The Greatest of All Time?You mention in your article about Christian Vande Velde ["Crash Course," July] that he had beaten Lance Armstrong in a time trial, calling Armstrong "arguably the best bike racer of all time." You do a disservice to your readers when you make such a statement. Based on results, there is actually no argument: Eddy Merckx is the undisputed greatest bike racer of all time. Lance has seven Tour de France wins, one World Championship title, and two wins in so-called "classic" one-day European races. But Merckx, in addition to five Tour de France wins, won the Giro d'Italia five times, and the Tour of Spain once. Merckx won the World Championship three times. Merckx won each of cycling's five "monuments" more than once, for a record 19 victories. Armstrong has not won a single "monument." Merckx won 34 stages at the Tour de France, the record, and is the only rider to win all of the classification jerseys in a single year at both the Tour and Giro. Merckx had 445 victories as a professional, a record viewed in cycling circles as untouchable. A good resource is Cycling-HallofFame.com, where results of all professional riders are tracked, and where Armstrong is ranked third, behind Merckx and Bernard Hinault. Armstrong is a great bicycle rider. But Eddy Merckx is the G.O.A.T.
My name is Adrie van Diemen, and I'm the trainer/coach of Christian Vande Velde. Thank you for the wonderful article "Crash Course." You describe the emotions, worries, fight, and happy moments in Christian's career in a striking manner. Let us hope he's back in top shape in time for this year's Tour de France. He deserves it.
Adrie van Diemen
Baby StepsI wanted to express my husband's and my heartfelt thanks for the exceptional article on our grandson, Noah ["Because of Noah," July]. It moved me to tears; it's such an insightful, caring interpretation of the events surrounding Noah's surgery. I especially like the blending of Andrew Corsello's own story and how he found prayer and church, because we have always felt that way when hiking in the Colorado high country. We thank Mr. Corsello's wife for understanding his need to come back to Colorado—a trip that resulted in the meeting with Chris and his friends for that bit of serendipity that resulted in Mr. Corsello's wonderful story. Sue Reams