Why do my hard earned tax dollars support a bike team?



M

Mike Kruger

Guest
"Benjamin Weiner" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> > On Wisconsin say i.

>
> If they weren't such a bunch of cheese eating surrenderers
> they never would have had to hand over the UP to Michigan
> after the Great Michigan-Wisconsin War of 1928.
>
> Hmm, on second thought, maybe the Wisconsinners knew what
> they were up to.


Wrong war. Michigan was given the UP after the Toledo War with Ohio in
1835.
Yep. That's right. Michigan and Ohio fought a war and Wisconsin lost.

http://wiwi.essortment.com/toledowar_rzxq.htm
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
[email protected] (K. J. Papai) writes:

<snip>

> Well written Tim but I have to add my own cheap two cents.
>
> Pro Racing in 2004 is not Pro Racing in 1994 or 1984.


Yes, that's true and is true from several perspectives.

> Money influences so many decisions. Not Lance as you say. Money
> sways top talent and GOOD for them who get it. Sponsors want
> certain results and find the guys who can deliver them.


And- again this follows in the wake of Lemond- racers are paid almost
competitively with many other sports. Perhaps not the ridiculous
buckets of cash and fabulous prizes showered on NBA, MLB and NFL
players, but those sports are out of control. With that increase in
money comes an increase in pressure for results.

I think this has led to a significant increase in the sophistication
of doping. Doping used to be the purview of the soigneurs and is now
supervised by licensed physicians. The tools are more effective (as
Verbruggen stated almost 10 years ago, EPO was the first doping tool
that really worked reliably) and more dangerous.

> 2004 is more competitive than 1994 and WAY MORE than 1984.


Yes, for several reasons. The points system makes the individual
results of every rider important- in the days of Merckx, et al, the
gregarios didn't have to worry about where they finished in the race.
They buried themselves, limped home or even just dropped out of the
race. But now, every UCI point gained by every rider on the team is
important.

Second, the stratification of the teams is not as rigid as it was, and
teams tend to have multiple leaders. The Zulle-Jalabert combination
at ONCE was really quite something to watch in action. By comparison,
look at how Rik II did everything he could to squelch Merckx in the
latter's first couple of years as a pro. In the old days there was
one leader and one leader only. At the start of any given race, there
were maybe five contenders unless something weird happened. But the
social structure of Europe has loosened immensely and with it the
rigid structure of teams is not as pronounced as it was. Successful
directeurs sportifs have learned how to work with this to best
advantage: Saiz, Riis, etc.

Oddly enough, I don't think Bruyneel is in that mix; he is rather old
school and the team exists to serve the needs of one man in one race.
The result is a team that dminates one race and is merely somewhat
competitive in most others.

> There are more Classics Specialists than there are Tour Specialists
> these days.


Makes sense, doesn't it? There are few riders with the combination of
skills to win the Tour de France: Armstrong, Ullrich, maybe Hamilton.
Mayo doesn't yet but he is not yet mature. Julich did have the talent
but didn't have the head for it. Pantani's victory was a one-off.
The genetic sweepstakes are pretty selective for Tour winners. There
are many more riders with the abilities to win the Classics and the
smaller stage races. Luck is a greater factor in one-day races, too.

> The top 300 Pro Racers in the world is a Deep Pool of talent, far
> deeper than the top 300 of ten or twenty years ago.


I agree.
 
R

Richard Adams

Guest
Mike Kruger wrote:

> "Benjamin Weiner" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>
>>>On Wisconsin say i.

>>
>>If they weren't such a bunch of cheese eating surrenderers
>>they never would have had to hand over the UP to Michigan
>>after the Great Michigan-Wisconsin War of 1928.
>>
>>Hmm, on second thought, maybe the Wisconsinners knew what
>>they were up to.

>
>
> Wrong war. Michigan was given the UP after the Toledo War with Ohio in
> 1835.
> Yep. That's right. Michigan and Ohio fought a war and Wisconsin lost.
>
> http://wiwi.essortment.com/toledowar_rzxq.htm
>
>


Interesting bit of Michigan history I never knew. Quite a significant
win for Michigan as the iron ore and copper from the UP were a
considerable asset.
 
