Former Pro Road Cyclist Arrested For Dealing and Trafficking Cocaine Using Mountain Bike

Feb 27, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

A former pro road cyclist has been arrested in Italy on suspicion of dealing and trafficking cocaine. It is believed he hid the drug in the seat tube of his mountain bike and that he then used the bike to discretely transport it while he was selling, Il Resto Del Carlino reports.

Juan Pablo Valencia Gonzales, who rode for UCI Professional Continental outfit Team Colombia from 2012 to 2015, was arrested outside the house he was staying in earlier this month while leaving with his bike. He was found with 20 grams of cocaine on his person and then a further 40 grams were found in the house along with a cutting agent, precision scales and €4,000 in cash. When the mountain bike was investigated, strong traces of cocaine were found in the seat tube, leading police to suspect he was using that to discreetly transport the drugs.

Suspicions were first raised in Montegranaro, a town of 13,000 residents, when police received reports of a foreigner selling drugs. The newspaper says it proved difficult for Carabinieri to track down Valencia as he was officially residing in Bergamo, on the outskirts of Milan some 500km away, but was staying with different friends in Montegranaro while selling the drugs. The investigation began in January but when an address was confirmed the police put it under surveillance until an arrest could be made.

Gonzales, 31, has ridden one Grand Tour, the Vuelta a Espana in 2015, and won the Mountains classification in the Tour of Turkey in the same year. Under Italy's drug laws he can expect a prison sentence and a fine.

