Wednesday’s mail bag: Jimenez, Heras and, of course, Lance

Questioning the Jimenez diagnosisDear VeloNews;I was truly saddened and stunned in reading about the untimely passingof Jose Maria Jimenez at the age of 32. Not unlike Denise Zanette'sdeath last year at a similarly young age, it makes one come face-to-facewith the reality that youth and athletic fitness are not the only factorsin overall health.On this note, I did want to clarify something that I suspect regardingJose Maria Jimenez’s mental health condition leading up to his death. Fromreading about his stunning emotional and performance highs and the tremendouslows that followed, his

Questioning the Jimenez diagnosis
Dear VeloNews;
I was truly saddened and stunned in reading about the untimely passingof Jose Maria Jimenez at the age of 32. Not unlike Denise Zanette’sdeath last year at a similarly young age, it makes one come face-to-facewith the reality that youth and athletic fitness are not the only factorsin overall health.On this note, I did want to clarify something that I suspect regardingJose Maria Jimenez’s mental health condition leading up to his death. Fromreading about his stunning emotional and performance highs and the tremendouslows that followed, his constant struggles to manage his emotional distress,and the extent of his impairment (such that he was hospitalized and neededto retire after attempts to “climb back on the bike”), it appears thathis condition was more consistent with Bipolar Disorder (aka ManicDepression) than it was with “depression” as cited in your article.Bipolar Disorder is more common than previously thought and is significantlymore debilitating than straightforward (and more prevalent) Major DepressiveDisorder. While I am viewing this from a distance, and while it may seemacademic, I make these distinctions so that your readers do not assumethat the dramatic course of Jose’s emotional condition is a typical profileof depression.
Andre P. Bessette, Ph.D.
Brooklyn, ConnecticutDr. Bessette is a clinical psychologist with extensive experiencein treating cases of Bipolar Disorder. For those interested in understandingthe debilitating effects of the disorder and there impact on another cyclinggreat, we recommend “Flying Scotsman: The Graeme Obree Story,” published by Birlinn Ltd of Edinburgh, Scotland. www.birlinn.co.uk.- EditorCatching the money train
Editors;
Okay, okay, so Roberto goes for the money and the leadership roll.Is this a surprise to anyone who watches professional sports?? All onehas to do is look at the outrageous salaries in the NBA and Major leaguebaseball.Back to the cycling. All this crying about Postal not giving Robertosupport in the Vuelta is a bunch of c##p!!! I seem to remember watchingFloyd, George and all the other boys ripping the peloton to shreds on across wind stage. Then on another stage Floyd sitting up and waiting forRoberto at the top of a climb in order to get Roberto to the finish aheadof ONCE, there by giving up a chance at a stage win. Yep doesn’t soundlike there was a whole lot of support given to Roberto.While Roberto’s move will have an impact on Postal, I’m sure that Postallike all other great teams will just reload and continue their domination.Is it just me or does anyone else think that Roberto’s move and Ullrich’sstupid comments about his next 3 years at the Tour has just given Lanceabout all the extra motivation he needs to go out and win his 6th Tour??Jim Adams
San Diego, CaliforniaEditor:
Okay, people get over it! I am perplexed as to why whenever there isnews involving USPS in turns into this Lance bashing and anti-Postal thing.Roberto Heras was and is an excellent rider but he was not a victim ofinvoluntary servitude either, I would take the 1.6 million any day!!
If you recall after he won the Vuelta he publicly said he never thoughthis victory was possible and he gave credit to his teammates and Johanfor believing in him. Given that I think Johan has every right to be angeredabout the way this was handled, through a lawyer instead of contactinghim. But even with that fact, Lance and his teammates have said nothingabout it, so where do these morons come up with this crap about Heras notbeing respected? Lance has repeatedly given credit (and substantial cashout of his pocket I might add )to his teammates these past several yearsto his teammates including Heras. I am sure when he does decide to speakpublicly he will echo the comments he made during the post TOUR DE FRANCEinterview on OLN when he said he understood about Tyler and Levi leavingUSPS when they did.Roberto elected to leave, he was not kicked out, I wish him good luckbut he won’t be a threat to Lance in the Tour as he is not as completea rider as Lance. The 2004 Tour de France should be just as exciting aslast years and USPS will survive this just fine, remember Lance has wonwithout Roberto before and will again.
Sheila Murphy
Arvada, ColoradoHeras had his reasons
Editors;
My guess is that next year’s Tour de France course is what promptedRoberto Heras to leave Postal. Normally the Tour has two long individualtime trials over flat or rolling terrain. Heras would almost certainlylose significant time to Tyler, Lance, Ullrich, Beloki, Vino, and prettymuch any other G.C. contenders on those stages.Next year’s course has only one flat individual time trial, so his lossesdue to poor time trialing are cut in half, plus, the other TT is up Alped’Huez, a stage which Heras could conceivably win and actually gain G.C.time on. There will probably never be a more favorable course for his abilities;I imagine he realized that, and decided to go for it.
Rob Roeder
Austin, Texas


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