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Landis, Lance, motors and the code of silence

Landis, Lance, motors and the code of silence

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Mailbag v. Comments
All that’s happened in the past month – Tour of California, Giro, Landis, etc. – and no mailbag??? I imagine someone’s written something into you guys during all this time! I hope the fact that you’ve added comment sections to articles doesn’t mean we’re losing the mailbag.

Comment sections tend to devolve in rather juvenile discourse real fast, so I generally don’t waste my time with those, but I find the mailbag to often be interesting reading, offering valuable opinions on various races, issues, etc.

Ryan P. Fonkert
Manitou Springs, Colorado

Cause for suspicion
After years of trying to sweep it under the rug, VeloNews has finally printed a credible accusation against Lance in the recent interview with former World Anti-Doping Agency head Dick Pound. Bravo!

“Most of the people who have looked at all of the facts have already come to the conclusion that (Armstrong) was already a user,” Pound said.

Let’s hope that federal investigator Jeff Novitzky busts all dopers for good. It’s too bad that Mr. Novitzky has no jurisdiction outside the U.S. I would love to see what he would come up with on Alberto Contador. As if we’re supposed to believe that a 140 pound “mountain goat” can beat the best time trialists in the world. Hah!

Charles Hansen
Boulder, Colorado

What about the Mafia?
Dear VeloNews,
Back in October of 2008, quoted Tyler Hamilton as saying the following:

There are a lot of bad people out there who have done some bad things to me. Cycling … I think it’s everywhere, but there is a mafia in cycling. That’s pretty much all I’ll say about it, I’ll probably get banned from a race if I say any more, but there is a mafia out there.

In light of the recent admissions made by Landis, does this quote take on more meaning?

Drew Karlberg
Downingtown, Pennsylvania

The beauty of discovery
Dear Velo,
That was a nice piece about the burden of proof in a libel or slander case, but you left the most important thing out of the explanation. Sure, Landis could be sued. In fact, when you read the email string he sent to Armstrong, Floyd is actually counting on being sued. He sends Lance an email letting him know how to reach him to serve papers.

Why? Discovery, that’s why. Should Armstrong or anyone else in the current Landis smear-o-thon sue, well then, the discovery door opens wide and opens publicly. Written discovery, deposition upon deposition … this is exactly what Floyd wants. He wants to drag this out into open discovery. It’s like LeMond trying to get Lance Armstrong to testify at a deposition in his Trek case and going after Lance’s ex-wife as a “next best.” A public fishing expedition is exactly what Landis is looking for.

Lance, Bruyneel, Hincapie, Zabriskie … they would all be incredibly stupid to file a suit against Floyd. They know it too. Their best choice is to deny, ignore, and hope it blows over. Outside a court of law, Landis has nothing. His word isn’t worth anything at the moment in the court of public opinion. I believed him before when he said he hadn’t doped. Now he could tell me it’s daytime and I’d double-check.

Eric Luttrell
El Cerrito, California

A new appeal for help?
I wonder if Landis will plead with the public to help him with the legal bills from his latest situation he finds himself in?

Seth Bradley
Sandy, Utah

A weighty advantage?
Is it possible to suggest to the UCI that they drop the bike weight limit as a way to be a way to deal with the possibility of motorized bikes? As it was pointed out that the teams that could utilize this technology need huge resources to do so. It is less difficult to reduce the overall weight of the bike. So continue to weigh the bikes, but only to find someone’s bike that weighed a different amount from their team members, or was a significant deviation from the average of the peloton’s. They could then ultrasound or X-ray only the anomalies.

Just a thought,
Ion Webster
San Luis Obispo, California

An easy test
Dear VeloNews,
The variety of news stories recently in regard to “mechanical doping” has emphasized how the UCI would be helpless to test for these devices save taking X-rays of every bike in the peloton.

In actuality, there is an extremely simple and cheap (less than $5) way to detect electric motors in bikes, a magnet. Any motor compact enough, and with sufficient torque to power a bike requires powerful rare-earth magnets in its mechanism. A five-second inspection by running a magnet near the seat tube of the bike and feeling for attractive and or repulsive forces would be all the is required of an official to determine a potential positive for “mechanical doping.”

Daniel Stuart

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.