S

Stefan Pavlik

Guest
My god - what rock have you been hiding under for the last 7 years? The
USPS has an advertising budget and with that it can pick and choose how and
where it will be spent. It chose to sponsor a cycling team to get some
global recognition. IT turned out to be the biggest and best return on
investment the USPS ever made. Who'd ever thought Lance would win 1,3 5 or
even 6 tours. If memory serves me correctly he wasn't even on the
'original' USPS team. Now if the USPS takes it's $25 million dollar ad
budget and spends it on TV commercials, it gets a few ads produced and some
air time, then its run its course. With the same amount of money spent,
it's logo is on every sports magazine cover prior to the tour, on the news
everyday in July and endless photos throughout the year. In doing so, the
USPS can and has kept stamp prices reasonably low and also has been able to
compete head-to-head with UPS (even having cheaper prices on many of its
parcel services)! In December, the USPS will end its sponsorship term with
the procycling team. Personally, I think it has done great job and while
it hasn't used your tax dollars, it appreciates you buying stamps and using
its services daily.
"Churchill" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> "Marty Wallace" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> >
> > "Sam" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> > news:[email protected]
> > >
> > > "Alex Rodriguez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> > > news:[email protected]
> > > > In article <[email protected]>,
> > > > [email protected] says...
> > > > >Hey,
> > > > > Why does the US federal Government support a bike team in France?

I
> > > > >work hard for my money, and think the taxes I pay could be better
> > > > >used. What a Boondoggle!
> > > >
> > > > Like any other company, you have to advertise to get more business.

> > USPS
> > > > wanted to get more customers in Europe to use their service, so they
> > > sponser
> > > > a bicycle racing team. For the money they spend, they get an

> excellent
> > > > return on investment. So they continued to do so until ignorant

folks
> > > > started to complain.
> > > > -------------
> > > > Alex
> > > >
> > >
> > > I would like to see some proof that they are getting bang for their

buck
> > in
> > > terms of promotion and advertising. I doubt they are.
> > >
> > >

> >
> > My God you're an idiot.
> > The fastest rider and the fastest team in the biggest race in the world!
> > And you want proof?
> > If you don't think thats good promotion and advertising then you tell us
> > what is.
> >
> > Marty

>
> Speaking as a non-American I would never have heard of the "USPS" if it
> wasn't for the Tour, so their marketing worked in my case :)
>
> USPS is smart to do this, they are getting all of Europe focused on their
> name, cycling 'I sense' is much more popular in Europe than North America

:)
>
>
 
B

Bonehenge

Guest
On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 03:00:51 GMT, "Stefan Pavlik" <[email protected]>
wrote:

> It chose to sponsor a cycling team to get some
>global recognition. IT turned out to be the biggest and best return on
>investment the USPS ever made.


I've read that the sponsorship was NOT aimed at the US, but Europe.

The USPS was trying to increase it's share of the lucrative and
profitable global express market, also served by UPS, FedEx, DHL,
etc... In other words, they are trying to convince Euros to use the
USPS to ship stuff to and from the USA. Here in the US, the USPS is
losing package business to the same companies. Going after their
profitable global business, attempting to expand the business into new
markets, can be seen as a smart move.

If this is true, and it actually makes sense, sponsoring the bike team
would be no different from FedEx and UPS sponsorship of auto racing
here in the USA. Think about it, the target of the advertising is
Europe, pro cycling is as big there as NASCAR is in the USA.

I'll bet the bike team is cheaper than sponsoring a decent F1 team.
<G>

Barry
 
D

David N. Welton

Guest
Bonehenge <[email protected]> writes:

> The USPS was trying to increase it's share of the lucrative and
> profitable global express market, also served by UPS, FedEx, DHL,
> etc... In other words, they are trying to convince Euros to use the
> USPS to ship stuff to and from the USA.


But can you use USPS from europe? I can't, afaik, here in Italy. And
believe me, any alternative to the Italian postal system is welcome...
What's the point of advertising USPS when half the shipping depends on
the local postal system? I don't really follow that logic.

--
David N. Welton
Personal: http://www.dedasys.com/davidw/
Free Software: http://www.dedasys.com/freesoftware/
Apache Tcl: http://tcl.apache.org/
Photos: http://www.dedasys.com/photos/
 
A

alex

Guest
"Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> [email protected] (K. J. Papai) writes:
>
> Makes sense, doesn't it? There are few riders with the combination of
> skills to win the Tour de France: Armstrong, Ullrich, maybe Hamilton.
> Mayo doesn't yet but he is not yet mature. Julich did have the talent
> but didn't have the head for it. Pantani's victory was a one-off.
> The genetic sweepstakes are pretty selective for Tour winners. There
> are many more riders with the abilities to win the Classics and the
> smaller stage races. Luck is a greater factor in one-day races, too.


