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Old 05-08-2009, 02:15 AM   #1
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Default Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Levi Leipheimer

Country: USA
Team: Astana
Age: 35
Best Finishing Position: Nil
Giro Stage Wins: 0

Levi has never ridden the Giro before because he has always been concentrating on the Tour de France for his team-mates over the past decade. Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador. Not competing in the Giro before does not present a problem for him. He was second in the Vuelta to team-mate Contador last year and was third the year before in the Tour de France. Not bad as a domestique. But come Saturday, Levi won’t be a domestique. He will be team leader.

His form this year is superb. He was first overall in the Tour of California for the second year running in February and won the time trial. He was first overall in the Vuetla a Castilla y Leon and again won the time trial in stage two. He was first on stage 2 of the Sea Otter Road Race and just last week he was first overall in the Tour of the Gila where he won stage 1 and the time trial in stage 3. Leipheimer is a solid rider in Grand Tours and he has help of team mate Lance Armstrong who was wanting to go for the overall in the Giro but after a crash in March he is now riding for Leipheimer hoping for the Tour de France. If he rides for Leipheimer now, he will get his support in July. A win/win for both riders.

Lance Armstrong, well, we all know his story. Professional in 1992, struck down by cancer a few years later and won 7 Tour de France’s in a row from 1999 – 2005. He was second overall last week in the Tour of the Gila so he is heading back into form despite his crash. He has come out and publically said that Levi is the leader and all he will hope for himself is a stage win whilst working the overall for Leipheimer. With Armstrong working with Leipheimer with Popovych as the other helper, expect big things from Leipheimer. I think he will win his first Grand Tour this year and that will be the Giro.

Leipheimer Prediction: 1st
Armstrong Prediction: 7th

Ivan Basso

Country: Italy
Team: Liquigas
Age: 31
Best Finishing Position: 1st - (2006)
Giro Stage Wins: 6

A former winner here, Basso turned professional in 1999. Over the last few years however, he has been off the bike. He had a 2 year ban for doping when admitted to his role in Operation Puerto. He returned to racing with Liquigas in October 2008 where his first race was the Japan Cup where he came 3rd. This year his form has been solid. He was fifth overall in Tirreno-Adriatico including a third in stage 6. He won the Giro del Trentino overall and came second in stage 2.
Basso rode his first Giro in 2005 where he finished a respectable 28th winning stages 17 and 18. He came back in 2006 with the intention to win and he won. He also won stage 8, 16 and 20. This is the first time back at the Giro since his win and he is targeting the Giro as the major goal for his season. He has the experience, the local knowledge and the expertise to win the overall.
He has help in his team-mate Franco Pellizotti. Pellizotti turned professional in 2001. Pellizotti was 4th overall in last year’s edition and won stage 16 in the process. He also has another stage win where he was first in stage 10 in 2006 finishing 8th overall. If Basso falters, then look for Pellizotti to take over the reigns of team leader.

Basso Prediction: 5th
Pellizotti Prediction: 9th

Damiano Cunego

Country: Italy
Team: Lampre
Age: 27
Best Finishing Position: 1st (2004)
Giro Stage Wins: 4

A former winner here back in 2004, Cunego is having his best year to date. He was first overall in the Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale (Coppi-Bartali) where he won stages 2 and 3 and was second in stage 4. He was 6th overall in the Tour of the Basque country and in the classics he was 5th in Amstel Gold, 3rd in Fleche Wallonne and 7th in Leige. Cunego started his professional career in 2002.
Regarding the Giro, Cunego has always performed well here. He won in 2004 and won 4 stages. In 2006 he was 4th overall and 2007 he was 5th overall. He has always performed well on the big stages and this year he is bringing the best form he has had ever into this race. He has a reasonably strong team with him.

He has a solid team-mate in Marzio Bruseghin who came third in the Giro last year and has won two stages. Marzio will have to help Cunego as much as he can. He turned professional in 1997.

However, Cunego is riding in awesome form and is a major force to be reckoned with. It was a toss up between Cunego or Leipheimer for the win but I went the big American basically because of the time trials in this year’s edition covering nearly 100km.

Damiano Cunego Prediction: 2nd
Marzio Bruseghin Prediction: 12th

Danilo Di Luca

Country: Italy
Team: LPR Brakes
Age: 33
Best Finishing Position: 1st (2007)
Giro Stage Wins: 6

Danilo Di Luca is another former winner having a go to win his home tour multiple times. He started his professional career in 1998. His best result so far in 2009 was 8th overall in the Giro del Trentino where he grabbed a victory in stage 4. That was a handy time to come into form as that race was only 2 weeks ago.

