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
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.