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Letters on Sloane, Graham Watson and Grewal

  • By VeloNews.com
  • Published Apr. 4, 2008
  • Updated Feb. 24, 2011 at 11:54 AM EDT

The Mailbag is a regular department on VeloNews.com. Write to webletters@insideinc.com. Please include your full name, hometown and state or nation. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Writers are encouraged to limit their submissions to one letter per month. The letters published should not be viewed as reflecting the opinions, policies or positions of VeloNews.com, VeloNews magazine or our parent company.


Thanks for the Watson pictures!
Editor,
How nice is to see the history of Flanders (and of cycling) through Graham Watson’s lens. It was great seeing the picture of Francesco Moser in ’81. It reminded me of the times when people said he was crazy, even irreverent to Campagnolo, for choosing Shimano as his team’s supplier. See those Dyna Drive pedals under his feet? Moser was a pioneer in many ways, defying tradition in his quest for excellence.

Thank you, Graham!!
Jesus Nieto,
Cancun, Mexico

Thank you Mr. Sloane
Editor,
I was sorry to hear about the passing of Eugene Sloane. His book was a classic. I’ll never forget his observation, “There’s something about a man on a bicycle that brings out the worst in a dog.”

No kidding — and I have the busted pumps to prove it.
Dr. David Nahrstedt,
Simi Valley, California

Re: Grewal’s essay
Editor,

After reading the essay by Alexi Grewal and as the father of two sports minded sons, ages 15 and 13, I have to say that I would never point them in the direction of professional cycling, nor any other professional sport.

The culture and focus of professional sports is simply not conducive to leading a healthy and happy life. The rewards of the very few who make it are simply not worth the ruin of the majority who do not and as we are learning more every day, those who did make it often did so by selling their souls.

Sure, there are those who will claim that they were both quite successful and were able to avoid the temptations and risks, but what responsible parent would purposefully lead their children into a den of ravenous lions? For money? For fame? Is your child’s life worth that little?
Tom Stone,
South Pasadena, California

More on Grewal
Editor,

Grewal should save us his dime store, new age ramblings and instead make a real statement, like returning the gold medal from the ’84 Olympics to the rightful owner, Steve Bauer.
Don Huber,
Okotoks, Alberta, Canada

Grewal has always been outspoken …
Editor,

I remember Alexi Grewal as being the kind of rider who never gave a damn about what people thought of him. Ever. If Alexi thought Peter Post was full of crap, well hell, he’d just quit. Cameraman gets too close? Spit at him! Eddie B tells you to work for Davis? Heck, screw that advice, breakaway and then win the Olympic road race. Alexi had huevos.

Surely, if anyone could be truly honest about what was going on in cycling, it would be him, right?

If it took Alexi Grewal more than two decades to come clean about his own drug use, knowing what we all know about him, just think about how dishonest the other guys have been for all these years. I hate to say it, but perhaps we just do not want to know.

Alexi: Kudos to you for fessing-up. I have full respect for you now.
Patrick Mannion,
Glendale, Arizona

Grewal is a hero
Editor,

Alexi Grewal is now high on the list of my heroes. We need all the former and current professional riders to come forward and come clean, to show a solidarity towards a sport that is on the brink of total destruction.

Hopefully, we are now breaking that vicious cycle of greed. The more our sports gets itself wrapped around drugs, the more our sponsors are pulling out. If there’s no sponsorship money left, then, hopefully, there would be no reason to imbibe at the dreaded well of destruction. Do the pros realize how hard it is for any team, here or abroad, to get money to support a sport that has become so partnered with drugs, all because of there irresponsible actions? I know I do. They are not only killing themselves, they are taking us down with them.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been turned away from sponsorship deals due to the association with such a dirty sport. How can I help, kids get into a sport I have so passionately loved for over two decades, when we have such corruption at it’s highest level.

Alexi’s right, we should be doing this for our future, because it is the right thing to do, and most importantly, do it because our kids deserve it.

Am I right or do I need to start up my therapy sessions again?
B Reppert,
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

A memorable Grewal encounter
Editor,

It’s great to hear from Alexi Grewal on cycling’s doping issues. He was a rebel with a winning cause in the ’80s and was my first cycling hero. I remember being glued to the TV watching the Olympic RR in 1984. Then seeing him in person racing in Crested Butte, Colorado in 1986. I was star-struck and didn’t know what to say when I came across him sitting on the grass after the race. “Nice race,” I said. I think he responded “Screw off.” What a GOD!

I had visions of annihilating myself for the glory of the win, then telling some kid to screw off cause I could hardly breath. He tells it like it is, bad or good.

It’s great to hear from you again, Alexi.
Kenyon Congdon
Apopka, Florida

Riders’ suit
Editor,

What an ironic story regarding the withholding of prize money. I wonder when the riders will realize that they are what make any race the “penultimate”. The Tour de France is only what it is because the riders choose to make it so. Seems to me UCI should tell the riders union to take a hike given UCI’s battle with ASO and the recent decision by the riders to continue competing in ASO events.

I believe AEG should go head to head with the TDF by scheduling the Tour of California in late June/ early July next year. Give UCI and the riders union a competitive and viable alternative to the TDF.
Mark Koep,
Thousand Oaks, California

Reed’s gold
Editor,

I’m delighted for Jennie Reed’s gold medal. But let’s recap here. The Brits won gold in eight out of 10 events, and Victoria Pendleton won two golds and one silver. The Brits may have peaked with a prediction of only four golds for the Olympics.

All interesting stuff …
Keith Batchelor,
Lexington, Kentucky.

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