Wednesday’s mail bag: Poor choices, stoned editors and more porn

Doesn't like our choiceEditors;All the facts and figures I would cite have already been stated inother letters, but it wasn't enough. The collar bone, the 140K break away,Liège, Romandie, and the fact that he's starting a cycling foundationin addition to working with the MS rides should have led you guys to switchyour awards.If it were me, I’d have voted for Tyler as the International Cyclistof the Year and named Lance Armstrong as the North American Male Cyclistof the Year. You gave a detailed account of Lance's achievements as justification (see "InternationalCyclist of the Year: Lance

Doesn’t like our choice
Editors;
All the facts and figures I would cite have already been stated inother letters, but it wasn’t enough. The collar bone, the 140K break away,Liège, Romandie, and the fact that he’s starting a cycling foundationin addition to working with the MS rides should have led you guys to switchyour awards.If it were me, I’d have voted for Tyler as the International Cyclistof the Year and named Lance Armstrong as the North American Male Cyclistof the Year. You gave a detailed account of Lance’s achievements as justification (see “InternationalCyclist of the Year: Lance Armstrong“), so how about one of Tyler…or, were you just assuming everyone already knew the already legendaryfeats of his season? I guess it’s another case of, “we’ll have to wait’til next year.”Who calls the shots on these, anyway? I think you should make it anonline opinion poll. After that rant, I must say thanks for puttingTyler on the cover, though.
Graham Allen
Portland, MaineThe annual VeloNews Awards are decided every November in acaffeine-charged editorial meeting that involves lots of shouting, insultsand the occasional witty observation. The editorial staff, as well as ourEuro’ crew – Graham Watson and Andy Hood – are each granted a single vote.By the way, that detailed account of Tyler Hamilton’s season, aswell as our reasons for naming him North American Male Cyclist of the Year,are in VeloNewsIssue number 20. – EditorWhat are you guys smokin’?
Editors;
In picking the 1999 International Cyclist of the Year, you passed overone of the greatest comebacks in the history of sport for a downhillerwhose biggest accomplishment was not pedaling her bike for three wholeminutes. I thought that was incomprehensible, but Armstrong overTyler Hamilton or Alexandre Vinokourov? Just what are you guys smokin?Both of those guys had amazing seasons. Armstrong had a good threeweeks, largely because his competition was either injured or crashedout. Vino’ and Tyler proved you can do more than the Tour and be successful.
Chris FarrellThere are THREE grand tours
Dear VeloNews;
While I’m not trying to disrespect the great things that Lance or Tylerhas done, it seems clear that Alessandro Petacchi should have been awardedVeloNews’s International Road of the Year.No one has come close to what Petacchi has done. While five people havewon the tour five times, only three have one a stage in each grand tour,and none have come close to Petacchi’s record. Six wins in the Giro, fourin the Tour, and five in the Vuelta. He won nearly a quarter of all thestages of the Grand Tours.If you’re talking about injuries and suffering, don’t be so quick toforget Petacchi. No one remembers how Petacchi fell in the first ITT ofthe Giro and was injured so badly that he couldn’t raise his hands afterthe stage. He may not of finished the Tour, but he finished the Vueltaand should have finished the Giro (Petacchi was eliminated ona time cut on the brutal 18thstage of the GiroEditor), while Lance won’t do more thanone grand tour, because they take too much out of you.While Lance was great in one tour, Petacchi was great in all three.
Philip Brunjes
Ridgefield, ConnecticutMore deserving choices
Dear VeloNews;
Lance is the natural choice for International Cyclist of the Year,but either Vinokourov or Tyler were more deserving. Each had an incredibleseason under duress that any of us would easily crack under.
Harold Thompson
Hillsborough, New JerseySure he’s good, but…
Editors;
Lance is a phenomenon that is true, but he ain’t the be all and endall! Given that he raced three times and lost two out of three races (Ithink I am right on that) this past season as opposed to Tyler who racedfrom the beginning to the end of the season and gave us one of the mostdramatic tour stories ever.I don’t know what your logic was in making the choice, but I sure wouldlike to hear it!!In addition to Tyler, lest we be isolationist in our thinking, therewas also Alessandro Petacchi. Gee, do you think riding all three of thegrand tours (I know, I agree, it would have been nice if he finishedthem all) should get some attention. No one has done that in over thirtyyears!!Come on guys!!
Bill Levey
Reisterstown, MarylandFive-in-a-row speaks for itself
Editors;
