthe stays upright on that bike.

Does Mr. LeMond know the impact of what he says, without any evidencewhatsoever, on those millions? Does he realize how much time, effort andmoney Lance contributes to the cause of cancer research, treatment andcare? Accusations without evidence are damaging, not only to Mr. Armstrong,but to the people and cause he has dedicated so much.

Like Lance, I greatly admire Mr. LeMond’s accomplishments on the bike.Those accomplishments do not give him free reign to make unsupported accusations.I thought the rules were innocent until proven guilty.

Chris Busbee
New York, New York

Spittin’ mad
Hi Editors,

I hope this gets some attention – perhaps in this Tour particularlyit is important for the press to remind the fans of moderation.

Cycling is a great sport – and there are great fans. But sometimes afew lose perspective on things and let their fanaticism for one rider orone team get the best of them. Several folks have noted that some idiotson the side of the road spat at Lance Armstrong. And idiots like thesearen’t limited to Europeans, Americans or any particular nationality orany particular rider’s fans. Let the tour be a race of the riders, notsomething impeded by fanatic fans who wish to impose their will upon therace itself.

Mike Sung
Illinois


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.