Di Luca has always been solid in the Giro. He was 4th overall in 2005 taking stage wins in stages 3 and 5. In 2007 he won claiming stages 4 and 12. He can climb. He is a local and he knows the road. His only worry is lack of team support. But with him starting to hit top form and the fact that he has a good record here and wants to perform well in front of home fans, I see him finishing top 5.

Prediction: 4th

Denis Menchov

Country: Russia
Team: Rabobank
Age: 31
Best Finishing Position: 5th (2008)
Giro Stage Wins: 0

Denis Menchov is a solid Grand Tour rider. He is consistent and has won the Vuelta on two occasions in 2005 and 2007. He turned professional in 2000. His form this year has been solid. At the start of March he was 1st overall in the Ronde van Murcia coming third in stages 3 and 4. He was 5th overall in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon coming second in stage 4. Last week in the Tour of Romandie he was 11th overall preparing for the Giro.

The Giro is a major goal for Menchov this year and as a result to that, the whole team are climbers. Rabobank left out Australian sprinter Graeme Brown to accommodate best support available to the Russian. He was 5th here in 2008. In the tour last year he was 4th overall. He is a solid climber and reasonable time trialist and with a strong team around him look for him to finish high overall.

Prediction: 3rd

Gilberto Simoni

Country: Italy
Team: Serramenti PVC
Age: 37
Best Finishing Position: 1st (2001, 2003)
Giro Stage Wins: 8

Gilberto Simoni is the only rider in this field that has won the Giro on two occasions. He turned professional in 1994 and at 37 years of age is nearing the end of his career. His best results this year include a 1st in Stage 3 of the Vuelta Mexico Telmex in early March. Recently he was 6th overall in the Giro warm-up race the Giro del Trentino. He was 4th in stage 2.

As far as the Giro is concerned, he is Mr Consistent. He was third overall in his first Giro in 1999 capturing a stage win. He was third overall again in 2000 capturing yet another stage win. He secured the overall win in 2001 capturing another stage win. He won a stage in the 2002 edition and won the Giro for the second time in 2003 winning stage 14 along the way. Not only did he win the Maglia Rosa, but he won the points classification which shows the allrounder he is. In 2004 and 2005 he was third and second overall respectively. In 2006 he was third again and in 2007 came second.

He has a huge resume and a rider who can’t be discounted no matter what his age. Don’t write him out for win number 3. He has help in team-mate Michel Scarponi.

Michele Scarponi is 29 years of age and turned professional in 2002. He has posted good results in the Grand Tours in the past even though he has been a domestique. He should be a good help for Simoni and his best result this year was winning Tirreno-Adriatico.

Gilberto Simoni Prediction: 6th
Michele Scarponi Prediction: 15th

Stefano Garzelli

Country: Italy
Team – Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo
Age: 35
Best Finishing Position: 1st (2000)
Giro Stage Wins: 7

Garzelli is another former winner here having won in 2000. He turned professional in 1997. His results this year have been solid. He was third overall in the Giro della Provincia di Grosseto having come second in stage 3 back in February. On March 1st, he was 3rd in the Classica de Almeria. He followed that up with second overall in the Tirreno-Adriatico where he came second in stage 6. Three weeks ago in the Giro di Trentino he was 4th overall. He was second in stage 3 and 3rd in stage 4. His form has been sound.

As far as the Giro is concerned, he did win here in 2000 and won stage 18 in the process. He was 6th overall in the 2004 edition and won stage 19. He’s won 7 stages all up and has a good record here. Age, however is starting to be on his side so he should challenge for a top 10. Even though he is in good form, he doesn’t have big team support and I see him finishing just outside of the top 10.

Prediction: 13th

Carlos Sastre

Country: Spain
Team: Cervello
Age: 34
Best Finishing Position: 43rd
Giro Stage Wins: 0

Carlos Sastre is last year’s Tour de France winner. He turned professional in 1998 and has solid results in all grand tours. This year he hasn’t ridden that well with no major results to talk about other than 24th overall in the Tour of the Basque country. He moved to Cervello from CSC last year.

In the 2006 Giro he rode for Ivan Basso. Basso won and he came 43rd whilst helping his cause. He’s finished second overall twice in the Vuelta including a third last year. He has won the Tour de France and was third and fourth overall in 2007 and 2008. He is a Grand Tour rider. His lack of team support is a worry and he would be looking more at going back to back in this year’s Tour but would still want to ride a good Giro to prepare and to thank the Giro organizers for inviting Cervello to compete.

