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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