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Early Giro predictions...

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Early Giro predictions...

28 Mar 2009 05:19

Despite all the hoopla surrounding Astana, I'm thinking both Levi and Andreas are the real threats in this year's Giro. Both are excellent time-trialists, and there is a nasty +60km test. At that length, many of the pure climbers can lose many minutes. Plus, Astana will have a perfect tryout for the wannabe TdF super-domestiques. Think about it. Armstrong, Contador, Kloden, and Leipheimer - 14 grand tour podiums - as the backbone. Who in the pro peloton would not want to fill out the final five spots? While I think Contador is the only one who has a chance in hell to podium in the TdF, the races leading up to it will see a very strong Astana, with everyone seeking to make the roster.

(Aside: Armstrong needs to quell the internal disputes,admitting his recognition that he isn't the cyclist he was four years ago. Else wise, Astana will implode. E.g. Astana only succeeds in the TdF if Lance curbs his ego.)

So what I'm seeing is a really strong team heading into the Giro, with points to prove, and spots to make, rallying around one of two teammates that can realistically podium in the Giro. And that is not Lance. It is the top real lieutenants for Contador in the upcoming TdF that will be trying out.

So my prediction: Levi is going to win this year's Giro. Andreas will finish third. Lance will DNF


Tear it apart forum members. But offer honest counter-prognastications.
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User avatar benpounder
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28 Mar 2009 09:12

I have bet 2 quids on pellizotti or however you spell his name, italian fellow at liquigas. I think he is 16/1, 3rd last year only a few seconds behind the guy in 2nd.


I think Klodi the great rider that he is will be happy as usually being a team mate for someone else(for whatever reason he enjoys this), and I think Leipi might have started his season too soon, there's still over a month till the giro and looks like he was on top for california. Although both of these fellows have a great chance to win it. Infact I was looking for odds on levi to win the giro but didn't see them.
User avatar palmerq
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28 Mar 2009 09:46

I think the safe money in the Giro is on the Italians. There are several riders that are going to be up there competing that have no chance or interest in riding the Tour and if they did history has shown that they are never really successful. Basso being the exception but he hasn't been that into the giro as much as other italians.
User avatar ingsve
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28 Mar 2009 09:56

I think You could be right about your Astana predictions. If Levi is 100% and he wants to go for it he can win the Giro, no doubt.

I don't agree with you on your Tour remarks. I think Leipheimer can make it to the tour podium.

Other favorites for me are: Basso, i never thought he would be great again but he really suprised me in the Tirreno. He might be good without. Franco Pellizotti has to that he can repeat, i don't expect him to. I don't know about donkey man Bruzeghin. He did a great job last 2 years, but i don't know what he really can do. I'm sorry to touch this topic, but the problem i have with last Giro is that no-one knows who used and who didn't. I think it's fair to say last years Giro is not a good prediction for this year. I heard Di Luca saying he is better than last year, he might be back but has to miss his favorite rides before the giro this year. He might mis some competition on the highest level. Simoni is a little bit old imo. Cunego might be back on the podium this year, he seems to concentrate on the giro again.
Bartoli
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28 Mar 2009 09:57

ingsve wrote:Basso being the exception but he hasn't been that into the giro as much as other italians.


He won the Giro in an overwhelming way ( it was the year he got suspended). ;)
Bartoli
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28 Mar 2009 10:04

Difficult to offer honest "prognstications" to such a piece of day dreaming.
Much as I would like to see Levi ride the Giro in earnest, he won't be allowed.
Kloden isn't even pencilled in, as yet.

Why is it all these threads start off looking at things from the same, one team standpoint? It's almost as if the other 180 riders are simply there to get kicked about by the Astana "All Stars".

If Lance doesn't make it, Levi will get sent with a similar strength team to that of Contador's at Paris-Nice.

The only prediction I'll make that I'm certain of, at this stage, is, In terms of exciting racing on a daily basis, the Giro will kick the Tour's b*tt.
No week long respite here. Dolomites half way through week one. Alps, Apeninnes,(where the race could be won or lost of 3 successive days)rounded off on the slopes of the Blockhaus and Versuvius.

Other than that, look to the men in pale green.
Mellow Velo
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28 Mar 2009 11:04

Hard to go past the Italians, not sure Astana will look for the win to be honest. Basso will see this as his nmber 1 race this year so why not.
User avatar lookkg386
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28 Mar 2009 13:53

Bartoli wrote:He won the Giro in an overwhelming way ( it was the year he got suspended). ;)


Yes, of course he did but my point was that unlike most other Italian riders Bassos main goal was almost always the Tour rather than the Giro while other italian riders never really sacrificed the Giro in favour of the Tour.
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28 Mar 2009 17:26

My favorite for this year's Giro is Basso. He has stated is is going for the Giro-Vuelta double this year. And he will put everything he has into winning the Giro.

