To the surprise of practically no one in the cycling world, Tom Boonen is back---with a vengence. He just won the classic Paris-Roubaix road race for his third, and second consecutive victory. It's considered one of the toughest one-day races on the pro circuit, 160 miles of very tough riding, a lot of it on rough, rippled ancient cobblestones.Boonen is the cyclist from Belgium who tested positive last June for the recreational use of cocaine, and was banned from last year's tour de France as a result of the charges. Evidently all is forgiven; Boonen was not found guilty of illegal drug use by Belgian law enforcement or by cycling's drug officials. "Tornado Tom" has mostly been a journeyman racer, winning a stage here, a stage there and the occasional race. However, he's considered a top rider for one-day races and an excellent sprinter. Even the caption on his official web site says, "Shall we sprint?" Boonen's early 2009 season is starting out stellar. In early February, he won his third Tour of Qatar, a race started in 2002 by the small, oil-rich Arab Emirate state in the Persian Gulf. (Qatar is the headquarters of the Arabic broadcasting behemoth Al Jazeera.) Last year's positive for cocaine has not affected Boonen's legion of fans, a large and vocal group whose support for their man is total. Even the French love him, and cycling fans there accept his positive, while still continually sniping at the consistantly clean Lance Armstrong. It's notable that Armstrong has been tested by international drug officials 27 times since January 1. That's nearly twice a week for the lengthly and invasive procedure, where the athlete must immediately urinate in front of the testers, holding his private parts so that every crevice is fully visible, and where a needle is also punched into the athlete's arm to draw a blood sample. Twice a week. Armstrong has not been having a good year since announcing his plan to come out of retirement for another Tour de France attempt. He recently had yet another kerfluffle with the French drug cops on March 17, when an unaccompanied tester showed up at Lance's hotel for more samples of the U. S. rider's hair, urine and blood as he returned from a training ride. Armstrong's assistants wanted to check the lone tester's credentials, and Armstrong was given permission to take a shower while the credentials were checked. But the tester claimed that Armstrong "evaded" the drug tests for 20 minutes by not remaining under the required "direct and permanent observation" of the tester. Though Armstrong, as always, tested clean, French authorities are still deliberating whether to charge him with an offense for having the audacity to take a shower after his ride without the tester peering inside the shower curtain. But Armstrong has received a bit of good luck. In February, three of his bikes were stolen from a team trailer in Sacramento, California, including his $10,000 time trial bike, the only one like it in the world. All three bikes have since been recovered undamaged. On April 8, police arrested the burglars and charged them with grand theft bicycle.