Prediction: 11th

Tadej Valjavec

Country: Slovakia
Team: AG2R
Age: 32
Best Finishing Position: 9th (2004)
Giro Stage Wins: 0

Tadej Valjavec hasn’t had a rock solid year on the bike. He turned professional in 2000 but 2009 has not been that rock solid for the veteran. His best result was 9th in stage 3 of the tour of Romandie last week. He finished 29th overall. He is however preparing for the Giro and his team has come in with intentions to get him into the top 10.

He has ridden the Giro four times in his career. In 2004 he came 9th. In 2005 he was 15th overall and came second in the queen stage, stage 14. 2006 was a disappointing year for him finishing down in 36th position but he bounced back in 2008 with 13th overall after not riding the 2007 edition. He is a solid climber and consistently performs well in the mountain stages of the Giro. His downside is he doesn’t have a rock solid team to help him in the mountains, but he has enough skill and knowledge to finishing high up in the GC. Anything outside of top 10 for him I think would be a disappointment.

Prediction: 10th

Mauricio Soler

Country: Columbia
Team: Barloworld
Age: 26
Best Finishing Position: Nil
Giro Stage Wins: 0

Mauricio Soler is the forgotten man of the peloton. He burst onto the scene in his first Grand Tour in dramatic style in the 2007 Tour de France after turning professional in 2006. He won his first stage in stage 9 up the Col du Galibier and won the king of the mountains classification that year. That has been the last Grand Tour he has ridden due to injury and illness despite only riding a few stages in the 2008 edition.

His best result this year has been second overall in Settimana Ciclistica Lombarda and born in Columbia and being raised there, he knows how to climb high mountains. Look for him to go well here and I expect him to finish in the top 10.

He has a solid team-mate in South Africa’s John Lee Augustyn who looked very good in his first Tour de France last year before crashing and falling half way down a hill after turning professional in 2008. I expect solid rides from these two riders with one maybe securing a stage victory. Augustyn might try a breakaway sometime during the three weeks.

Mauricio Soler Prediction: 8th
John Lee Augustyn Prediction: 17th

Kanstantsin Siutsou

Country: Belarus
Team: Columbia-Highroad
Age: 26
Best Finishing Position: Nil
Giro Stage Wins: 0

Siutsou is a talented rider from Belarus. He turned professional in 2001. He has the honour of being Team Columbia’s leader in the Giro. He has help with Marco Pinotti and another solid Grand Tour rider Michael Rogers. I don’t expect him to finish high in the overall but I do expect him to take a stage win.

He was 9th overall in Tirreno-Adriatico and 10th overall in the Tour of Romandie. Expect big things from this guy in the future when Grand Tours come along. His best result in a Grand Tour was 17th in last year’s Tour de France. He will learn from this experience as being team leader in a Grand Tour. With guys like Rogers, Pinotti and Lovkvist next to him, who knows how high he will climb.
Team Columbia’s main objective is Mark Cavendish whilst looking after Siutsou for the overall.

Prediction: 14th

Christian Vande Velde

Country: USA
Team: Garmin
Age: 32
Best Finishing Position: Nil
Giro Stage Wins: 1

Christian Vande Velde is Garmin’s main hope for glory. He is targeting the Tour de France, but a good way to target it is to have good form in the Giro and build up to it. He started his career in 1998 so he is a veteran of the sport. He was part of Armstrong’s help in his 1999 and 2001Tour de France wins.

He won stage 4 of Paris Nice back in March and his best result since was a 3rd in stage 4 of the Tour of the Basque country. He’s held the Maglia Rosa for 2 days after his team won the Team Time Trial in last year’s edition. His team hasn’t set their sights high on the overall classification as they are preserving Vande Velde for the Tour de France.

Tom Danielson is a team-mate of his which could be their highest ranked rider. He turned professional in 1999. He has a good pedigree come Grand Tours. He was 7th overall in the 2005 Vuelta and then 6th overall the following year. This year he came 9th in the tour of California. I would expect that both these riders won’t finish top 10 but one of them are a realistic chance of a stage win.

Christian Vande Velde Prediction: 16th
Tom Danielson Prediction: 18th

Therefore Top 20.