I do believe that the stage 12 ITT will be a deceive stage but it is not a traditional TT course. All of the riders that have ridden it so far have stated that it is very technical and there is barely any straight sections and is always going up or down. I believe most riders will opt for regular road bikes.
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28 Mar 2009 19:15

I'm looking forward to the Liquigas/LPR show and the real return of Basso - he's given some teasers as to his form and he'll want this possibly more than anybody in the field. Plus which the Italians will be desperate not to let what happened last year happen again when Contador got towed to MTF after MTF. It's no way to win a GT and this is a big one, the centenary of the race.

The parcours looks great but the problem the Giro sometimes has is that the racing is too hard and, like last year, riders end up grovelling their way to the top rather than being able to put in significant attacks - which really does play into the hands of the TTers and makes the race revolve around 60 kms.

Considering that the USDiscatana 'All Stars' have had their b*tts kicked more often than not this season, they really aren't the team to beat. In fact, if you consider the way Rabobank took them apart in Paris-Nice (and what happened when Caisse used the same tactic in stage 1 of Castille Leon), Astana are very much the team who get beaten. I really don't get the Leipheimer hype - if he's ever to win a GT, then it's most likely to be the Vuelta. He simply doesn't have Contador's natural class.
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28 Mar 2009 21:13

I like Basso's chances. I predict Armstrong will start but not finish.
CapeRoadie
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28 Mar 2009 23:36

titan_90 wrote:I do believe that the stage 12 ITT will be a deceive stage but it is not a traditional TT course. All of the riders that have ridden it so far have stated that it is very technical and there is barely any straight sections and is always going up or down. I believe most riders will opt for regular road bikes.


Was in Cinque Terre last year. From La spezia to the 5th village (Riomaggiore?) it's allways hilly and difficult. Even by car it was quite an adventure. But if the tt ain't gonna be spectaculair, the surrounding will be. One of the most beautifull places i've ever been.
Bartoli
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29 Mar 2009 11:40

I agree that Basso has a very good chance this year. The long, long timetrial should help him put time into the pure climbers. The first week looks very interesting.
Laurent
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29 Mar 2009 20:12

bianchigirl wrote:Considering that the USDiscatana 'All Stars' have had their b*tts kicked more often than not this season, they really aren't the team to beat. In fact, if you consider the way Rabobank took them apart in Paris-Nice (and what happened when Caisse used the same tactic in stage 1 of Castille Leon), Astana are very much the team who get beaten. I really don't get the Leipheimer hype - if he's ever to win a GT, then it's most likely to be the Vuelta. He simply doesn't have Contador's natural class.


Isn't the consensus that the Astana team at Paris-Nice was about as weak at team as Astana can field? I dont think you can really characterize a 1-2 finish at Castilla as getting their butts kicked. Oh, and what team's rider won Paris-Nice anyway? Hint it wasn't Rabo...

Anyway, as for the Giro I think is going to be a great race, some seriously entertaining stages. I'd love to see Basso re-emerge as a force/counterpoint to the Astana super-team, in fact I'd love it if anyone but an Astana rider wins the Giro...
Snake8
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29 Mar 2009 20:32

Does anyone think Rogers could be a force at this year's race? I don't know if he's just using the event for training pre-Tour but he's got a point to prove after so long out of the sport. I'm not saying he'll win, but he's not been mentioned at all - perhaps there's something in that.
Laurent
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30 Mar 2009 00:40

The Italain's are always the favorites for the Giro, most target the giro more than the tour, so I'm liking Cunego, Basso, Simoni and DiLuca if he gets to ride.
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30 Mar 2009 17:49

Argon Man wrote:The Italain's are always the favorites for the Giro, most target the giro more than the tour, so I'm liking Cunego, Basso, Simoni and DiLuca if he gets to ride.


Agree, think that Cunego is favourite, he tried his luck at the tour and in all honesty wasn't good enough. But back home at the Giro he is a major force and i think this is his major goal once again this year.
User avatar lookkg386
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30 Mar 2009 20:33

while, i have admiration for Cunego as a one day rider who fights hard, I have serious doubts over his credentials as a grand tour rider. yes, he's won the Giro but by his own admission that was against a very weak field and a marked Simoni. He went like a bag of spanners in last year's tour and he's not shown any signs of winning a grand tour since his giro triumph. That was five years ago. Possible top five but that's about it.
Laurent
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30 Mar 2009 20:57

Laurent wrote:while, i have admiration for Cunego as a one day rider who fights hard, I have serious doubts over his credentials as a grand tour rider. yes, he's won the Giro but by his own admission that was against a very weak field and a marked Simoni. He went like a bag of spanners in last year's tour and he's not shown any signs of winning a grand tour since his giro triumph. That was five years ago. Possible top five but that's about it.


Yup...that about sums it up for me. IMO, the best he can hope for is a top 10 in any GT from now on. His win was opportunistic....great form, the right break and a heavily marked teammate.

Since then, he has not made any substantial impact in a GT (and the maillot blanc does NOT constitute an impact).

Great one-day racer and wekk long stage racer....but GT contender? Not so much.
Power13
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30 Mar 2009 21:02

saying that, it bothers me when people say he should stick to one day races. While he should always aim for them I take my hat off to him for giving each grand tour a good crack. He could easily take a step back - especially after last year's tour but he hasn't. Maybe that's just because he can get a better pay check if he go for everything...
Laurent
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