Just wondering what people think of Bassos chances for a podium at the tour
He looks awesomely strong but how much energy will he have left backed up by Pelizotti(maybe) Nibali Kreuzinger and Szydt hes arguably got the strongest team now
or maybe another liquigas rider will podium?
Wrong, but not for the reasons you listed.
Strongest team at the Tour will be Saxo. Look at the lineup. Fuglsang for the mountains, with Sorensen 1 and 2. Plus Franck Schleck backing up the second best climber at the TdF in recent years, not serving a ban (ala Ricco), who just happens to be his younger brother. O'Grady the old war horse with another old warhorse, the toughtest man riding a bike, Jens Voigt are the road captains. Plus add in Gustav Larson, monster rider, bettered only by Spartacus himself.
HTC. Need I say more, other than their finely tuned train. Their helpers are better than everyone on Liquigas crew other than Sagan, Basso, Nibali and Kreuziger. HTC are monsters. Perhaps you missed Tony Martin on the climb into Big Bear at the ToC. He was on fire. He'll back up Rogers if HTC make the GC a target. Sure they have the Cav express train to target but they can improvise, such is their talent. Can Liquigas? Don't count on it.
Caisse d'Epargne. Valverde. Look at where Arroyo came in the Giro. Caisse sent their crap team. All the big boys will be at the Tour. Assuming Valverde rides (as he still is right now) then Caisse will be at least on par with Liquigas.
Last but not least...Astana. David De la Fuente, Oscar Perreiro and Vino all riding for one man. Alberto Contador. They have listed on their website that their goal is to win the Tour for Contador. Contador needs no introduction. He was holding back last year. Liquigas don't have a single rider who can match him. They spent most of their eggs on the Giro, Astana, like the above three teams, sent a depleted force to the Giro. My money is on this team to do some serious damage simply because they have the Ace up their sleave; AC.
Seriously, I'll believe they can control and dictate terms at the Tour when I see it. Did you not hear Evans comments after the second week? He said the riding is hard, but the pace is slower than the Tour. The peloton is a bit slower. The end GC guys all hammer hard, but the pace up till they drop everyone is a bit down. By no means does this make the race not hard, the Giro was a slaughter for some people, but Liquigas domestiques won't be able to dictate terms in the Tour like they did at the end of the Giro. If Liquigas have an incident with their GC man, like on stage 4, they can kiss a top 5 position down the drain. Kreuziger is odds on their GC man now. Definitely not Basso for the same reason Evans is not a prospect for the Tour. They spent too much gunning for the win in Italy. Few would put money on either. Few, even here you'll struggle to find someone with the nads to back either Sassi prospect to back up and top 3.
Can Liquigas make a move and bust the peloton open in the Tour? What for Kreuziger to make a move on Schleck, Contador or Valverde? Yeah...maybe one of them if they get lucky, but not all of them. Liquigas are riding for a top 5 place. Add in Samu and Menchov to the mix. The Dutch will say Gesink, but Menchov is the Rabo man. I'll put it this way. I thought they'd try something last year and they did squat. They'll be up there in France with the big boys, only they'll be trying to hold on and limiting losses, like their opposition did in the Giro.