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Wednesday’s mailbag: OLN and Vuelta; dopers; real athletes; and Discovery’s bikes

The Mail Bag is a regular feature on VeloNews.com. 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 and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.Sign petition asking OLN to air VueltaEditor:Please add to your mail that there is hope for the Vuelta a España on OLN. There’s an online petition asking OLN to reconsider its decision to air only a one-hour highlight show. It’s at http://www.petitiononline.com/vuelta3/. The more who

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The Mail Bag is a regular feature on VeloNews.com. 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 and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.


Sign petition asking OLN to air Vuelta
Editor:
Please add to your mail that there is hope for the Vuelta a España on OLN. There’s an online petition asking OLN to reconsider its decision to air only a one-hour highlight show. It’s at http://www.petitiononline.com/vuelta3/. The more who sign it, the better chance we have of seeing something other than a one-hour recap after it’s over.

Bill Murphy
Knoxville, Tennessee

The VeloNews Network? Hmm . . .
Editor:
As OLN becomes the Only Lance Network, perhaps there’s an opportunity for yet another cable channel. VNN has quite a ring to it…

Mark J. Wladika
San Francisco, California

We’ve already looked into it, Mark, but unfortunately most of our staff went into PRINT journalism for a reason. As they say, we have a face for radio, and our annoying voices pretty much leave us floundering in ink.– Editor

No more bass fishers and bull riders?
Editor:I guess since the Vuelta cannot be hyped as a “Cyclysm” (whatever that means) it is not worthy of airtime. I have one hope – next year, with the sponsorship of Discovery Communications, we will not have to worry about competing for airtime with bass fishers and bull riders.

Richard Scott
Mesa, Arizona

And just think – we could see Lance Armstrong and Filippo Simeoni face off on “Venom.” – Editor

What’s a cop show without a chase?
Editor:
I just read that the Italian police questioned Filippo Simeoni when he got home after the Tour, and now it seems that Lance Armstrong could be charged with threatening a witness in the Italian state prosecutor’s investigation into Michele Ferrari.

Good going, Lance. When you and Ferrari are in jail you can kick yourself for chasing down that break.

Scott Bellman
Berlin, Germany

Dopers are cheaters
Editor:
I am ashamed of what our sport is coming to. I raced at the Tour of the Rockies and watched Jerome Chiotti demolish the field of honest, hard-working pros – did he return the money after it turned out he was on EPO that season and won the world’s?

And as for Filip Meirhaeghe, how dare he give as an excuse that he was human? It almost seems like David Millar and Meirhaeghe act like their actions are normal and that the general population should ease their harsh judgment of what they did. I do not! They cheated, it’s that simple, and when I race against cheaters it ticks me off.

Forrest Gladding
Salt Lake City, Utah

Learn to live with doping in sport
Editor:
The war on drugs in cycling, or any sport for that matter, has no chance of success. If you doubt the validity of that statement, I suggest you look into the effectiveness of this war. How hard is it to buy a bag of your favorite recreational drug? The recreational drug market has seen an increase in potency along with a decrease in cost. There is an obvious parallel to be drawn with professional cycling. It is time to accept drug use in sport, for better or worse, in the same fashion society has chosen to accept cosmetic surgery, genetically modified food, bovine growth hormones, and Chemlawn. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, professional athletes are not role models. Professional athletes are people who make a living doing something everyone else pays to do. It only makes sense that they engage in any practice that will give them a competitive advantage. It may shorten their lifespan or decrease their quality of life, but the same could be said of anyone who works in a high-stress job. Where are the cries of outrage over the executives dying of heart attacks because they are working 24-7-365 to increase corporate profitability? There are none, because it is a risk associated with the job. It is time to accept the same paradigm in professional sports.

Leo O’Connor
Salt Lake City, Utah

Oooh, a thumb blister – that’s gotta hurt
Editor:
At the risk of continuing this worn-out topic, I wonder if Mike Imrem has learned that one of his NFL tough guys, Falcons’ quarterback Michael Vick, sat out practice on Monday because of a blister on his thumb? Hard to imagine how long we would be out if he had suffered a more serious injury, like McEwen’s fractured vertebrae or the road rash that so many of us suffer on occasion.

Harold Thompson
Hillsborough, New Jersey

Will Discovery be on Trek – or Merckx?
Editor:
I have noticed that whatever team Axel Merckx joins they usually end up riding his dad’s bicycles. When Armstrong and Merckx rode together for Motorola they were riding Eddy Merckx bikes. Does this mean that the new Discovery team will be changing equipment? No more Fisher Price-esque Treks?

Bret Martin
Oakland, California


The Mail Bag is a regular feature on VeloNews.com. 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 and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.