I think that it is only fair to include Beloki into the list of potential
candidates to win the TdF. In 4 participations he has been 2nd once, 3rd
twice and one did not finish. Only Lance and Jan have superior record and
all others including Tyler are well, well behind.
 
D

DRS

Guest
"Bonehenge" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

[...]

> I'll bet the bike team is cheaper than sponsoring a decent F1 team.


Heh. The top F1 teams spend around US$300 million per season. Their tyre
budget alone would probably pay for most bike teams.

--

A: Top-posters.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?
 
H

H. Morgan

Guest
On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 11:47:37 GMT, Bonehenge
<[email protected]> wrote:

>On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 03:00:51 GMT, "Stefan Pavlik" <[email protected]>
>wrote:
>
>> It chose to sponsor a cycling team to get some
>>global recognition. IT turned out to be the biggest and best return on
>>investment the USPS ever made.

>
>I've read that the sponsorship was NOT aimed at the US, but Europe.
>
>The USPS was trying to increase it's share of the lucrative and
>profitable global express market, also served by UPS, FedEx, DHL,
>etc... In other words, they are trying to convince Euros to use the
>USPS to ship stuff to and from the USA. Here in the US, the USPS is
>losing package business to the same companies. Going after their
>profitable global business, attempting to expand the business into new
>markets, can be seen as a smart move.
>
>If this is true, and it actually makes sense, sponsoring the bike team
>would be no different from FedEx and UPS sponsorship of auto racing
>here in the USA. Think about it, the target of the advertising is
>Europe, pro cycling is as big there as NASCAR is in the USA.
>
>I'll bet the bike team is cheaper than sponsoring a decent F1 team.
><G>
>
>Barry



I order frequently from the US and dread the final bill from the
courier companies. All the 'brokerage fees', paperwork fees, customs
declaration charges, etc, etc, can sometimes vastly exceed the value
of the goods. It's sickening. Plus, their 2-day, 3-day or whatever
service is for major urban areas only. Add another couple of days for
anywhere else.
I beg any companies to use USPS. It's far cheaper, far faster
and ties in to my country's postal service, so I don't come home to a
note on my door, then have to take a day off work to wait for a
parcel. I hope the USPS slays some of those couriers due to the
increased visibility overseas thanks to Lance et al.
 
D

DRS

Guest
"H. Morgan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

[...]

> I order frequently from the US and dread the final bill from the
> courier companies. All the 'brokerage fees', paperwork fees, customs
> declaration charges, etc, etc, can sometimes vastly exceed the value
> of the goods. It's sickening.


Absolutely right. Courier costs are deal killers when ordering from the US.

[...]

> I beg any companies to use USPS.


The smart ones do. I don't understand why those that refuse to use USPS
even bother with international sales.

> It's far cheaper, far faster
> and ties in to my country's postal service, so I don't come home to a
> note on my door, then have to take a day off work to wait for a
> parcel. I hope the USPS slays some of those couriers due to the
> increased visibility overseas thanks to Lance et al.


It would be nice.

--

A: Top-posters.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
"alex" <[email protected]> writes:

> "Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>> [email protected] (K. J. Papai) writes:
>>
>> Makes sense, doesn't it? There are few riders with the combination
>> of skills to win the Tour de France: Armstrong, Ullrich, maybe
>> Hamilton. Mayo doesn't yet but he is not yet mature. Julich did
>> have the talent but didn't have the head for it. Pantani's victory
>> was a one-off. The genetic sweepstakes are pretty selective for
>> Tour winners. There are many more riders with the abilities to win
>> the Classics and the smaller stage races. Luck is a greater factor
>> in one-day races, too.

>
> I think that it is only fair to include Beloki into the list of
> potential candidates to win the TdF. In 4 participations he has been
> 2nd once, 3rd twice and one did not finish. Only Lance and Jan have
> superior record and all others including Tyler are well, well
> behind.


