Yeah, it’s sad. Tyler Tunes used to be one of the coolest features on VeloNews. But now, he’s been relegated to lowly RoadCycling.com. Don’t worry, Tyler, if the verdict doesn’t go your way, I’ll be more than happy to host your diary entries. Everyone already thinks I’m soft on doping, so why not, right? But can you blame me for questioning the the media and the vampires? Look at this situation (scroll down) with poor Inigo Landaluze. I mean, the story pops up in some Columbian paper, everyone jumps on it (myself included, though I question it a bit), and now? Seems like there may not be any dope case after all. But see where ProCycling ran the notice that everything is still “pending a report”? At the bottom of a page in a new potpourri story. It’s quite a contrast to the headliner that brought the so-called positive test to the fore, and difference between the two presentations might explain how cycling gets such a dirty image compared to other sports.
Anyway – on to what this guy might call “dopers that haven’t been caught yet”. Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step) struck back at the country that denied him a World Road Title yet again last fall, schooling two Spaniards from Spanish teams on Spanish soil in a three-up sprint to win the queen leg of the Challenge Illes Balears. Alejandro Valverde (Illes) and Frank Schleck (CSC) flashed some good early season form to led home the bunch for 4th, 25 seconds later. Today’s Langkawi stage was a mostly French affair, as Laurent Mangel (Ag2r) won a sprint from a eight-man group just ahead of the field, and used the opportunity emphatically state “Yes, we do use deoderant!” Finally, returning to Europe, Erik Zabel took his 5th 2nd place in 10 days at the Tour Med opener today, this time sucking the dust of Lampre’s Danilo Napolitano.