Riding Back from the Sunset
He did look good in the Tour Down Under. But he is off a two and half year retirement. And I don't think this is exactly the type of race that suits his strengths. While I expect Lance to finish in the top five, I'll bet his real value is going to be in supporting his new teammate Levi, who won this race for the past two years. Can Levi make it three in a row? I'm not betting against him. However, if he has a really bad day (which he has been known for in the past), expect Lance to step right up and expect Levi to pull for him.
Floyd's back. Tyler's back. Ivan's back. All after serving doping suspensions. All of them are super athletes, but I don't expect any of them to stun us this soon after returning.
Who's going to win stages? Cavendish. Two or three of them. Take that to the bank. (In this economy, it won't be worth much, though.) Boonen will be mad, and I'll bet that will be worth a stage. Fabian is my big favorite for the prologue tomorrow. And I'll go ahead and pick Lance for the time trial, just because that will be his biggest chance to shine. Other than that, several stages look like great opportunities for successful attacks by someone you never heard of.
It will be fun!