One of the biggest stories of the spring has to be the conflicting Ronde van Vlaanderen ambitions of local deity Tom Boonen and World Champion Paolo Bettini. Two extremely high-profile teammates, one monument... and yet, as shown by Bettini's comments to La Gazzetta, via CN, this rivalry appears to contain more love than jealousy:
To the despair of journalists around Europe, Bettini is all about the high road these days, which is not only pleasant but also his best chance at winning Flanders. If he were taking a more selfish approach,* QSI would probably have to get nasty about it to preserve Boonen's rightful place. By being a solid teammate, he'll probably get the respect he deserves and the freedom to take his shot, as long as he can do so without dragging Lotto to the line.
A two-up sprint between the hometown hero and the Italian World Champ to the line in Meerbeke, anyone?
*Disclaimer: I am not saying Bettini has even considered this, OK?