Whether you win a race depends not only on your abilities but on those
of the competition, so with that caveat there are a number of
potential winners. I didn't include Beloki because I wasn't trying to
create an exhaustive list and was only thinking about the current
Tour. If you were to look across the entire peloton and not just the
current Tour, you'd come up with a list of riders that's a bit larger
than the three I named.

I was specifically thinking about Simoni- who's got the abilities to
win the Giro but not the Tour, and Heras who has the abilities to win
the Vuelta but not the Tour (I think Heras is a better candidate for
the Tour than Simoni, in part because the latter beats himself up too
much in the Giro). Both the Vuelta and the Giro tend to favor
climbers over rouleurs in recent years, partly in an attempt to create
a greater spectacle than the Tour (TIOOYK) de France; as a result some
climbers come to the Tour with pretensions to win that are just not
realistic.
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
"Stefan Pavlik" <[email protected]> writes:

> In doing so, the USPS can and has kept stamp prices reasonably low


I'm always amazed to send letters to Europeans for under $1 and get
replies which may cost several times as much to send from Europe to
the US. I sent a letter to Ireland a few years ago, cost me US$.40
and the return from Ireland cost nearly US$5.00! Sending that letter
to Ireland now would cost more, but still probably a fraction of what
it would cost someone in Europe to send one to me.
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
Tim McNamara <[email protected]> wrote:

>"Stefan Pavlik" <[email protected]> writes:
>
>> In doing so, the USPS can and has kept stamp prices reasonably low

>
>I'm always amazed to send letters to Europeans for under $1 and get
>replies which may cost several times as much to send from Europe to
>the US. I sent a letter to Ireland a few years ago, cost me US$.40
>and the return from Ireland cost nearly US$5.00! Sending that letter
>to Ireland now would cost more, but still probably a fraction of what
>it would cost someone in Europe to send one to me.


Then again, when I lived in China it cost LESS to send a letter from
Beijing to the US than from the US to the US (around 20 cents vx. 33
cents IIRC). I never figured that one out. I suppose to the US
postal system the mail coming in from China looked like the pre-sorted
kind of "cut-rate commercial" junk mail that costs little to send, too
(only on a much larger scale).

Mark Hickey
Habanero Cycles
http://www.habcycles.com
Home of the $695 ti frame
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
Mark Hickey <[email protected]> writes:

> Tim McNamara <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>"Stefan Pavlik" <[email protected]> writes:
>>
>>> In doing so, the USPS can and has kept stamp prices reasonably low

>>
>>I'm always amazed to send letters to Europeans for under $1 and get
>>replies which may cost several times as much to send from Europe to
>>the US. I sent a letter to Ireland a few years ago, cost me US$.40
>>and the return from Ireland cost nearly US$5.00! Sending that
>>letter to Ireland now would cost more, but still probably a fraction
>>of what it would cost someone in Europe to send one to me.

>
> Then again, when I lived in China it cost LESS to send a letter from
> Beijing to the US than from the US to the US (around 20 cents vx. 33
> cents IIRC). I never figured that one out. I suppose to the US
> postal system the mail coming in from China looked like the
> pre-sorted kind of "cut-rate commercial" junk mail that costs little
> to send, too (only on a much larger scale).


That brings up a question I have never thought of. Presumably, I pay
USPS for the stamp and then once it gets to Ireland or France or Italy
or wherever, USPS is paying that country's postal service to actually
deliver the letter. How does that work? And how does it work in
reverse? I'm assuming that Mr. Armstrong and Co. are not out dropping
off letters and parcels on their training rides (contrary to the ads
on TV today).
 
L

Luigi de Guzman

Guest
On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 22:49:18 -0500, Tim McNamara
<[email protected]> wrote:

>That brings up a question I have never thought of. Presumably, I pay
>USPS for the stamp and then once it gets to Ireland or France or Italy
>or wherever, USPS is paying that country's postal service to actually
>deliver the letter. How does that work? And how does it work in
>reverse? I'm assuming that Mr. Armstrong and Co. are not out dropping
>off letters and parcels on their training rides (contrary to the ads
>on TV today).


as I recall, those rates and protocols are negotiated bilaterally
between national postal services directly and multilaterally through
the Universal Postal Union.

-Luigi
 
K

Kenny

Guest
> > There are more Classics Specialists than there are Tour Specialists
> > these days.

