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The mail bag: Gord, Chauner and listen up Rogers!

Dear VeloNews;Wasn't Nicole's death enough? Now Threshold Sports has to ruin Gord's career!(see “Why Gord Fraser and Health Net won't be in Philly" by Charles Pelkey -June 2, 2003)Gord Fraser had every right to go for the $250,000 bonus. Not only did he have to experience Nicole's death, but he also had his chance for thebonus taken away.Having known what tremendous pressure and hard work it required to get to get a team and a rider to that point and all the emotions that we all went through on September 17, 2000, I can only express support for Gord’s position. It is sad that this is what has

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Dear VeloNews;
Wasn’t Nicole’s death enough? Now Threshold Sports has to ruin Gord’s career!(see “Why Gord Fraser and Health Net won’t be in Philly” by Charles Pelkey -June 2, 2003)Gord Fraser had every right to go for the $250,000 bonus. Not only did he have to experience Nicole’s death, but he also had his chance for thebonus taken away.Having known what tremendous pressure and hard work it required to get to get a team and a rider to that point and all the emotions that we all went through on September 17, 2000, I can only express support for Gord’s position. It is sad that this is what has become of all of it.Threshold Sports should be ashamed. I am completely shocked.Suzanne SonyeSonye was a Saturn teammate of Nicole Reinhart. – EditorThis could have been avoided
Editors;
Threshold, BMC and USAC have known about this problem for two years, instead of working for a solution, they have chosen to make the problem worse. Threshold should solve the problem, as it is not going to go away just because they will not allow Health Net to race. Philadelphia is the USPRO Road Championships, how can an American teambe excluded?USA Cycling should not allow this to happen. They are the governing body and need to step in to protect the integrity of the sport. Their job is to protect the sport and improve the environment to help the sport grow.They are failing to do their job. Threshold is trying to use bully tactics by excluding the team, a new team that the sport desperately needs. The Health Net team was invited previously, so the team should race period. The lawsuit should be settled on its own merits in court.You don’t see the NFL excluding the Raiders from competition or the Super Bowl just because the team is suing the league.John WordinWordin was director of Fraser’s Mercury team during the 2000 season. – EditorIf they ban Health Net, who de we boycott?
Editors;
It might be worth learning a bit more about the sponsors Threshold is counting on to make their events a success, so that we can apply some pressure.A national championship should be a national championship, with all of a nation’s best riders going at it hammer and tongs.Ron Sinclair
Redondo Beach, CALet the lawyers lawyer and the riders ride
Dear VeloNews.com;
I believe that it is in the best interests of cycling in the U.S. to allow the Health Net Cycling team to participate in Wachovia Week.Understanding that legal disputes bring about hard feelings for everyone involved, I hope that the parties can put aside the legal wrangling and do what is best for a new sponsor to our sport (Health Net), the cyclists and cycling fans.I know that the good people at Threshold are bigger than this and have always done what is best for the sport. Let the lawyers fight it out – let the riders race.Eloise Romais
New York, NYThen why make the other Health Net riders pay?
Editor;
As a lawyer and a cyclist who loves to follow racing, I am nonplused that a promoter would disinvite an entire team of talented riders because a private dispute exists between one rider and the promoter.Of course I am not privy to the intricate facts of the lawsuit, butas presented, the lawsuit’s issues have no relationship to the current races from which Health Net is disinvited. It seems like way too much spite and malice on the part of the promoter with little thought to the good of the sport. As a spectator, I want to see the best race, not the promoter’s personal favorites.Giny ChandlerAn open letter to David Chauner
Dave,
I just read the article in VeloNews on Gord not being invited to the Wachovia week races.While I can not know all the facts on this case, as you appear reluctant to make them public, some things are pretty clear. You are hurting Health Net, you are hurting all of Gord’s teammates, and, worst of all, you are making cycling look unprofessional and petty.Frankly, the more one analyzes this, it becomes clear you are not evenacting in your own best interests. If your case is sound, then you should have no problem on your day in court. Let the facts come out in the public view as they may. Let the judgment of your position be done impartially and professionally. You should have nothing to hide, if your actions are just.Using race invitations as retribution against Gord is wrong, no matter how one views it. You are doing a great disservice to cycling. And, even if you prevail in the BMC series legal proceedings, you have a decidedly better chance of losing in a second legal action against you for failing to invite a major U.S. team to Philly, as the basis for doing so, clearly stated by you to VeloNews, is linked to this “gag order” and pending legal action. No judge is going to look kindly on this, as it would appear you are taking the law into your own hands.In addition, we will put pressure on the USCF and the UCI to change the agreement with your organization so that you do not have this kind of power which you are so obviously ill-suited to wield.I suggest you reconsider the maturity of your decisions so far on this matter. Such capricious and immature actions would never be allowed in other professional sports in the U.S. This tarnishes the image of cycling, and will do irreparable damage to everyone’s efforts to attract sponsors to cycling.Steve Wright
USCF RiderUnintended victims
Editors;
I feel sorry for the Health Net riders and staff being excluded from this country’s biggest races. In a sport that is struggling for sponsorship of any kind, the Health Net Corporation should be treated as a savior and given more than the benefit of the doubt.While I feel sorry for the Health Net team including Gord Fraser, I do not blame the promoter. No one has forced Gord Fraser to sue the promoter. He made that decision on his own free will. In fact, he might be very justified in the lawsuit and could very well prevail. However, as we live in a very litigious society, one of the things we forget is there is a consequence to pushing our disputes into court. The defendant has as many rights as the plaintiff and they can use whatever legal means they see fit to prevail.In summary, court should be used as a place of last resort as the consequences can be unintended and hurtful to individuals that are not even part of the dispute.Respectfully,
Craig ZimmermaniRide, therefore iDeaf
Editors;
In regards to “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood: iRide,” Neal Rogers condones riding on open roads with headphones, even though he agrees that it adds additional risk, and that “safety is clearly a concern.” Screw safety. I say we all yank off our helmets and throw them at the next Hummer that goes by, plug in our iPods, close our eyes to the groove and hit the expressways.Oh, I almost forgot the pre-ride EPO injection. It would surely make cycling more attractive to kids.I say if Mr. Rogers can’t find enough inspiration riding through the mountains around Boulder without listening to AC/DC, etc., he should hang up his cleats and play video games on the couch.Eric Collander
Oberlin, OhioWe went to tell Mr. Rogers of your concerns, but we couldn’t get his attention. He was sitting at his computer, working on his next column, plugged into his iPod and moving his head to what we think might have been that “Very Best of Cher,” album he bootlegged from Andrew Juskaitis. –Editor



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