1. Levi Leipheimer (Astana)
2. Damiano Cunego (Lampre)
3. Denis Menchov (Rabobank)
4. Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes)
5. Ivan Basso (Liquigas)
6. Gilberto Simoni (Serramenti PVC)
7. Lance Armstrong (Astana)
8. Mauricio Soler (Barloworld)
9. Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas)
10. Tadej Valjavec (AG2R)
11. Carlos Sastre (Cervello)
12. Marzio Bruzeghin (Lampre)
13. Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo
14. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Columbia)
15. Michele Scarponi (Serramenti PVC)
16. Christian Vande Velde (Garmin)
17. John Lee Augustyn (Barloworld)
18. Tom Danielson (Garmin)
19. Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse)
20. Yaroslav Popovych (Astana)
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

I got this last weekend.

5 units Leipheimer to win @ $5.50
10 units Leipheimer to place @ $1.80

Leipheimer's price now has considerably gone in to 3.50

No way Basso should be favourite. He won't podium. Will finish 4th or 5th.

Playing this also

1.5 unit Cunego to win @ $11
6.5 unit Cunego to place @ $3.20

Cunego and Leipheimer are all I want for the overall. It's between those two.

That 61km time trial is up mountainous terrain. Riders still might opt for the road bike in that time trial so that brings Leipheimer's Time Trialing back to the pack. However, with a TTT and another individual Time Trial, that's where Levi will shine.

I can't see Levi not winning the Giro but have Cunego backed at odds just incase. Cunego will definately come top 3. So will Leipheimer.

Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

General Classification Head to Heads

3 units Leipheimer over Basso @ $2.80
2 units Valjavec over Arroyo @ $2.38

Mark Cavendish over 2.5 Stage wins

10 units @ $1.85

Bank that shit with Cavendish!
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Sprinters in this field!

Mark Cavendish
Allessandro Pettachi
Tylar Farrar
Alan Davis
Robert Hunter
Robert Forster
Julien Dean

Get my drift?
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Okay I've submitted the bets about half an hour ago. Changed some for what I wanted, but here are the final overall bets. I've changed Cunego's place stake to accommodate Cavendish.

Final Overall Bets

5 units Leipheimer to win @ $5.50
10 units Leipheimer to place @ $1.80

1.5 Unit Cunego to win @ $11
3.5 Unit Cunego to place @ $3.20

15 units Cavendish over 2.5 @ $1.85

3 units Leipheimer over Basso @ $2.80
2 units Valjavec over Arroyo @ $2.38
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Stage 1 - TTT

At the moment I have this narrowed down to 3 teams.

Garmin:
Dean, Farrar, Danielson, Meyer, Miller, Pate, Vande Velde, Zabriskie, Wiggins

Columbia:
Barry, Boassen-Hagen, Cavendish, Lovkvist, Pinotti, Possoni, Renshaw, Rogers, Siutsou

Astana:
Armstrong, Brajkovic, Horner, Leipheimer, Moribito, Navarro, Popovych, Zubeldia, Zietes

I take out Astana from that equation.

I look at Garmin and Columbia. Garmin are specialists and they set out goals at the start of the year to win TTT's. Columbia also set out the same goals and want to win. They won the TTT in explosive fashion in Romandie last week where they beat Caisse by about 12 seconds off memory.

Garmin is $1.90
Columbia is $3.50

Smart money says Garmin with that strong team. Value says Columbia. I'll make that decision overnight.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Cavendish calls Garmin's team trial trial fixation "disrespectful"

On the eve of the start of the Giro d'Italia, Mark Cavendish stoked the (mostly) friendly rivalry burning between his Columbia-Highroad team and Garmin-Slipstream, calling Garmin's apparent fixation with the 20.5km team time trial that kicks off the Italian Grand Tour on Saturday "disrespectful".

Garmin recently spent three days at their base in Girona, Spain, working solely on team time trial drills.

"The thing about it is that the Giro's 21 days," Cavendish said Friday morning. "I think it's a bit disrespectful to the race [Garmin staking so much on this]… Your race is going to start on the first day and end on the first day, and that's what Garmin is fundamentally doing. They've said their season starts tomorrow. Their sponsor's paid money for the first six months of the year [sic]…and I think that's highly respectful to those guys. It's May. Their season starts tomorrow, and I think it's going to end tomorrow night. I mean, come on..."

Cavendish was speaking to a small gathering of journalists in the hotel Westin Palace, close to Venice's world-famous Piazza San Marco. At the same press briefing, Columbia chief Bob Stapleton added further spice to what is shaping up to be a fascinating duel between the two American-based outfits, pointing out that his team won 16 individual time trials in 2008, as compared with Garmin's year-end total of 12 victories of any description. Garmin did, however, beat Columbia by seven seconds to win the equivalent team time trial in last year's Giro in Palermo.

