My tip for the race shall be Gerrans, i think the race suits him. If Gilbert is not in form yet and Valverde does not go well here usually i think he can beat JROD ( under his new found form ).
Now for my long list of going through each team/ riders.
Gilbert may not be in great for but the Cauberg suits him. Evans and GVA will probably co-lead but Gilbert can still be a factor.
Nocentini??? Otherwise just get onto breaks.
Ponzi could have a chance if some of the the other riders ( Freire/ Sagan are there ). Strong team but lacking Kreuziger.
No idea for EE.
FDJ will attack a lot.
Hesjedal, Kreder, Martin and Wegmann could all go well ( strong team and various options ). They will be present and probably force a split along with BMC, Katusha and Movistar.
GE have a good team in Albasini and Clarke to go on the attack, whilst Gerrans conserves energy for the Cauberg.
Katusha have Freire, Moreno and JROD. They have an option for a sprint and Moreno to perfectly place JROD. Paolini will attack a bit i think.
It would be nice to see Cunego go well.
Nibali will probably not go great here ( even though he is looking much more explosive- Green Mountain Oman ) i think he could do better at F-W/ LBL but he will want the experience before the WC. Has Sagan who could do anything ( but maybe not this year ).
Vanendert and JVDB will make sure Lotto are present. They will only win if they can go solo.
Movistar have a strong team with Visconti, Costa, Kiryienka and Valverde ( as leader ). They could attack or ride at the front. Probably the team with the most options to aminate the race.
Chavanel wants to go well here- but Velits could go great ( Alpe D Huez sprint last year )- and i think he should at least co-lead.
Rabo have 2 cards in Breschel/ Gesink. They will want to go well in front of their home crowd. Martens and Mollema could also do something.
No idea about RSNT but strong team.
Hoogerland and Poels will do well here. Westra could also attack on some hills preceding the Cauberg.
Geschke, Gatto, Voeckler ( has to be considered ), Serry ( surprised ), Wallays ( to get in a break maybe??? )
I'd agree with you but then we'd both be wrong
The Grand Boucle wasn't just Europe's for the taking.
"Has Porte ever dropped Nibali in any mountain?"
D&C "He will soon..."