Wednesday’s mail bag: Geneviève’s license, Bradley’s comments and David’s weather

It was only logicalHi,As a competitive cyclist in Canada, I am in awe of GenevièveJeanson's talent (see "Jeansongets U.S. license"). The level of racing in Canada can't compareto U.S. or international racing. Yet Geneviève Jeanson is at thevery top of the sport at the international level. Clearly she has the talentas well as the necessary ambition and support to compete at that level.Over the past several seasons she has provided inspiration to aspiringyoung cyclists in Canada. It is rare for such a talent to emerge from the Canadian scene, andbecause of this I am quite unhappy

It was only logical
As a competitive cyclist in Canada, I am in awe of GenevièveJeanson’s talent (see “Jeansongets U.S. license“). The level of racing in Canada can’t compareto U.S. or international racing. Yet Geneviève Jeanson is at thevery top of the sport at the international level. Clearly she has the talentas well as the necessary ambition and support to compete at that level.Over the past several seasons she has provided inspiration to aspiringyoung cyclists in Canada.

It is rare for such a talent to emerge from the Canadian scene, andbecause of this I am quite unhappy with the way in which the governingbodies of Canadian cycling have been unable to support our country’s topcyclist. I would like to think that the Canadian Cycling Association wouldwanttotake a little more interest in seeing Jeanson receive a Canadian racinglicense.

To shun such a talent due to bureaucratic wrangling seems to be typicalin this country. I understand that the associations involved are merelyfollowing their established rules, but one would like to think that moreeffort would be put forth to help our top ambassador in cycling.In my opinion, it’s only fair that Jeanson now holds a U.S. license. Ifthe CCA can’t support its best athletes then those athletes are totallyjustified in going elsewhere.
Jason Picard,
London Ontario

A place for dope exiles?
Dear VeloNews,
How long will it be before we see the New York Times headline:

USA Cycling joins the ranks of Major League Baseball.

What are we doing by helping athletes circumvent drug controls and givingout American international racing licenses to those unable to obtain licensesin their own country?!? While we’re at it, USAC might as well license MonsieurSassone. As a matter of fact, we could become the UCI drug-test-failingcyclist’s exile.

USAC racing licenses are for American citizens, with dreams of representingthe USA at the international level, meaning world championships and Olympics,etc. At least Guido Trenti, whose mother is American, has dual citizenshipand chooses to race for USA (granted, making the Italian team is nearly impossible).

Again, I’m very disappointed with USA Cycling management. GenevièveJeanson’s choice to run away from her Canadian Cycling troubles insteadof facing them head on doesn’t look so good, either.
Billy Hatcher
Memphis, Tennessee

According to Canadian Cycling Association officials, Jeanson wasencouraged to apply for a U.S. license by her own national federation.She remains a Canadian citizen, eligible only for Canadian Olympic andworld championship teams. Meanwhile, by licensing in the U.S. she is nowsubject to unannounced drug tests conducted under the auspices of the UnitedStates Anti-doping Agency and is, in fact, more likely to be tested thanshe was before. – Editor

It can’t happen here
Every time I think the governing body of cycling in the USA is in asad state, I just need to look at Canada to realize how bad things canbe.

Geneviève Jeanson is certainly one of the best cyclists,male or female, in the world right now. She is the current Canadian champion,regularly wins World Cup events, and ranks in the top-20 worldwide. However,the governing body in Canada doesn’t even have the ability to issue hera license because of some obscure power struggle between the provincialand national bodies. How sad. Their lame excuse of the high hematocritlevel at world’s is just that, a ridiculous excuse; Geneviève haspassed every single drug test she’s ever been given.

On top of that, Geneviève isn’t listed on the official CanadianOlympic team roster. How can any country that doesn’t automaticallysend their current national champion to the Olympics be taken seriously?
Paul Spencer
Boston, Massachusetts

An insult to the sport
Dear editors,
Okay, so Geneviève Jeanson tests high, refuses to give up medicalrecords to the Canadian officials, and then gets a license from USA Cycling.

No matter what tap dancing USA Cycling tries to do on this one theyare wrong. Period. This is a slap in the face for cycling in general. Itdoes nothing to defend our sport from the beating it has taken in the presssince the Festina episode. The women have had relatively few problemsin this arena as compared to the men. This should be nipped in the bud.Also, it does nothing for Miss Jeanson but surround her with further controversy.

There are certainly acceptable reasons for a positive test, let hershow an acceptable medical reason why her hematocrit was elevated.Are we really supposed to believe that they (USA Cycling) has some kindof “get tough” policy on doping, especially in an Olympic year whenthey allow the world’s top female road cyclist what appears to be a freepass.

Until she releases her medical records this is just another black eyefor USA Cycling.
Dave Tingley
Panama City Florida

Her only real choice
Geneviève Jeanson’s successful application to get a U.S. licenseis typical of Canadian’s bureaucracy and road blocks thrown at great peoplethat push themselves to their limits to get where they want to go.