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184 Comments

  • + 359
 Should have used an internally routed dropper, police would have given up before they got to the good stuff
  • + 288
 "A first gen Reverb? Let him go, he's been punished enough."
  • + 18
 SRAM wants their cocaine back.
  • + 21
 Better yet a hope crankset...
  • - 4
flag Ryanrobinson1984 (Feb 27, 2019 at 10:58) (Below Threshold)
 FFS, leave the man alone. Nothing wrong with a little cocaine.
  • + 39
 Not enough insertion length on these long, low, and crack bikes.
  • - 4
flag seraph (Feb 27, 2019 at 12:31) (Below Threshold)
 @Ryanrobinson1984: If he was using it all for himself it wouldn't be as bad I suppose. But he was distributing it.
  • + 15
 @Ryanrobinson1984: bet it’s the good stuff too,being Colombian
  • + 5
 @MTBrent: haha long, low, and crack. This comment should be up at the top.
  • - 31
flag jaame (Feb 27, 2019 at 15:35) (Below Threshold)
 @Ryanrobinson1984: if it was weed, you would have received a hundred upvotes. The sheeple have decided that cannabis, which comes from a plant, is good. For some reason cocaine, which also comes from a plant, is much better than cannabis and does not turn normal people into idiots, is bad. Better get with the program!
  • + 26
 @jaame: Hang on, your saying Cocaine doesn't turn people into idiots. Have you never met someone on coke?
  • + 1
 @MarcusBrody: U sir, win the internetz.
  • - 19
flag jaame (Feb 28, 2019 at 2:55) (Below Threshold)
 @Captain1Eye: No, not idiots. Dicks maybe! But at least dicks who are capable of having a normal conversation, and other important things like getting out of bed, getting to work on time etc.
  • + 21
 @jaame: f*ck me, I'm guessing you're a bit short on first-hand evidence.
  • + 12
 @jaame: weed does not come from a plant...it is a plant dumbass. Coccaine on the other hand is heavily processed before it reaches powder form. There is a reason weed has become more acceptable than coke and that’s because coke can f*cking kill you and it will! Good luck killing your self with weed.
  • + 8
 Are any of his bikes for sale on this site?
  • - 22
flag jaame (Feb 28, 2019 at 15:40) (Below Threshold)
 @mkotowski1: thanks for the education dumbass.
Weed might not kill you physically but it will kill your motivation and power of rational thought.
I'd rather be dead than brain dead, dumbass.
  • + 0
 @jaame: hahaha go for it, I run shit and smoke everyday what do you do you brain dead coke head
  • - 18
flag jaame (Feb 28, 2019 at 16:26) (Below Threshold)
 @mkotowski1: I'm not a coke head. I do think coke has its merits though. Maybe on your wedding day or birthday. Special occasions only.
Really I'm more making the point that it comes from a plant, and cannabis also comes from a plant, but one is gaining mainstream acceptance. For some reason, people think smoking weed, and telling everyone about how they smoke weed every day makes them cool. It's not cool. No cooler than smoking cigarettes, or drinking wine. Constantly making references to weed and 4:20. There was a kind of cool look at me I'm doing something illegal value on it before, but now it's gone since no police force really cares about it anymore.
I'm not saying everyone who smokes weed is an idiot, but it does have a habit of turning people into idiots. It's just not for me. And when I read yet another pro cannabis comment by someone who thinks it makes them look cool, I just yawn. I'm sick of yawning. I'm not even tired. "I got caned last night" is right up there with "I need my coffee" and "I've got itchy balls" in terms of the interest it stimulates. On the cocaine side you have that basketball guy who died when his heart exploded in the middle of a three day cocaine and sex binge in a Nevada whorehouse. Now that's an interesting read. Much more so than "I watched TV last night with a load of blokes, got stoned, talked shit and got the munchies. It was like, so cooooool maaaan!"
  • + 9
 @jaame: no one thinks weed makes them cool unless your 15, it’s just a side dish to life, get over yourself and complain to pastor about it not on pinkbike cause we don’t give a fck whatcha say
  • - 7
flag jaame (Mar 1, 2019 at 5:25) (Below Threshold)
 @mkotowski1: so are you 15 then?
  • + 11
 @jaame: Listen, if you do it right, weed is neither going to turn you into an idiot or stop you from being one. Like anything else it has its pitfalls and everything in moderation, etc. But it will never have the devastating effects of alcohol, certain stimulants and the real hard addictive stuff. If it does nothing for you or has left you with a negative impression, it's either a physiological issue, something to do with the context in which it was consumed, the people you were with or another circumstantial factor. Coke amplifies personality traits sometimes to the point of making them unbearable, but if everyone's in that state it can seem ok, especially if you add booze to the mix. Add cannabis to the mix and the scales might fall from your eyes, you'll almost be thrust back into a state of objectivity and realise that the excessive confidence charlie provides can cause people to lose self-awareness and think that a 10-minute circular monologue is worth everyone hearing. It can also empty your bank account faster than a highway robber. But given the right context, it can be enjoyable and not necessarily a negative experience.
On the other hand, weed makes household chores way more tolerable and enhances the dullest of evenings spent pottering, listening to/making music and fiddling with bikes in the garage. Microdosing with a vaper I would say has next to zero negative effects (if you are not predisposed to certain issues) and can stimulate creativity and thought a great deal, as well as warding off depression. Not to mention the medicinal properties. I could go on. Any time we generalize about something (especially with purely anecdotal evidence) we are invariably wrong.
  • + 4
 @jaame: this is such a poorly thought out argument. Fentanyl ? Normal conversation ? Ha! This shit is awful , super addictive , ruins lives and families (I've seen it) can't believe anyone is advocating Coke over pot...Jesus , do some reading on the topic.
  • + 2
 @DGWW: yep, and can I just correct: if you do it right it can stop you being an "idiot". Just for the record.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: well put dude, the voice of reason
  • + 1
 @BenPea: It's difficult to argue with you, BenPea.

It's just not for me.

In my personal experience, I don't see many positives to come out of weed smoking.
I don't see many positives to come out of cocaine use either, it's just a hell of a lot more fun than weed. For me it is anyway.
  • + 3
 Logic:
Cocaine for a night = you’re killin it bud way to go yeah celebrate your own immortality

Weed = what were we talking about again?/I don’t even remember the last time I got out of the house or even got out of bed.

Have you ever had a serious cocaine bender one night? I’ll show you not getting out of bed or leaving the house. Ohh doctor go do an eight ball in a night and tell me how you didn’t make any dumb decisions and how great you feel the next day.

