Friday, May 9, 2008
Teams generally play less of a role in the Giro then the Tour (except for controlling sprint finishes in the first week). The last few years, it has been attrition by the eventual winner, whittling down the competition. With Asatana included this year, it will be interesting to see if that dynamic changes. They will bring the "all in for the team leader" mentality 100% and have 2 potential winners (and Levi...)
Of all the aging Italian favorites Simoni,DiLuca,Salvodelli, etc, it is more exciting to focus on a dark horse or youngster like Karpets,Menchov, Ricco, Siutsou, Pellizoti, etc.
Mountain goats can look forward to some hopefully epic stages and battles between Piepoli, Soler, and Simoni. Can Perez Cuopa or Rujano return tot he spotlight this year in the mountains? Good year for the climbers.
High Road and Slipstream are both in a little over their head and Slipstrem could stand some results.
How many stages will McEwen last? He'll have some tough days to make it to the pan flat stages of 12 and 13 and I would be suprised to see him after that. Maybe he will bail earlier if he gets some wins?
Stages 15 and 16 should be a back to back decider of some sort. Stages 20 and 21 could still have riders in the hunt for the overall. 20 looks good for a breakaway or someone attacking from way out to gain tim. Final 28K TT could also matter if the time gaps are small.
I have my fingers crossed for an aggressive race and am hoping on the old guard and some dark horses to animate things-Menchov,Karpets, or Hesjedal for example.
Opening with a TTT should be intresting CSC vs Slipstream but you can't count out High Road.