Tuesday’s mail bag: Classy Pirate; The great donut debate; Rae Dawn’s wheel change and Nancy Drew?

Marco has styleEditors;I agree with those defending Marco Pantani. He has still hadsome respectable results since the big "doping" label was placed on him,and yet, never proven. I read all those responses that bashed ilPirate and said "if not for the drugs," he wouldn't have won.Silly American brashness, popping off our big loud mouths withoutsubstance. In my opinion, Professional Cycling, specifically the Italian pieceof it, did a grave injustice to one of the best cyclists of a generation.So sad the Italians did it to one of their own, too. I say, go Marco!! Get back on the bike, train

Pantani down after crashing in Stage 18 of the 2003 Giro

Pantani down after crashing in Stage 18 of the 2003 Giro

Photo: AFP (file photo)

Marco has style
Editors;
I agree with those defending Marco Pantani. He has still hadsome respectable results since the big “doping” label was placed on him,and yet, never proven. I read all those responses that bashed ilPirate and said “if not for the drugs,” he wouldn’t have won.Silly American brashness, popping off our big loud mouths withoutsubstance.

In my opinion, Professional Cycling, specifically the Italian pieceof it, did a grave injustice to one of the best cyclists of a generation.So sad the Italians did it to one of their own, too.

I say, go Marco!! Get back on the bike, train your ass off and,you know what, if you still finish 14th back, there is absolutely NO SHAMEin a grande performance like that.
Mark Bevars
Fort Huachuca, Arizona

We have to agree. Love him or hate him, getting up after that onewas surely a class act. – Editor

The 3rd Army of the Tour de France
Editors,
Prior to June 1944 the European High Command used news leaks and spiesto convince the Germans that D-day would be at Calais, and then they invadedat Normandy. Now, it would seem to me that Lance would want everybodyto think he’s slacking off, staying home for part of the season, hangingwith the skirts, reputedly eating donuts (see “Everydistraction counts” in last Friday’s mail bag), althoughI doubt if he actually ate one, just wants everybody to think he did.

This would not be an unprecedented tactic for him; he had everyone thinkinghe was done on the first big mountain in 2001, only to attack on l’Alped’ Huez. I don’t believe Johann Bruyneel would have re-signed him if hedid not believe Lance would give 100 percent.

It’s all just another racing tactic, making your enemies believe whatyou want them to believe. The only way to get that jersey from Lance isto take it from him, and he’s not going to do anything to make that easy.In 2004, the Tour will be a knock down, drag out brawl. Whoever wear’sthe yellow at the end will have earned it, not feel like it was given.
Brian Buchanan
Peru, Illinois

So, maybe it’s not really Lance at Krispy Kreme but George S. Patton?– Editor

It’s not about the donuts
Editors,
Since none of the esteemed letter writers know Lance or his traininghabits, I think it would be best for them to end their speculation andjudge his form in his first race of the season.
Mark Daniel Ratzburg
Wisconsin

Every donut counts
Good Lord, come on people!
So Lance eats a donut once in a while. So what? Do you think he isjust a machine that 24-7 and only sustains himself on PowerBars (we knowthat it couldn’t be Cliff Bars, he is not sponsor by them)?

Guess what. Lance drinks beer too! In fact he might drink one or twoa day. Now I know American society accepts this as just kickin’ back, butthere are so many empty calories in beer that just store, it’s the reasonyou get a beer gut.

Now if he begins to eat donuts at a constant rate, much like an unnamedGerman used to eat chocolate and cream pastries, then you can start toworry. Frankly, even then it doesn’t matter as long as he was burning 1000calories per hour for six hours everyday on the bike. You do the math.

You people need to stop trying to be certified trainers and saying thathe going to lose the Tour in January by eating some donuts and dating asinger.

FYI for those who do want to do the math:
1000 calories per hour is a 22 mph or 235-240 Watts pace on the bike at Lance’s body weight as long as there is no wind or hills. If so, the calories burned arithmetically increases. I think Lance, or any professional, would maintain a pace a bit higher, (considering I ride this pace when I’m day dreaming on the bike) 200 calories per Krispy Kreme donut, 13 Krispy Kremes in a Bakers dozen.