I’m not saying this like “oh I’m cool look at me”; but I’ve had a couple pretty serious drug problems in my life. Weed has never left me in a gutter without a penny to my name. Just really hungry when I get done with a bike ride.
  • + 1
 @jaame: weed is not for everyone but neither is coke, it’s fun but it may kill you, weed won’t
  • + 1
 @BenPea: very good take on that topic sir.
  • + 241
 He would have been a millionaire if he had Specialized swat box
  • + 4
 Came here to say this lol. EDC perhaps too?
  • + 19
 or the old es muska pro shoes with the hidden weed pocket
  • + 180
 Is this the snow bike racing the UCI are promoting?
  • + 1
 hahah!
  • + 169
 One could say his seat post was cracked.
  • + 28
 Hehe, that's funny, giggle, snicker... snort.
  • - 40
flag endlessblockades (Feb 27, 2019 at 13:39) (Below Threshold)
 You guys don't know much about drugs.
  • + 11
 @endlessblockades: wow man you seem like a really fun person to have conversations with, good for you.
  • + 1
 @mtbikeaddict: u forgot eek
  • + 102
 I respect that mans hustle. Mans got a wife and kid to feed and an expensive hobby
  • - 61
flag mikefromdownthestreet (Feb 27, 2019 at 9:04) (Below Threshold)
 No.
  • + 82
 You have to be able to pay for all those new Standards and Electronic equipment, and let's not forget those carbon pedals!
  • + 91
 His strava times must have been unbeatable!
  • + 1
 @rockchomper: u sir just made my day Smile
  • + 2
 Epo isn't cheap
  • + 70
 Sometimes you follow the line of the rider in front of you. In this case, it requires a rolled up dollar bill.
  • + 65
 I guess his bike was a few grams heavier
  • + 58
 Isn't carbon more expensive than cocaine gram for gram. I ask because "how to be a mountain biker" said so
  • + 2
 No way. You can get a set of carbon hoops for $400 and that’s a good 600 grams for the pair. I think an 8 ball of coke (3.5g) is $100-$150
  • + 54
 He must have had great line choice on the trail...
  • + 52
 I feel like you guys post these articles just to see what kind of comments it'll produce... so far so good tho
  • + 47
 Team Colombia.
  • + 2
 This lol
  • + 43
 Definitely a gram counter...
  • + 4
 Zing!
  • + 34
 Roadies....don’t drag mountain bikes into the toilet!!!!
  • + 28
 You know, cocaine is a hell of a drug. - Rick James
  • + 4
 Van dam was coked out of his mind while filming street fighter
  • + 22
 The only time I support bicycle crime, is when it’s crime done on a bicycle.

www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/February-2019/Bicycle-Bank-Robber-Tom-Justice
  • + 6
 What a great article.
  • + 1
 Awesome...thanks for sharing!
  • + 2
 Thanks for posting that, such a good read.
  • + 1
 Longer than expected, but an entertaining story.
  • + 1
 Amazing article.
  • + 20
 Haha, remind me the IFHT video on how to be a mountain biker: step 28: your new addiction is carbon. Altough healthier than cocaine, it is more expensive...
  • + 22
 Former team name checks out.
  • + 17
 They have no evidence that he was selling anything! What roadie DOESN'T have a precision scale? Four thousand euros in cash? Easy: paying for broken frames. Cutting agents? Definitely just using them to recover, bruh! Have you ever EVEN TRIED sniffing whey protein with cocaine? You won't even feel that century you just put into your legs. Cocaine? Well, he is in Italy, so prolly just paying his respects to Pantani. When in Rome, right? Just let him go with a two-year suspension and the gods will be happy.
  • + 17
 60g of coke? Lame Euro-Roadie stuff...Missy had 300lbs of weed.
  • + 8
 There's a "weight weenie" joke here somewhere...
  • + 15
 If I ever find out my kid has got a road bike problem, I swear I don't know what I'll do...
  • + 15
 First you get the money. Then you get the power. Then you get the women.
  • + 6
 Then you get all their babies.
  • + 10
 An "ex-pro" road racer making some money on the side.... not much to write home about. CURRENT top level athletes doping and cheating, maybe worth actually investigating and sharing. Interesting how quickly we forget about those folks eh??
  • + 3
 Yeah, where's the update on Rude and Grave's allegations?
  • + 11
 His roadie teammates told him he had to dope if he was going to get anywhere. I think he misunderstood.
  • + 13
 I'm not mad at him
  • + 8
 60 grams of chach... Big deal. With him being Colombian it was prolly some grade A booger sugar! The real story here is that the Carabinieri actually made an arrest!
  • + 10
 Hey ya gotta pay for those carbon rims somehow
  • + 10
 And his teammates thought he had a powdered pastry fetish...
  • + 1
 He used a lot of talc powder on his tubes. And had ptfe in his chain lube.
  • + 10
 Roadies, never trust em - especially Pablo EsCrossbar
  • + 7
 You know what they say- carbon is less expensive than cocaine, but it is more expensive. Especially when filled with cocaine.
  • + 8
 another casualty of the war on drugs
  • + 16
 2 months of police resources and a countrywide operation for 60g. In other news, a man in Finale Ligure attempts to empty the Mediterranean using a teaspoon.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: right on point
  • + 4
 What does this have to do with Huck to Flat? First we have massive XC coverage and now roadie coke-bust 'news' ? C'mon PB - stay between the tape!
  • + 6
 I heard they found crack in his Enve rims...
  • + 5
 A new low for Pink Bike. Congrats.
  • + 5
 A new "blow". FTFY. Wink
  • + 4
 Team cartel for gold in the 2020 games in Japan. They are so fast, they can out sprint German shepherds.
  • + 4
 I was going to watch a film tonight, but when the comments section is this good, who needs Netflix. Well done all concerned.
  • + 5
 20 grams , hardly worth a mention
  • + 5
 ready-made joke being colombian.
  • + 6
 ProLINE
  • + 5
 He got caught in the LINE of duty!
  • + 1
 *snorts and chuckles*
  • + 4
 That's why you dont use a wireless dropper. If it was a hydro reverb they never would've found the drugs
  • + 5
 Hellz yes performance enhancing drugs Are bad mmmmkay
  • + 4
 Y'all don't even know about the bmxers slinging rock then huh? hahahah
  • + 4
 "I'm Rick James, biatch!!" - Rick James
  • + 16
 Rick James never said 'biatch'. It's a solid BITCH from him or don't quote him.
  • + 4
 And this, children, is how you make a cliché..
  • + 1
 So if I chose to shoot you, do you still get hurt? Or if you chose to cut yourself, do you still get hurt?

