Friday, February 15, 2008

TOC predictions

GC looks like a showdown between CSC and Astana. Despite CSC having an overall stronger team, the edge goes to Astana who have a lot to prove and maybe not too many other races to do it in. CSC and Quickstep have strong teams, but maybe with more guys building for the classics (O'Grady, Cancellara,Boonen,Bettini, etc)
Teams High Road and Slipstream also have a lot to prove or live up to. Edge goes to Slipstream who have the stronger team.
Rare appearance by Oscar Friere which is cool. Always a threat to snatch a stage or two.
Rock Racing have purged Hamilton,Sevilla, and Botero from the list leaving them 5 on the starting line. Much suck to have been past over for one of the big three right about now. Not much support for Pena,Creed, or Rodriguez. With a cloud over LeoGrande, will they even start five? No hope of a early circuit Hamiton crash anymore.
With all the Grand Tour drama, doping drama, and Rock racing drama this should be a race set for some fireworks and Astana are going to have to work hard to keep it under control.
Overall Podium Leipheimer, Zabriskie, Jason McCartney. How is that for a longshot?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

08s biggest cycling questions

1. Kemmelberg? Due to a horrific crash, race directors opt to reverse the direction of travel up rather than down. This is such an epic piece of cycling territory. Better to have it backwards than removed, but I say it should stay as is.
2. Koppenberg back in Flanders. Always makes for some epic footage to watch on the trainer, but not truly decisive. Will it be this year?
3.Het Volk. Don't know why but this is one of may favorite races. Weather can play a big role. Who will take out this early season semi-classic?
4. Will CSC dominate Roubaix again or can the Belgian battle back? Will it rain? It has been dry for a few years now, maybe a wet one is in order. Despite his total lack of tactical sense, I have missed Hincapie's face in the race. And can Backstedt recovery from his broken collarbone to contest Roubaix? Slipstream have a lot riding on him
5. Will Soler and his unique (aka ugly, gangly, simian, whatever) style on the bike reappear to animate the mountains of the TDF?
6.Grand tours in general. What other teams will be snubbed?
7. Can Ricco have a breakout season?
8.Will The three "grand tours for Astana" be of California, Georgia, and Spain?
9.How fast will Tyler Hamilton crash out of the TOC?
10. Is DiLuca's combative appearance in early season sprints an attempt to prime him for a Milan San Remo win to get revenge against those that banned him?