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Thursday’s mailbag: Blackwelder responds and more

VeloNews.com values your opinions and welcomes your letters. If you runacross something in the pages of VeloNews magazine, hear of something inthe world of cycling or see something on VeloNews.com that causes you towant to express an opinion, dropus a line.Please include your full name and home town. By submitting mail to thisaddress, you are consenting to the publication of your letter.Blackwelder responds to USADA ruling and suspensionDear VeloNews(see "Blackwelderreceives 8-month suspension") Funny thing, for the last three yearsI've spent countless hours developing a women's team

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VeloNews.com values your opinions and welcomes your letters. If you runacross something in the pages of VeloNews magazine, hear of something inthe world of cycling or see something on VeloNews.com that causes you towant to express an opinion, dropus a line.Please include your full name and home town. By submitting mail to thisaddress, you are consenting to the publication of your letter.


Blackwelder responds to USADA ruling and suspensionDear VeloNews(see “Blackwelderreceives 8-month suspension“) Funny thing, for the last three yearsI’ve spent countless hours developing a women’s team in an area that hadnone. I’ve raised enough money that I now have two women’s team. I coach15 women, and will field two teams for this years Women’s Challenge.Last year I organized a fundraiser in which Team Goldy’s raised 10,000for the local YMCA to purchase weight equipment for use by persons withdisabilities. Again in May we raised $1000 for the arthritis foundation.We gave winter training seminars to the public, held women’s bike handlingclinics and gave a race tactics clinic. We visited over 20 elementary schoolsin Boise to spread the word on bicycle safety and to talk about racing.Through all of this, I have had to beg for any kind of media attention,to tell of all the positive things I was doing in cycling.Now I am foundpositive of a substance that is the center of controversy, known tobe found in unmarked supplements and I have media every where I look.I do not mean to sound bitter. It is just sad to me, that all the hoursof my life I’ve dedicated to trying to make the sport I love better, andmore accepted in the community may all be lost behind a faulty system thatclaims to be “protecting the athlete and the integrity of the sport”.I will continue with my teams, with my coaching and with my communityinvolvement. Team Goldy’s was started to “Inspire growth in women’s cycling”,and it will continue to do this. Some of the best memories and friendsin my life are from cycling and this event can not change this fact.My comment on USADA, USA Cycling and the UCI is that it’s sad that theywill hide behind the umbrella of the IOC in making their rules, even whenthey know the system is flawed. They will all stand around and point tosomeone else, so that they will not have to be the one to change it. Irealize that this is only one aspect of what these organizations do, I’msure there are many other aspects in which they excel, anitdoping is justnot one of them.You may have noticed I did not defend myself, nor claim my innocence.I believe my actions in cycling over the past 15 years have already donethis for me.Sincerely,
Brooke Blackwelder
Boise, IdahoBut officer, these are for my dog…

Dear VeloNews;

I am a police officer In Illinois, and I am getting really sick of allthe excuses that these cyclists are making in regards to “non-negative”tests. I have heard more original stories from some of my arrests.

The first I heard about was the one cyclist from the Saeco team I believewho said the drugs were for his wife to get pregnant. My wife and I arecurrently using drugs to increase the chances of pregnancy and I don’tcarry them around with me. (The drugs in question were actually discoveredin a search of the rider’s home — Editor)

Next Frank Vandenbroucke and his dog, and now Simoni and his trip tothe dentist. At least Garzelli isn’t making up some stupid story he isjust taking what is coming to him regardless of how the chemicals got into is blood stream. With the way that doping is perceived in cycling today I am surprised that riders like Simoni don’t question their doctors or dentists for that matter as to what is being put in their bodies knowing that any questionable substance is going to be looked at.

Kevin Kiddle
Lindenhurst IL

A happy reader

“McEwen takes stage in another strange day at the Giro”, has to be oneof the best articles posted in the past five years for your web page. I have been following the euro-races by your site’s articles rather religiouslyover the years and have grown hungry for articles with more substance aboutthe race like this one. It was a good read, even after I just watchedthe stage on OLN. I am glad to see it; and I hope that more fulfillingarticles like this one are on the way. Tyler tunes is a hit too!

Please, ditch the weekly rants…in short…they suck…like a beta-maxcopy of a Denis Miller Show re-run from Nineteen ninety t’ who cares.

Scott Guyett
Anaheim Hills, CA.

Enough is enough

That’s it, enough is enough, doping has gone waaaaaaaaaaay tofar in cycling.

I was totally disgusted at reading today’s headlines about Garzellibeing sent home after testing positive, and Gilberto Simoni testing Positivefor crack. CRACK?
What was he thinking at the time? I mean, he clearly wasn’t thinkingthat he would be caught.

