What's Cool In Road Cycling

Thursday’s Euro-Trash

Euro snippets for today range from the unpalatable in Belgium, to the salacious in the US, to the downright tropical for PVP. Check ’em out …

Belgian Bust Could Spell End Of Fairytale?
Belgian newspaper De Morgen has reported that several Belgian professionals have tested positive following the Johan Museew/Josй Landuyt/Herman Versele scandal. Raids across Belgium in early September uncovered suspicious substances in the homes of some riders, a number of whom were asked to provide blood and urine samples.

De Morgen claims some analyses have shown that evidence has emerged linking some riders to the use of Aranesp, a doping agent similar to EPO. No names have been released yet, and the news still seems a little hazy, so here’s hoping it might not be as bad as it seems. The prosecutors office in Courtrai, who are investigating, still say it’s too soon to comment – and prosecutors haven’t been slow to stick the boot into cycling in the past few years. It’s a case of wait and see …

PVP’s Late Season Taste Of Paradise
Yeah, it’s sometimes tough being a professional racer, dealing with the slush and rain and mud of early season Belgium, the heat and stress of the Tour and the tiredness of the late season races. But Peter Van Petegem has had a nice little treat to round off a long and productive season.

PVP came out on top in a short 80km blast around Curraзao, a tropical paradise in the Dutch Antilles, which drew together a handful of local racers to mix it with a sprinkling of top professionals. Alejandro Valverde and Michael Boogerd rounded out the top 3, outsprinted by PVP.

In an interesting, and almost wholly pointless aside, my search engine translates Peter Van Petegem as ‘Godfather Petegem’ – pretty appropriate for the boss man who so ruthlessly dominated the Spring Classics this year.

Lance Loves Sandra! No, Wait …. Lance Loves Sheryl?
The New York Post has added fuel to the romantic gossip fire that is the ongoing ‘story’ of Lance Armstrong’s supposed dalliance with Hollywood star Sandra Bullock. By saying he’s actually seeing someone else.

Apparently the lady in question is super cool, mellow rock ьber chick Sheryl Crow. (Lance, if this is true, you are a lucky ……) Mind you, it could be an entirely different name next week. The NY Post reckons they’ve been trying to keep things quiet because Lance is still working through his sad divorce from wife Kristin.

The cult of Lance’s celebrity seems to be growing fast. What price Big Tex appearing to present an Oscar next year?

Bortalami Back In The Big Time?
Italian Classics specialist Gianluca Bortalami looks like he’ll be back in the 1st division next season after a 6-month doping hiatus. The 2001 Tour of Flanders champion is set to hook up with the Lampre squad, following his curtailed Vini-Caldirola/Saunier-Duval experience.

Bortolami came up positive after the 3 Days of De Panne early this year, and hasn’t raced since, so this will hopefully give him the opportunity to let his legs do the talking, and put him back where he was prior to his disputed suspension.

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