Not in the TTT though...Kolden is very strong for the TT, so is Levi and Lance and the rest of the whole damn squad...Damnit I hate Lance and he's gonna win.
Using your honesty as a foil...
It constantly enrages me how the media, in need of jawdropping headlines, foists a narrative that may, in fact, be entirely incorrect. I have yet to see any tangible evidence that team Astana has fractured allegiances. But it sure sells papers and pageviews. And so many people buy into the spin.
Given Astana’s performance in the Giro (all the poo pooing aside, they still won the team title by wide margin – 24+ minutes), they will be exceptionally motivated, and well powered. Big bodied Rast to block the wind, powerhouses Leipheimer, Kloden, Armstrong and Contador (Spanish TT champ) to drive the train, and super domestique’s Popovych, Zubeldia, and Paulinho to fill the infrequent gaps. This isn’t the short, flat Lido TTT of Italy, where wind (and micro-dosing) affected the final outcome.
HighRoad, Garmin, and Liquigas will all be strong, but each will have different motivations for the race. Irrespective of who HighRoad sends, they are in the Tour for stage wins – and why not – Cav is the rainmaker, and they have shown the ability to win a majority of the non-sprint, non-mountaintop finishes as well. JV will again be targeting the TTT, and so early in the race, Garmin ought to have the horsepower. And Liquigas is sending just a flat-out dynamite team; they could, as well as Astana, place several riders on the final podium.
CSC should do well overall, but unlike last year, they do not have ace-in-the-hole Sastre to take advantage of the disarray caused by brothers Frank and Andy toying with the pelaton. Thus they wont have the motivation as the other four teams for the TTT. And I certainly do not expect any Phoenix of Banesto to arise from the Spanish teams to challenge.
Astana followed closely by Garmin and Liquigas, a good gap to Columbia and SaxoBank. Rabobank then follows and Gesink proves he is stronger than Menchov. And Sastre is forced to stalk stage wins.
Contador wins the overall, with Armstrong and Leipheimer riding in support.