movingtarget wrote:I tend to agree. He indicates that he is not in super shape but does he have to be to win this Giro ? The other contenders are more inconsistent than Basso and their TT is weaker. I expect Gadret to podium. Scarponi is a bit of an enigma these days. The field for this race is not as strong as previous editions which works in Basso's favour also. I actually think Nibali could have won it if he rode. Cunego could be the interesting rider. He was much improved in the Tour last year but the TT is always a problem. Frank Schleck was training for the Tour so he may struggle and may even prefer to look for stage wins and save something for the Tour to help his brother unless he is in a position on GC to make the podium.
That's a completely valid analysis. One of the problems with assessing the field is that cycling has gotten so screwed up over the last several years (ever since someone retired), with champions being taken down for their doping habits, to make it a mess to try and make sense of it all.
Last year Contador dominated the Giro but not the Tour, whereas the previous year Evans was dropped by Basso in the Giro, was nowhere in the Tour, then wins the Grande Boucle the next year (over Contador and Shleck); at the same time Basso was poor at the Tour after his 2010 Giro victory and last year, when he didn't ride the Italian event, though in 06 looked really capable of doing the double. Is this normal? The cards get reshuffled faster than one knows what he's got in his hand.
Nibali won't be at the Giro because his team's Cannodale sponsor has too many vested commercial interests in California. Again, this is a shame. Especially if he fails at the Tour, which is likely. As for the rest, I agree. One thing’s for sure, in the absence of other champions, this Giro’s shapping up to be like the one Cunego won in 04, which is why in fact he won it: for lack of completion. At least Zomengan entertained us with his follies. Now with these new brilliant Italian minds at work (to save face!?!?!? To not make the Tour look ridiculous!?!?!?!?), they have taken away even that. Poor Italia!