First grand tour of the year kicked off in Palermo yesterday, so it must be time for some semi-informed guesses about the top three in Milan on June 1.
I don't think di Luca is going to manage to defend his title and I don't think that Contador will be up to the challenge. Although with the lack of Tour invite still fresh in their minds Astana will be pushing hard. I do think that Levi Leiphemer could be a surprise contender, but the mountains are probably just too tough for him and so it will fall to Andreas Klöden to put their case for le Tour to reconsider.
The mountains should favour Gilberto Simoni, but I don't feel that he has the legs to truly compete over three weeks anymore. So, anyway enough of who won't win it, here are my tips –
1 Franco Pellizotti
2 David Zabriskie
3 Mauricio Soler
With Vladimir Karpets and Andreas Klöden just behind.
Given that Mark Cavendish and Robbie McEwen are unlikely to get to Milan, I think I'll go for Robert Förster in the sprinter's jersey.