It seems obvious to me that the people in favor of giving your InternationalCyclist of the Year award to Tyler Hamilton never raced a Tour de France.To finish a Tour is not easy, but to win five-in-a-row is beyondoutstanding.
Ken Laidlaw
Savannah, GeorgiaMr. Laidlaw knows of what he speaks. In 1961, he became the first Scotsman ever to finish the Tour de France. – EditorWhat’s their gripe?
Editors;
Why does everyone have such a problem with Lance? Didn’t he epitomizewhat every rider wanted to be just a year or two ago? Why has everybodyjumped ship all the sudden?So now there are two Americans kicking butt in Europe. Hopefully whenTom Danielson gets to racing in Europe next season, we’ll have three.All of you need to suck it up and quit complaining.Get out and ride instead of coming up with a pessimistic view on everything.Long live Lance, Tyler and everybody that rides. They all deservecredit.
Michael Giem
Colorado Springs, ColoradoAthlete of the month, maybe
Editors;
I would choose Lance Armstrong for International Athlete of July,but not the year. A look at the UCI top 20 show a number of more deservingriders who have consistently done more throughout the season. In my opinion,it’s a tie between Tyler Hamilton and Paolo Bettini. Were you guys doingganja with the downhillers when you made your decision?And speaking of drugs, your choice of Geneviève Jeanson as NorthAmerican Female cyclist of the year is unfortunate at best (see “Jeansonnamed North American Female Cyclist of the Year“). In a sport riddledwith drug cheats from top to bottom, you have chosen a rider living undera cloud of doping suspicion (see “Jeansondenies EPO use“).Ms. Jeanson is indeed successful in the races she has entered, limitedin scope as they may be. She tested “unhealthy” at the world’s, a la Pantani.This was followed by an admission by one of her treating physicians thathe had provided Jeanson with a form of EPO. Though subsequently deniedby that same physician, his guilty plea casts doubt over Jeanson and hurtsCanadian cycling. While Ms. Jeanson is certainly innocent until provenguilty, the level of suspicion surrounding her is still palpable and veryreal. Under these circumstances, you do yourselves and our sport a profounddisservice with this accolade.
Brian Lafferty
Longmeadow, MassachusettsJust say YO!, eh?
Like, hey down there, dudes!!
Up here in British Columbia we’re known for a lot of things, like greatmountain and road cycling and best of all, BC Bud!!! (We thinkhe’s talking about “Mastersdownhiller suspended over THC positive” and letters that followed).Hey, why don’t all you mountain-bike types cruise up and start yourown growing operation. There are plenty of grow-yer-own hydroponic startershops in Vancouver, some very close to the best bike shops, even!! Anddig: soon all the local mountains will be open and we can chuff fattieswhile shredding on our snowboards!! Win-win all year long!!!Meanwhile, UCI, get it together. Pot sharing the banned substance labelwith EPO, steroids etc.? Are you serious? The conservative element lovesto trumpet that pot is still illegal. Ooh, how terrible. Lock up your daughters,George and Jeb. (Too late, you say…?). Few competitors, I suspect, winraces glazed on weed (although Gene Krupa played some mean drum solos!).The list of banned or controlled substances needs to be re-evaluated vis-à-visperformance enhancement and brought into the 21st century and outof the lynch mob era.
Tommy Katz
Vancouver, British Colombia, errr Columbia, CanadaPorn Science
VeloNews;
Those Wrench Science ads are evil, disgusting and unwholesome… andI love ’em. Bring ’em on.
Jim Klein
Fontana, CaliforniaNot porn, just unimaginative
Editors;
I’m surprised that anyone would expect some moral high ground in theworld of advertising. From my perspective the ads are just plain unimaginativeand ineffective. I’d fire the hapless dimwit who couldn’t come up withsomething better.
Steve Mera
Redlands, CaliforniaThree, three, three, topics in one
Dear editors,
1) Tyler “Sir-Crash-Alot” Hamilton deserves an award, but bestof anything is not it. I don’t understand why everybody seems to lovehimand Lance just because they may of happened to be born in the same countryas you. Of course a country with 300 million people is going to have afew great cyclists.2) As for weed I think its pretty pathetic that a society thatconsiders itself the most intelligent in history can’t handle a littledoobage. It certainly is not an unfair advantage in cycling.3) As for the Wrench Science ads; what you are seeing is a beautifulwoman in her underwear, it is not porn. Thank God the people who get upsetthis don’t breed much.
Mike Blahut
Bend, Oregon


Do you, too, think our editors are on something? Do our choices give you a kink in your chamois? Let us know just how bad we are by sending a note to webletters@7dogs.com.
Please include your FULL NAME, CITY and STATE. We try to edit for length and clarity, so what we put up may not look exactly like what you send.