For this problem assume Lance eats them all in one sitting and then eat another bakers dozen on the bike This of course doesn’t in to account this natural metabolism and random things he does.

Meanwhile, beer contains from 135-185 calories depending on the type and brand
Bryce Alves

Oh beeeeeeeeeee quiet, already
Editor,
I am so tired of hearing people say, “Lance has no chance at a sixth”, it makes me sick. No one knows what will happen, just ask Joseba Beloki if he thought he would be leaving a layer of skin on the road during the infamous decent down the Cote de la Rochette during stage 9 of the ’03 Tour. Anything can happen to anyone at anytime. One thing we know for sure is this, Lance has won five consecutive TDF titles. Lance is a proven fighter, and as he gets older and more experienced Lance can and will train smarter than ever before.

Say what you want, I’m not counting Lance out. We’ll see if his “distractions”are affecting his form very soon.
Rob Levonas
Red Bank, New Jersey

The Jan Squad
VeloNews,
Looking at the roster for Jan Ulrich’s team next year, I have to wonderwhether Eric Zabel will get the chance to repeat his sprinting performancein the Tour while working for Jan.

How much energy can T-Mobile afford to spend on getting him to the linewhile attempting to dethrone Lance?
Chris Harris
Massachusetts

The time machine
Editors;
If nothing else, the movie “American Flyers” is a beautiful exampleof how films can preserve history. Close-ups of toe-clips and downtubeshifters. Steel frames with plastic tape and beautiful lugs (and yes, Huffydid actually put there name on some quality bicycles, once). And, takea close look at the end of the the Morgul-Bismark stage. Notice the pristineranch valley in the background below “The Wall?” Well, it is now coveredby new cracker box houses, a mall and all of the traffic that comes alongwith such development.

Be careful when retracing the rides of this hors categorie movie (“hors categorie,” you ask? Well, non-cyclists might suggest that it is one ofthe most difficult movies to sit through). If climbing the Wall doesn’tget you, a distracted cell-phone-yapping yuppie zipping to Flat Irons Mall in an Lexus SUV just might! One thing that hasn’t changed, though…the “Howdy Folks” sign is still stands in the middle of the main street here in Golden!
Tom Anderson
Golden, Colorado

Even as avid cyclists, we found that movie a tough one to sit through,although, as our next writer points out, there were a few great momentseven in that film. – Editor

Oh, but that wheel change
Dear VeloNews;
While we spin away the miles each summer, every once in a while somebodywill bring up the subject of American Flyer’s female co-star Rae Dawn Chong.Ah, to a have a girlfriend that gorgeous who can also change your rearwheel in under ten seconds!

Second on our pack’s list of “American Flyer” trivia is the fierce andbearded Russian sprinter who we refer to (but not as often as we mentionRae Dawn) as Victor Taurusballzoff.
Terry Miller
Rossland, British Columbia

And a hearty handshake, a slap on the back and a 2003Tour de France book to the first person who correctlynames the “actor” who played the bearded Ruskie. (And that winner was one Tony Geller. Contest is over) – Editor

Nancy Drew, two-wheeled detective
Editors,
Here’s a line from an article in USA Today, January 15, 2003,on one of the four new paperbacks featuring Nancy Drew, the classic teenfictional sleuth: “In A Race Against Time,” Drew captains her charity benefit biking team, racing to catch the thief who stole the event’s donations.”

According to the publishers, the new-look novels are to try to makeher “a little more relevant to today’s readers.” It’s probably not “bikeracing” but such press can’t help but promote the sport.
Cordially,
Mike Ingram
Idaho Falls, Idaho


Do you have thoughts on bearded Russians? Donuts? Beer? Nancy Drew? Well, then send ’em on in by writing to WebLetters@7Dogs.com. Please include your full name, and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.