Yeah, so doping raids today in Belgium, yadda, yadda. Cops found some dope, some riders have been suspended, etc. I’m gonna wait until the smoke clears. These Belgian doping things always go on forever and involve quarter-million Euro fines and symbolic post-career suspensions. Anyway, ProCycling is now back on line but is kinda low on up-to-date news at the moment. In fact, it’s just kind of a slow day, outside those raids; Vino won predictably at Castilla y Leon; Danilo Napolitano took another notable win, but the GC at Coppi & Bartali remained largely unchanged. I guess the sweetest “news” I saw today was this feature on the legendary Battaglin Pirana, quite possibly the ugliest bike in the history of the sport. Just be sure to stop reading before the story before it turns into an ad. Oh, and I guess the sue-and-deny method of responding to doping charges, pioneered by Lance Armstrong, is catching on.
So, E3 this weekend, the Ronde the next. Are you ready? BiciRace is, with their extremely-ahead-of-schedule preview. I especially like the course profile; looks like the maniacal Excitebike courses I used to churn out as an eight-year-old. I’m excited to watch E3 tomorrow at Cycling.TV, especially ’cause it’s free. They’ll also be covering Gent-Wevelgem and Amstel, but I can’t really tell if it’s free or not; Velogal seems similarly confused. In the event that it isn’t free, I may drop the cash for Cycling.TV Premium since it costs less than upgrading to a cable package with OLN. Anyway, World Champ Tommy Boonen is all set for the rest of the classics; see this $6,000 bike? Well, apparently it’s not stiff enough (scroll to “Stronger bike”), so not stiff enough, in fact, that Boonen’s chain was skipping (search “11”), when he really wailed on it. Want a sprint that nasty? This article might be able to help you out. Want more big-guy themed advice? Magnus Backstedt is all to happy to provide. And before you head out to Flanders this April, be sure stock up on your antibiotics (thanks to Bob for the link).