Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Thursday’s mailbag: Hour for Lance? Gift for Basso? Plus tribute to Tugs, the best diarist ever and much, much more

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, HOMETOWN and STATE, or NATION if you live outside the United States. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.Lance Armstrong, man of the hour?Editor:Six is in the bag, but seven, schmeven! How about the hour record for Lance? What say ye, Big Tex? Dawn WrightCorvallis, Oregon Not a

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

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, HOMETOWN and STATE, or NATION if you live outside the United States. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.


Lance Armstrong, man of the hour?
Editor:
Six is in the bag, but seven, schmeven! How about the hour record for Lance? What say ye, Big Tex?

Dawn Wright
Corvallis, Oregon

Not a gift, but a choice
Editor:
Armstrong let Ivan Basso win, and it was just a choice, not a gift! I find it discouraging that so many are disappointed in Armstrong. The way I read his comments and that stage, he decided with several K to go that it was more important to put time into Jan Ullrich than to beat Basso. Most other riders would have entered a game of cat and mouse for the glory of a career-making stage win, but Armstrong eyes Tours, not stages. He pulled hard, gaining loads of time on Ullrich, et. al., knowing that he was likely towing Basso to an easy win at the line.

Even though we’ve now seen him build his lead daily, at the time he could not know if it would be Ullrich’s only bad day. He took time when he knew he could. Not stupid, not arrogant, not condescending, just tactical.

Matt Edin
Durham, North Carolina

Lance’s last gift?
Editor:
Is there really any doubt, now that Lance has won on the line at will three times and proved that he is the strongest in the TT up the Alpe, that he really did give the stage to his friend Basso? You may never see it again, as I think he appreciates Bernard Hinault’s advice today: No gifts!

Anthony Pace
Windsor, Connecticut

Tyler pens moving tribute to Tugboat
Editor:
Anybody who read Tyler Hamilton’s tribute to Tugboat and says he didn’t shed a tear is a liar.

George Manousakis
Salt Lake City, Utah

Tugs tribute proves Tyler’s worth
Editor:
We are constantly reminded what an outstanding racer and human being Tyler really is. His tribute to Tugs was from the heart, and was obviously written by someone who has retained his humanity while living and performing at a world-class level in his chosen profession. Paul Alman
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Heart goes out to Hamilton family
Editor:
It was extremely difficult reading Tyler’s tribute to Tugboat. I have always had great respect for Hamilton during his career, for he has always been one of the few riders with outstanding character. My heart goes out to the Hamilton family.

Take care, Tyler, take care, Tugboat. God bless and God speed.

Corey Krall
Oakton, Virginia

Tribute explains Tyler’s many fans
Editors:
This is the most moving piece of cycling journalism that you have ever published. Tyler and Tugboat made up an incredible team. And to top it all off I now know why Tyler is so grounded. Tugboat is a true example of man’s best friend, and I believe this story shows why Tyler has so many fans.

Tyler, I too have lost a good friend under similar circumstances and can attest to the feelings. It is the shits to lose a friend like Tugs. But as far as I am concerned this shows what an athlete (and person) you truly are. Thanks for the tribute.

James Darlow
Sacramento, California

CVV is best diarist ever
Editor:
Christian Vande Velde is your best rider diarist ever. His entries offer more insight into the Tour – not to mention more laughs – than any rider, of this caliber, whose offerings I have read. If this guy doesn’t get a job as a cycling commentator when he retires, it will be a crime against cycling fans everywhere.

Kurt C. Kemmerer
Portland, Oregon

What’s Lance listening to?
Editor:
I noticed that Lance warms up with an iPod. Any idea what’s on his playlist?

Rebecca Much
Chicago, Illinois

We have no idea, Rebecca. We’ll ask one of our guys on the scene and see if we can get an answer for you. As for us, we’re listening to Johann Sebastian Bach’s “The Art of Fugue” as performed by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner; “Jerusalem,” by Steve Earle; and Warren Zevon’s “Excitable Boy.”– Editor

Paper-pushers hosed Haywood
Editor:
Sue Haywood should be going to the Olympics. She has been working for years with a focus on the Olympics and had achieved her goal fairly by frantically going all over the world to earn points. How devastating it must be to have it stolen away because someone sitting in a office forgot to do their paperwork.

Doug Wayne
Clendenin, West Virginia

McConneloug’s the right woman for the job
Editor:
So Mary McConneloug got the Olympic spot. I am glad to see this. She is the only woman thus far in 2004 to even come close to beating Gunn-Rita Furtado Chausson Dahle. Mary is the woman for the job. Best of Luck to her, Todd Wells and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski.

Craig Glaspell
Murrieta, California

OLN’s Tour obsession hurt other cycling coverage
Editor:
Generally, I disagree with the nitpickers on OLN’s coverage of the TDF. Compared to American network TV, which is just an insult, this is fresh clover indeed.

I have a larger complaint: I do think that OLN’s focus on the Tour has come at a big cost to serious cycling fans. This year, presumably because they threw down the entire budget on “the Cyclism” (and what a stupid campaign that has been) just a token number of spring classics were covered, with the notable exclusion of the Dauphiné and numerous other key races. The Giro got very little air time, and I wonder whether the Vuelta will be covered at all. Worst of all, no World Cup mountain biking – in fact, no mountain biking at all. That, to me, is really a bummer.

I would have much preferred Tour coverage like last year’s, which was thorough and straightforward, with all the roadside reporting tucked in as little asides, without sacrificing all the other non-Tour cycling coverage the rest of the season.

Instead of the full slate of spring classics, race of the week, and MTB coverage, we got Al Trautwig, the Cutters, and “The Lance Chronicles.” Serious cycling fans, I think, have good cause to complain about how OLN is spending their (our) money.

Hans Eisenbeis
Minneapolis, Minnesota


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, HOMETOWN and STATE, or NATION if you live outside the United States. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.