But, didn’t he realize he would be caught sooner or later? Intoday’s dope tests, there is no way that you can get away with any substancethat is banned, or
disallowed. There is just way to much research. Also, whattype of example are Garzelli, Simoni, Pantani, and others setting for youngerand aspiring cyclists?
That it’s Okay to dope as long as you’re not caught? I had somuch respect for Simoni for winning last year’s Giro clean. Now, I haveno respect for him, or any other rider that dopes. And hopefullyno one else does.

Sincerely,
Ryan Murdoch

We need more information

Dear VeloNews,

As reported, there is not enough information to make an informed decisionas to whether or not Simoni is in anyway guilty of sporting fraud. Forexample, if the positive cocaine test were the result of routine Novocainuse by the dentist, then he should be exonerated – end of story. In this scenario the reports of positive cocaine use would be relegatedto the “sensationalist” category particularly since Novocain has not yetbeen mentioned in your reports.

Given that apparently, his dentist acknowledged “medical” use of presumablyNovocain Simoni is likely to be innocent. On the other hand, if indeedSimoni is a crazed cocaine addict, then he should be subjected to intensescrutiny. My understanding is that cocaine is indeed a stimulantand which could perhaps be construed as an ergogenic aid. Thanksfor the sounding board.

Alex Ng

What’s good for the wasp is good for the dentist

If you are not allowed to take something for a wasp sting as JonathanVaughters couldn’t in last year’s Tour de France, why should a guy suchas Simoni be allowed to go to the dentist without repercussions.

Wayne Methner

What’s good for Garzelli….

Well if Garzelli is out for his drug test them Simoni should be outfor his!

A positive is a positive and an excuse is an excuse!

Dan Davis
Bend OR.

Strange words from Mr. 60 Percent, no?

While I am gratified that Bjarne Riis is taking such a strong and vocalstand against doping in the sport, I can’t help but think that his commentsare a little ironic considering that his nickname in the peloton was ‘Mr. 60 Percent’ for his elevated hematocrit count.

Cheers,
Paul Done
North Vancouver, BC

Thanks for taking the time, Tyler

When was the last time a real tour contender took the time to be a correspondent? The coverage is great!

Thanks for this terrific feature and thank you Tyler!

Michael Helmstadter
Montague, MA

What a Guy!

What a Guy! Tyler Hamilton is a true inspiration to anyone who has everraced a bicycle. Sure he crashes, but he gets right back up and continuesto ride at a level most racers only dream of.

The man is a weapon and I guarantee that each and every one of the Italianfavorites is trembling in fear at his abilities against the clock. Justwatch the reactions of the top GC contenders as he attacks if you doubttheir fear.

People my be a little disappointed at the withdrawal of Jan Ulrich fromthe Tour but I’m looking forward to two men from the USAon the podium in this years
race.

Go Tyler, you truly are one of the most exciting riders to watch this year!! Shoot for the stars!!

West Coast Fan,Sterling McBride
Video Action Sports

Euro’ racing makes riding in Oklahoma more enjoyableDear Tyler,I’m a 60-year-old cyclist who has just started reading VeloNewsand following the Giro on their website.

Your diary is my favorite reading because it brings the action on amore personal level. Because I also have very good children, I fullyunderstand your family’s support at home.

I want you to know that even here in Oklahoma we are wishing you thebest of luck in your endeavors there, and hope the final outcome is favorable.

My cycling is so much more fun now that I am learning more of the Europeanracing sport.

Good speed and good luck.

John Dean
Oklahoma

Marblehead love’s its heroes

Tyler,

I love your reporting – both on the Giro and in the VeloNewsmagazine. We lived in Marblehead for many years and you better believewe will be rooting for you.
We will be at the final 3 stages and for the finish in Milan.

One of my sons, who is also your age, races in Pro 1-2 in Seattle, WA.for Seattlevelo. Something in the water or the air makes you boys fromMarblehead very strong – and gives you a lot of courage.

Ride like the wind Tyler, we will be cheering you on.

PS- you were probably too young to remember when Ted Hood won the America’s Cup – but I do and Marblehead love’s its heroes…

Best Wishes
Connie Hilwig
former Girdler Road resident

He’s right. That Superglue ain’t so super

I wholeheartedly agree with Scott who wrote about the ads attachedto the magazine with Super Glue. I have been a VeloNews subscriber forhalf my life now (I’m 27 and I started reading VeloNews in 1989), and Idon’t plan to cancel anytime soon. I look forward to each and every issue.HOWEVER, I am get very annoyed with the numerous ad inserts recently. Irealize you need to sell ads in order to have live updates from major racesand all the other cool news and features. But come one, this is too much! Any chance you can not include those ads for subscribes? After subscribingfor 13 years, I think I paid for my share. Thanks and keep up the goodwork.

