When Lance announced his comeback, I immediately thought he' want to win the Giro, as middle finger to the world the can win more than just TdF's.
But, despite doping being less and less of a factor, competition is coming more and more professional and specialized. Giro is early, perhaps too early to make it a sole goal.
I could see if I were Lance, why I'd want to play down people's expectations for Giro, and still get a good position going into the TdF.
Lance should be able to progress quite a bit from TOC on, having started a bit less fit with his winter training. Being an ex-cyclist, doing some marathons and lots of Lance politics.
With 5 top contenders at Astana, they could every mountains day launch another combo of 2 riders to attack, together. This way getting the maximum number of them in position to win, and competition off the podium. With Leipheimer and Kloden riding an escape, Lance and Alberto will be cruising behind the others. If the persuit is successful, they jump when they feel up to it.
They can afford to launch Leipheimer (say, 1.5 minutes behind lead in GC) and then temper the chase behind him. So what if Leipheimer gets 2 minutes on everyone and a few non-GC climbers? Let him. More power to Astana. If opportunities on Mont Ventoux are disappointing, Levi gets it in stead of the others, Astana will be happy regardless.
Having a TTT in the race gives all 5 of them about a minute or more on the GC competition. If the competition doesn't pay attention, the 5 of them could work together to the point of making it an internal team race for the podium, on Mont Ventoux. Volunteers to be the best of the rest?
Sure, it won't be a black/white like that, but with such talented racers, and such a professional proven winner machine team behind them, it's going to take either really original strategies or foul play to keep all Astana's from the TdF win.