Why can’t they support and work with one of their elite athletes? Thatbeats me. But now she has far much better opportunities in the U.S. togo on and reach her goals. That’s why, as a Canadian, I, too, have beenliving in the U.S. for many years.
Jean Gareau
San Diego, California

McGee said it well
Brad McGee’s comments are refreshing if they are, indeed, factual (see”McGeelashes out“). They are refreshing in that they are a change fromLance Armstrong’s coy “I’ve never test positive for performance enhancingdrugs” to the Aussie rider’s adamant “I’ve never used performance enhancingdrugs.”

The recent deaths this summer of relatively youthful riders suggestsdrug use is pervasive throughout the peloton ie., one would be hard pressedto think aspiring riders are not mimicking the behavior of seasoned professionals.Even the declining race days of pro riders may be indicative of drug use,in that negative testing for incriminating drugs is dependent on such drugsbeing “flushed” from the rider’s system.
Joe Cunningham
Tyler, Texas

Follow me… (you’d) be bored
The one thing that everyone forgets is that, at least in the UnitedStates, a person is innocent until proven guilty. Brad McGee is lashingout because people are accusing him of being a cheat and a criminal justbecause he is good at what he does. When Brad says: “Come and livewith me. Sit in a car and watch me train. Sit up all night stressing overupcoming races and map out game plans. Share the pain through injury andfeel the torment when for unknown reasons the form is just not there. …”

He is offering to prove himself innocent. This is something thathe shouldn’t have to do. Unless you have proof don’t point any fingers.If you have proof come out and lay it on the table. Props to Bradfor speaking his mind and not worrying about pissing a few people off.
John Hubbard
Tucson, Arizona

It must be the cold and humidity… and the STI
Dear VeloNews,
A large thanks to Nils Tillstrom and Pete Simpson for their remarksregarding David Millar’s whining about riding in the rain (see “Tuesday’smailbag“).

My God, I thought I was finally safe from having to jump for the remoteto fast forward past the whining when Chris Boardman retired but now wehave to suffer through David Millar as well.

Is it something about those small islands in the North Atlantic? No,it can’t be that. The Irish never sounded like that. Sean Kelly and StephenRoach never whined like Millar and Boardman. Hmmm? Maybe it’s cliplesspedals, STI shifting, carbon fiber and being from the UK that leaves youunable to answer a simple question without whining.

Oh David, please do shut up!
Sterling McBride
San Luis Obispo, California

But rain does suck
I think the people responding to David Millar’s comments about ridingin the rain are looking beyond what he said. After reading his statementI didn’t come away with this idea that he would never ride in the rainor that riding in the rain was dangerous. He was just pointing out thatit sucks when the weather is nice before and after a ride, but pours onyou during the ride. Living in the northwest I can appreciate thisfact.

Many a morning I have gotten on my bike in the rain, ridden for severalhours only to have the sun come out when I am a half mile from home. Peopleshould try not to take comments so seriously.
Tim Wanek
Seattle, Washington

Ride a mile in his cleats
I for one, and my little brother, an 11-year-old for two, appreciateDavid’s opinions after every race. He is obviously very opinionated anddoes so with a sense of humor, like his comments after stage one at lastyears TdF (something to the effect of “I was just chillin’ in the backwhen…”).

His comments after the final ITT last year were obviously right on theball as quite a number of riders went down and arguably Ullrich, Millar,and Armstrong may have been deprived of making yet even more Tour historyby breaking the average speed record, except the roads were terrible. EvenGeorge Hincapie, a pretty even tempered and tolerant guy, said some remarksthat were supposedly similar to Millar’s after the TT.

As for Angrilu, didn’t he get hit by a car, or two, as I remember reading.I don’t think he said it was too steep, I could be wrong, but I think gettinghit by a car during a race would put a damper on any professional cyclist.

After all the pain Cofidis has caused him, I think he should call itquits over there ASAP, he has a right to be a little whiny. I mean, helost the prologue essentially because the mechanics were using parts thatwere incompatible with the other Campy parts on his bike. I’d like to seea single person who wouldn’t be complaining.

Put yourself in his shoes, then see how much you whine.
Peter Pienkowski
Ann Arbor, Michigan

A Scotsman in the rain
Dear VeloNews,
The recent comments about David Millar’s endless whining reminded meof a few lines from a song by Big Head Todd and the Monsters: “Itrains all over the world, brother. Sometimes it’s gonna rain on you.”

Imagine! A Scotsman complaining about the rain? Reading Millar’s incessantstream of complaints (“The hills are too steep!” “The Tour stage is toolong!” “The roads are too slippery”) makes me wonder if he reads the coursedescription before he signs up for a race.

The Angliru didn’t get any steeper, and the Tour de France stage didn’tget any longer than what had been outlined before he agreed to start.Surely he knew what he was getting himself in to before it began.Perhaps Mr. Millar should take up potato sack racing if road racing istoo difficult for him.

Sadly, he doesn’t seem to realize there are thousands of average cyclists(such as myself) who would love to have the talent and opportunities thathe has. Sometimes we even ride in the rain intentionally, just to get ourriding fix which no one pays us for. Many are just tired of hearinghim moan about how tough he has it in the profession which he has chosen.

David Millar is an over-paid cry baby.
Rich Miles
Ephrata, Pennsylvania