Matt Curin
Kalamazoo, MI


Earlier mail
Forza Tyler!I just wanted to say how much I enjoy Tyler’s commentary (see “TylerTunes“) and his strength to keep riding after his misfortunes.
 
Forza Tyler!
 
Christopher A. Larsen
Blacksburg, VATexans for Tyler
 
Tyler Hi!Im writing to let you know that we are all behind you here in El PasoTexas. Wish you the best out there in Giro.Adam Vera
El Paso, TXTyler a great correspondentDear Velo Folk:
 
From a several-year VeloNews subscriber and daily visitor toyour web site: The Tyler Tunes are great. Continue that feature. Tyler’sdaily account of what went on in the race and with him brings the Giro right into my home.Good work.Paul LyonsGiro fans o’ ‘ToonaHey Tyler,Just wanted to let you know we are cheering you on here in good ol’ Altoona,Pa!!The Kunstbeck family wishes you luck and for crying out loud, enoughcrashes bud!!!Good luck in the climbing stages!  We will be watching.Tina and Dusty Kunstbeck
Altoona, Pa USAThis Lance is cheering for TylerGents,I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Tyler Hamilton’s journal entries inthis Giro, just as in past Tours.Two things strike me about Tyler. He is incredibly humble, and he istough as nails. I can’t imagine riding a bike at the level he has duringthe last 10 days while in his physical condition. But he has shown in thepast he is capable of doing this kind of thing. In particular, I rememberhim charging up L’Alpe d’Huez with Armstrong on his wheel during the Tourwith bandages all over him.Here’s hoping this modest American puts his stamp on this Giro in thecoming stages.Lance McElhaney
Camby, INMultifacetedTyler’s a class act:  He’s “soft” enough to care where Garzelli’shead’s at, yet hard enough to get back on a (borrowed) bike after a devastatingcrash and stay with the lead group… AND he can convey the experience in writing!  Wow!Express my admiration to him.L. LancasterOkay — EditorTyler fans in Denmark, tooTylerI really enjoy this feature!  I sent your site information to a Tyler Hamilton fan from Denmark whom I encountered in the Telekom forum. Her English is quite good and she thanked me for informing her about yourTyler reports.We have so many great American cyclists and teams now.  I am afan on the East Coast and plan to attend the races in Somerville, Trentonand Philly.The news of the recent Housatonic has given a nice preview of what wemay expect.KathrynHopefully it won’t hurt his fastballDear VeloNews;I could tell from the television coverage as Tyler exited the curveand stood up to pedal back up to speed that the chain hadn’t engaged thesprocket. I certainly don’t blame him for not wanting to see the videoof his crash. I’m wishing that his shoulder will be better by the end of theweek when they get into the mountain stages and maybe the possibility ofthrowing out the 1st pitch at a Red Sox game the next time he returns stateside. 
Adam Nisson
Dover, N.H.Off-season Tyler tunes, too?Everyone loves Tyler. I would like to let you know that Tyler’s diaryis one of the best parts of the Giro coverage on the internet.Obviously I like to read about the race, but once that is done, I lookfor Tyler’s diary. You should keep it up all year long, even in the winter.Steve WimmerTyler Hamilton is a regular contributor to VeloNews magazine as well.Those columns continue in the off-season, too. — EditorThose champagne bottlesWell gang,The Giro is about half way through, and, with the exception of the unfortunate Garzelli incident, it appears that Phil could have written the script last winter some time.The sprinters are sprinting, and the big guns are hanging in there,trying not to lose too much time before Thursday.For some, as usual, this Giro will be training for the Tour. It betterbe. Don’t these guys know how to open a champagne bottle?At least when Mario wins, he knows how to get a bottle open. If thegirls get a little wet, I’m sure they don’t mind. For the rest of theseguys, well, do we have to wait for Gilberto Simoni?C’mon guys, you’re giving Italy a bad name.YodeYou wrote this before Wednesday morning, eh? — EditorIs that glue or CEMENT?Guys,
 
For the record, I’ve been reading VN for years. Never had a problemwith anything you’ve done. But, I hafta ask, what’s the deal with the rubber
cement you used this time to hold in the ad on page 35?I simply could not remove the ad without tearing the whole page.
 
It’s time to go back to the cement you’ve used in the past.
 
Scott


Earlier MailVeloNews.com values your opinions and welcomes your letters. If yourun across something in the pages of VeloNews magazine, hear of somethingin the world of cycling or see something on VeloNews.com that causes youto want to express an opinion, dropus a line.Please include your full name and home town. By submitting mail tothis address, you are consenting to the publication of your letter.