>
> Makes sense, doesn't it? There are few riders with the combination of
> skills to win the Tour de France: Armstrong, Ullrich, maybe Hamilton.
> Mayo doesn't yet but he is not yet mature. Julich did have the talent
> but didn't have the head for it. Pantani's victory was a one-off.
> The genetic sweepstakes are pretty selective for Tour winners. There
> are many more riders with the abilities to win the Classics and the
> smaller stage races. Luck is a greater factor in one-day races, too.


This is a wrong comparison. There are 10 WC ("classics") races and
only 1 tour each year. If you want to make such a comparison, compare
the two major disciplines in cycling: WC races and Grand Tours. I
think if you try to name the main contenders for those two types of
racing, you won't find more names for classics as for GT's. I agree
if there is a suprising winner it is mostly in classics. But if you
name top favourites, you'll have the same number of riders for each
"discipline". Prove me wrong but to me there aren't more riders with
the ability to win classics than riders with the ability to win a GT.
 
C

Curtis L. Russell

Guest
On 12 Jul 2004 05:43:44 -0700, [email protected] (Kenny) wrote:

>There are 10 WC ("classics") races and
>only 1 tour each year. If you want to make such a comparison, compare
>the two major disciplines in cycling: WC races and Grand Tours. I
>think if you try to name the main contenders for those two types of
>racing, you won't find more names for classics as for GT's.


Depends on what you mean by contenders for racing. If you mean who can
win a stage on a given day on one of the three Tours, as well as
winning overall G.C., yes. If you are including anyone that has a role
in the Tour, then also yes, but that has little to do with the thread
to date.

If you mean that there are as many legitimate contenders for winning
the G.C. of a Tour as there are winning any one of the classics i a
given year, that simply doesn't make sense.

Curtis L. Russell
Odenton, MD (USA)
Just someone on two wheels...
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> writes:

> On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 22:49:18 -0500, Tim McNamara
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>That brings up a question I have never thought of. Presumably, I
>>pay USPS for the stamp and then once it gets to Ireland or France or
>>Italy or wherever, USPS is paying that country's postal service to
>>actually deliver the letter. How does that work? And how does it
>>work in reverse? I'm assuming that Mr. Armstrong and Co. are not
>>out dropping off letters and parcels on their training rides
>>(contrary to the ads on TV today).

>
> as I recall, those rates and protocols are negotiated bilaterally
> between national postal services directly and multilaterally through
> the Universal Postal Union.


Huh. There's a body I've never heard of. Thanks. Even though I mail
things internationally, I'd never thought of this before Mark's post.
 
G

Gawnsoft

Guest
On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 13:16:42 -0500, Tim McNamara
<[email protected]> wrote (more or less):

>"Stefan Pavlik" <[email protected]> writes:
>
>> In doing so, the USPS can and has kept stamp prices reasonably low

>
>I'm always amazed to send letters to Europeans for under $1 and get
>replies which may cost several times as much to send from Europe to
>the US. I sent a letter to Ireland a few years ago, cost me US$.40
>and the return from Ireland cost nearly US$5.00! Sending that letter
>to Ireland now would cost more, but still probably a fraction of what
>it would cost someone in Europe to send one to me.


Quite bizarre - I find postage from the US to the UK is much more
expensive than postage from the UK to the US.


--
Cheers,
Euan
Gawnsoft: http://www.gawnsoft.co.sr
Symbian/Epoc wiki: http://html.dnsalias.net:1122
Smalltalk links (harvested from comp.lang.smalltalk) http://html.dnsalias.net/gawnsoft/smalltalk
 
M

Mike Kruger

Guest
"Tim McNamara" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> [email protected] (K. J. Papai) writes:
>
>
> ... But the
> social structure of Europe has loosened immensely and with it the
> rigid structure of teams is not as pronounced as it was. Successful
> directeurs sportifs have learned how to work with this to best
> advantage: Saiz, Riis, etc.
>
> Oddly enough, I don't think Bruyneel is in that mix; he is rather old
> school and the team exists to serve the needs of one man in one race.
> The result is a team that dminates one race and is merely somewhat
> competitive in most others.
>

Not to nitpick, but Heras did quite well in the Vuelta when he was with U.S.
Postal.
Second in 2002 (barely), first in 2003. That's a bit more than "somewhat
competitive".