I checked out the parcours again yesterday and noticed a TTT on stage 2. I was sure I recalled seeing a prologue instead (thought Fabian was riding to get the pink jersey via the prologue)?? If there was a late change to this then why? Anyhoo, I think a prologue would be better, especially as TDF has TTT this year. But overall it's still a great course. The first week is filled with hilly stages and having the long ITT so early (stage 8) is going to be great for the racing I believe. In Australia I gather that we are getting all the weekend stages live, which means we get 8, 9, 14, 15 (Galibier which will be epic) and 20 (even more epic). Really looking forward to it.
The field is so strong this year. Last year the main protagonists were Hjeidedel (still don't know how to spell it), Basso, Scarponi, Rodriguez and De Gent. This year you take out Rodriguez (not sure if De Gent is racing?), but add Wiggins, Nibali, Sanchez and Evans. Wow! Keen to see how Henao goes too. He might be a semi protected rider in case Wiggo cracks, and might be strong enough now to podium. I think that Basso could still be up there. His preparations for 2011 TDF and 2012 Giro were greatly interrupted (if memory serves me correctly) so if he has been injury free this season then he might be able to build up to closer to his 2010 form. It's not like he was horrible last 2 years either. Glad to see that Evans is riding too. Don't understand why more riders don't ride the Giro. If you are not THE favourite for the TDF then it's a good option. If you don't begin well then you can pull out halfway through and consider it as training for the TDF; otherwise continue on and try for a high overall finish. This will be Evans' mindset I am sure.
An early prediction? 1. Wiggins 2. Nibali 3. Basso (yes, that's all rather predictable)
In top grade professional cycling (and in life) it is virtually impossible to be a major winner whilst being 100% clean (or honest). Most GC GT riders are simply doing what they love whilst playing the game.
I'm a huge Kloden fan (or a Klodist) - despite the fact that he rode for Telekom/T-Mobile, Astana and Radioshack
Contador at Fuente De - I salute you!
Germany 7 Brazil 1