Bradley Wiggins, who joined Garmin from Columbia at the end of last year, commented of this year's TTT on Thursday, "as long as we beat Columbia we'll be alright…"

Although agreeing that preparation was vital for a technical event like Saturday's, Cavendish claimed that his team had done little in the way of practice.

"We did none really last year and we've done nothing again," he said. "We've got a versatile team, though. We've got 21 races in this Giro, 21 chances. Garmin have got the TTT and what else?

"The TTT is a series of short efforts," the Milan-San Remo champion said. "You need to learn how to ride it. It's not about getting nine riders from A to B. It's about getting the team riding together, and that's how you'll get the best out of the team."

Speaking about the Giro in general, Cavendish reckoned he would probably have "four or five" chances of sprint wins. Having never previously sported a prize jersey in a major tour, he revealed that a stint in the pink or ciclamino (points) jersey could also be among his ambitions for this race.

Columbia-Highroad is the first team due on the start-ramp Saturday, at 3:35 pm local time. Garmin-Slipstream will be fourth off at 3:50 pm, while the final team to start, Astana, will begin at 5:20 pm.

---------

At least we know the bet will be decided in the first hour. After Garmin finish, we know who has won the stage because no one will match these two teams.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Okay I was going to go the safe way and like play 10 units on Garmin @ $1.90 and 5 units on Columbia @ $3.50 and providing Astana don't screw me over, I will either get a profit of 2.5 units or 4 units. Better than 0 units or minus units. Go a defensive way.

Instead

I mean, I put 5 units on Garmin and I only make a profit of 4 anyway and there is a threat there of Columbia. So i'm going to go the safe way here in the hope Astana don't screw me over.

10 units on Garmin @ $1.90
5 units on Columbia @ $3.50

Good luck! Sit back and watch a profit happen!
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Garmin to win TTT - $2.00

Garmin and Team Columbia to both finish in Top 3 - $1.75

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Old 05-09-2009, 11:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Quote:
Originally Posted by bad gambler View Post
Garmin to win TTT - $2.00

Garmin and Team Columbia to both finish in Top 3 - $1.75

gl
Second one is solid BG. I don't want Garmin to win as it will piss them off due to all the preparation they have been doing. The only reason why I didn't play them straight out is that it's pure flat and not technical like last year. Suits Columbia, Liquigas and Astana. And Columbia are the best of the rest. This TT is won on horsepower and I think Columbia have more horsepower than Garmin.

Columbia/Garmin will quinella.

Pity that the two favourites are in the first 4 teams to go. What a boring stage
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:31 AM   #11
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

I'll be curious what Odds Cavendish is tomorrow.

I see something like.

Cavendish $2.75
Pettachi $3
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:40 AM   #12
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Garmin - Slipstream
Thomas Danielson (Usa)
Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
Tyler Farrar (Usa)
Danny Pate (Usa)
Svein Tuft (Can)
David Millar (Gbr)
Christian Vande Velde (Usa)
Bradley Wiggins (Gbr)
David Zabriskie (Usa)


How does that team not win the TTT? Every single rider except for maybe Farrar is a noted time trialist.

Tempted to do a full bank job at $2.00 to be honest. Reality is that they should be more around the $1.40 region IMO to win it today.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Quote:
Originally Posted by bad gambler View Post
Garmin - Slipstream
Thomas Danielson (Usa)
Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
Tyler Farrar (Usa)
Danny Pate (Usa)
Svein Tuft (Can)
David Millar (Gbr)
Christian Vande Velde (Usa)
Bradley Wiggins (Gbr)
David Zabriskie (Usa)


How does that team not win the TTT? Every single rider except for maybe Farrar is a noted time trialist.

Tempted to do a full bank job at $2.00 to be honest. Reality is that they should be more around the $1.40 region IMO to win it today.
I agree with you. I'm tempted to do a full bank job on them too but IMO it's not all cut and dry.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Anyway what do you make of the overall BG?
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: Cycling: 2009 Giro d'Italia

Columbia have the more explosive riders

Rogers, Lovkvist, Siutsou, Cavendish, Renshaw, Boasson-Hagen, Pinotto, Possoni, Barry

And with this being completely flat and not technical it brings Garmin back to the pack.

There is only going to be less than 5 seconds between Garmin and Columbia IMO.
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