Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España, Tour Down Under and more
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I thought I might put my non-existent reputation on the line, since I did OK last year.
This year I'm mixing logic with sentiment, but since my "logic" is based on simple ignorance, it won't really matter anyway.
1- Cadel; the course suits him with good TTs and steep climbs, and he's been there before. And he's always been a fave, partly for the same reasons some in the peleton don't like him (i.e. he'd rather be seen with a book, a glass of wine and classical music rather than an Wii and a beer.) And despite all the talk about Wiggo's form, at the end of the Criterium the margin was just the same as last year, the vast majority of the deficit was in one section of the TT, and Cadel was attacking uphill at times (apparently he was also struggling at other times, but since I didn't see them I'll ignore them! )
2- Wiggins: He has been screaming all year, but in my other sport the amazing Brit Olympic success seems to be largely based on peaking (which IMHO shows that Poms can do it without the aids some claim they use) and Sky aren't peaking, so he has to collapse. There's some more logic than that too, but not much more.
3- Sammy: Good at everything, including descents, and perhaps less concerned about the following Olympics than some. And dammit, he deserved to be on the podium in 2010.
1- The mind says that the hills in some stages make it a Sagan/Goss/Cav/battle; the heart's vote gives the battle to OGE.
1- Rolland or Mouncoots; apparently it will be his last year and Millar says Mouncoots didn't dope when many others were, so I hope he gets to out in a blaze of glory.
Being patriotic - Goss will win at least 1. The Gorilla will take another, Sagan some, Cav of course. I always hope the French can get one or two; Voeckler will get one, and Chavanel will be in there with a chance. Hoogerland deserves one. Frank will get one. HH and SG and MA as well, of course. Can I add another 150 names here?
BMC as a team worry me slightly v Sky, but then again they should be all for Cadel almost all of the time. And without the worry about Andy attacking uphill, CE can plan attacks on BW. And even before the interview with Mr Jayco came out, it seemed that if OGE wanted to cement the home market appeal, they'd be willing to help Cadel go for GC just like Samu helps AC, and just as AC did for his countryman in the Vuelta. If Cadel is going for a repeat, an Aussie-based team would consider helping him if they can just for the publicity.
So what does everyone else think?
Moncoutie shouldn't be racing the TdF. Last year was his last. He almost retired from cycling altogether after the press bashing he received after stage 13 (Hushovd won but he chased down fellow countryman Roy) but did well in the Vuelta which he will be defending his KOM jersey. The bleeding carrots should be up there in the top 3.
n=10 (2013 & 2004 roads,2010 track,2x 2009 foldups,1990 hybrid,1992 trainer,2007 rental,1970's step through,1980's zeus)
Evans - proven entity & his sole aim this year has been to repeak for this
Wiggins - he's looked great as has the Sky train. My question is can he maitain the form over 3 weeks.
Hesjedal - probably too tough to contend after the Giro, but will be full of confidence
Sagan - Cav won't make it back to Paris. Olympics looms too large.
Schleck - too much ITT to be a credible threat. Might well drop time in week one to free him up to chase KOM
Evans - Wiggo will faulter on the climbs in the third week
Sagan - but it will be a fight between him and Goss. I don't think Cav will be there in the third week, which is a pity because one green jersey is worth 100 gold medals in the Olympic Road Race.
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Veni, Vidi, Vespa -- I Came, I Saw, I Rode Home
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