I fully support the death penalty to all convicted heroin dealers..
  • + 1
 I actually always transported and sold drugs in the 80's and 90's by bike, was way less stressful than carrying in a vehicle.Guess it didn't work for Juan, that sucks, hopefully they don't stick it to him to bad.
  • + 1
 Dano98. The lives of the addicts he sold to. Drug dealers are scumbags. Not to mention in the public eye, some people will now associate mountain bikers with drug dealers. Nice job a hole.
  • + 2
 The article stated it was found in the seat tube but I'm thinking it was in his SWAT Box
  • + 1
 Not surprised! There's alot of dirty going on in Pro sports! Cocaine is number one choice for cheats! It's easy, doesn't stay long in the system, usually gone during a race!
  • + 2
 Oh so that’s why he was walking around smelling bike seats! Trying to remember what seat tube he left his stash in.
  • + 2
 Best comment in all this
  • + 1
 2 ounces, should have claimed personal use. Cutting to extend his supply. Precision scales are for his strict diet regimen, which includes cocaine.
  • + 4
 MTB riders smoke weed!!!
  • + 2
 Fuck yeah right.
  • - 1
 Thanks @pinkbike for the awesome new's... and helping to promote a bad name for Colombia. 20 grams is not a big amount compared on what happens in a daily basis in the rest of the world... but hey you got to give people something to talk and trend, specially if its some shi7 topic about a third world country that struggles a lot with this kind of things. Me as a Colombian living outside my Country got a lot of this thanks to news like this... i bet if this happens in USA (and i does happen) or other country will not be that big deal of a news... but hey its Colombia right?... im a fan of pinkbike and all the Mtb news and stuff, but this time... just fck off pinkbike, stay with the bike news we really dont need more of this shi7 news of our country. Cero respects for this post.
  • + 11
 Oh I thought we were just bashing roadies, we don't care if he's from Colombia.
  • + 4
 A pro cyclist was caught trafficking cocaine on a mountain bike so a mountain bike website understandably thought it news worthy.
Would you be getting on your high horse if he was from a different country?
  • + 3
 I sympathize. The Tour Colombia just took place with the focus trying to be on how great Colombia is for road cycling and developing world class riders (like Marcelo!). Hard to move beyond the normal tropes and stereotypes when the media keeps writing articles like this that spread.

