Friday, July 4, 2008

23 days in July

My favourite time of the year is just around the corner, the greatest annual sporting event in the world is about to begin and I have been in training for sleep-deprivation, swotting up on facts and form and examining stage maps and profiles ...

And the big question this year is Cadel can win it? I really do think he can. The course suits him, the preparation has been good, but not too perfect and the changes to the rules will help him. I also think he has the experience and confidence to ride his own race and not be distracted worrying about the competition.

Sastre and Valverde are going to be the main rivals. I still don't think that Cunego has the legs for the high mountains, but hope to see Andy Schleck and Ricco do well in that arena. Menchov will also be a threat, but I just think he will have one bad day that will put him out of reach of the podium.

The Silence-Lotto team has obviously been built around Cadel's potential this year, leaving Robbie out in the cold, but ironically I think this will help him take the jersey for the fourth time. Cavendish is gaining in confidence every day and will be close by, with the ever reliable Hushovd just behind.

So here's the full list of predictions. Two jerseys and the overall for Australia? Yes, I think it just might happen.

1 Cadel Evans
2 Carlos Sastre
3 Alejandro Valverde
4 Andy Schleck
5 Ricardo Ricco

1 Robbie McEwen
2 Mark Cavendish
3 Thor Hushovd

1 Andy Schleck
2 Ricardo Ricco
3 Cadel Evans

Oh, and Davy Miller will get a stage win somewhere ...

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