Vive SPORTS ILLUSTRATED! And vive le Tour de France (A Nation's Midsummer Madness, Aug. 22)! Your way of covering the lesser-known sports certainly appeals to the many nonbaseball-basketball-football-oriented fans. Jack Olsen's article on the world-famous bicycle classic presented an interesting and amusing insight. Those of us who are active in cycling here in the U.S. agree with the statement: "Bicycle racers are 15 years ahead of other sportsmen. They are the most intelligent of athletes." We feel that they are also among the most dedicated and persevering of our athletes. Each summer the Amateur Bicycle League of America conducts road championships in each state, which are up to 120 miles in length. When you throw in a 95� July sun, steaming pavement, muscle-torturing climbs and 50-mile-an-hour descents, you've got to be truly dedicated to your sport to love it. Unlike the Tour de France, however, our gallery of fans is often composed of a couple of curious cows, a dog or two and, maybe, a startled chicken.
Jack Olsen deserves the maillot jaune for his story of the 1966 Tour de France. Bike racing is relatively unknown in the U.S., except for a small minority of enthusiasts. Our enthusiasm is strong, but Olsen's article has aroused it to fever pitch.
President, Akron Cycling Club
So Jackie Stewart can drive a race car (When You're No. 2 You Drive Harder, Aug. 15). Swell! So Jackie Stewart has clean fingernails. Well, let me clue him in. So does A. J. Foyt. As for finesse and delicacy, I must agree that A.J. is a little lacking but, oh, boy, can he drive a race car.
I think Mr. Stewart is wrong in stating that men like Foyt cannot handle a rear-engine car because they lack sensitivity. I think if A.J. had the understanding and the experience that the British drivers have of the newer rear-engine cars he could beat Jackie Stewart any day.
MRS. JAMES HANSENFUS
I was very pleased that a story was done about me. However, I think Writer Robert Daley misunderstood my point of view regarding certain matters.
I have always been very pleased to be associated with Graham Hill on the BRM team. I have a great admiration for him. As for A. J. Foyt, I consider him to be one of the truly great race drivers in the world. If nothing else, I have learned one thing: great drivers can drive most any type of car, and I would certainly not want to take anything away from Mr. Foyt. But, naturally, American drivers have had to make many adjustments in driving technique for the type of cars used at the Indianapolis 500 today. They are like sports cars when compared to the roadster-type machines formerly used.
As for my success, financially, in the short period that I have been driving, I can only say that I have had some good advice from friends and am certainly in no position to say, as was implied, that I probably am the most successful young driver to ever come along. I enjoy racing tremendously—on the Grand Prix circuit and at Indy. I have been treated splendidly by the people at Indianapolis, and I only hope that I will have the opportunity to compete there again in the future.
Milton, Dumbarton Scotland
It would be interesting to know the mental age and IQ of the guy who wrote the editorial on Cassius Clay and the Beatles (SCORECARD, Aug. 22). What "public," aside from the high school crowd, has been so marvelously "entertained" by the Beatles, a combo that cannot carry a tune but only shout?
And who has been so marvelously entertained by Clay in his series of fights, which were anything but well matched?
Your assumption that these people should be allowed to shoot off their mouths at will while everyone else sits back and says, "Isn't that cute?" is ridiculous. In my opinion a true celebrity carries himself with pride and dignity, not boastfully and pompously.
FREDERICK W. DAU JR.
Clearwater Beach, Fla.