Allez Rigo!
  • + 1
 @Patsplit: agree!
  • + 1
 Sorry Colombia but your country is full of crazy women.
  • + 2
 I’m a dark skin person, I was waiting to to see them blame on a brotha, but I am still waiting ... lol.
  • + 3
 I thought roadies didn't like "bumps" ?
  • + 2
 How did you win the mountain classification in the tour of Turkey? “Cocaine.....lots of cocaine”
  • + 3
 Cocaine direct injection to the butthole???
  • + 9
 @Naturel: how do you know this?
  • + 1
 @Naturel: heroin is not lipophilic, how would it be absorbed ?
  • + 4
 @zede: crack don't affect the crack
  • + 1
 Just feeding that gerbil in his BB. Totally legal pedal assist on any trail.
  • + 0
 The War on Inanimate Objects continues. Humans, continue blaming technology for your poor choices; just a few trillion dollars more and you'll win!
  • + 1
 Glad it was a "precision" scale. I hate it when they use those cheepy postal scales.
  • + 2
 an 8 ball next to yer 2 balls...
  • + 2
 Haaa those ex road pro... Nothing surprising!
  • + 1
 Pshhht. 17 8-balls?! Thats not dealing- That's just a good weekend, what's the big stink?! ;-)
  • + 1
 Well since professional road times have drug dealers, seems the same too go free lance?
  • + 2
 Those roadies and their Powder Meters... Or was it power?
  • + 2
 Hell ya, what a badass. Trafficking drugs on endurance rides I'm all in.
  • + 2
 Talk about being Two weeks behind the news.
  • + 2
 What a flake! I bet he's hoping this whole thing will just "blow" over
  • + 2
 Roadie trying to drag mtb through the mud...
  • + 2
 Someone clearly watched too many episodes of Narcos.
  • + 2
 its the secret resin in carbon, wicked stuff MAN!
  • + 1
 This shit is hilarious ????
  • + 1
 I always wanted a powder-coated seatpost
  • + 1
 There's no business like the blow business
  • + 1
 Ad Lance Armstrong is the villain ... PFFFT.
  • + 1
 It's funny cause he's a Colombian
  • + 1
 He's doing mechanical doping all wrong.
  • + 1
 Gotta make money for those 20 grand road bikes somehow I guess.
  • + 1
 Biking is an expensive sport. Gotta pay for those $10k rigs some how.
  • + 1
 I don't mean to laugh....lol
  • + 1
 Marco Pantani would've been proud.
  • + 2
 haha... Duty
  • + 2
 But can I buy that bike?
  • + 2
 SRAM AXS isn't cheap...
  • + 1
 Shoulda stuck with NX, I suppose.
  • + 1
 I bet he rails the corners.
  • + 1
 And rides the white line.
  • + 1
 I wish he delivered some to me.
  • + 1
 definitely a sting operation
  • + 1
 Should have gotten an ebike and stored the drugs in the "battery "
  • + 2
 Cracking news
  • + 1
 That’s a start
  • - 1
 Shame,as he blow the competition away, was a crack ing climber, but not to clever on the down...and luurrrved a party bag!!
  • + 1
 those mountainbikers..
  • + 1
 Easy Rider
  • + 1
 musta been a fast rider
  • + 1
 Roadies.....
  • - 2
 Are we going to report on all criminal behavior of mountain bikers/road bikers or is this just a one of thing to garner a story of interest for your front page?
  • + 13
 STFU and laugh at the comments ????
  • + 0
 @leviatanouroboro: only after you confess any crimes you have done to the internet.
  • + 1
 Missy moving pounds of bud?
  • + 0
 This comment section is gonna "blow" up.
  • + 4
 Dude blew by me on the climbs
  • + 0
 Friggin idiot!!
  • - 3
 Scumbag needs a beating.
  • + 5
 Who did he hurt?
  • - 2
 @Dano98: every person he sold cocaine to?
  • - 1
 @Mr-Pistol-Peter: exactly.... Dano98 must live in a bubble
  • + 0
 @Mr-Pistol-Peter: They're the ones choosing to do it.
  • + 0
 @Dano98: So if I chose to shoot you, do you still get hurt? Or if you chose to cut yourself, do you still get hurt?

I fully support the death penalty to all convicted heroin dealers..
  • + 1
 @Mr-Pistol-Peter: amen to that! Agreed my friend!!!
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