March 18, 2011
Late Night Prognostications - Milan San Remo
The spring racing has been tremendous this year. Thanks to cyclingfans I've been able to watch a variety of races that I wouldn't normally have seen, and we can't forget the often great coverage afforded by Universal and Versus (but please get some new commentators!). So we have a good idea of who's riding well and it's a long list:
- Thor Husovd demonstrated some power at Tierrno Adriatico
- Damiano Cunego looked good too
- Ballan was very good at Strade Bianche and Tierreno
- Phillippe Gilbert...come on, that guy is a threat all the time
- Cancellara seemed to be improving but does he have that extra gear?
- Farrar (but honestly, I think Husovd will have the power after 300k)
- Peter Sagan has shown some flair in the early season.
- Oscar Freire has to be on any short list that's made
and there were some disappointments:
- Cavendish...just ain't getting it done
- Boonen is close, but not quite there yet
- Petacchi seems to have lost more than a step this season (yea, maybe it's illness, maybe not).
But let's throw a wrench or two into the mix - The Longshots
- Vincenzo Nibali is a great foil to Peter Sagan
- Alessandro Ballan is another rider coming into 2011 with something to prove. Solid on the Strade, a great worker for Cadel at Tierreno...I think he makes the podium, perhpas.
- JJ Haedo has shown that he can win at this level and might just be a suprise podium finisher - hey, it's called the longshots section for a reason, right?
- Thomas DeGendt or Marco Marcato are my ultra-longshot...i love the way Vaconsoleil races and they've been solid top 20 riders in several races this season, including DeGendt's 3rd place from the break in Stage 4 of Paris Nice.
So, who's the final podium? Well, it's always a guessing game so my guesses are
1. Thor Husovd
2. Phillippe Gilbert
3. Oscar Freire
4. Peter Sagan
5. Thomas DeGendt
we'll know in a couple of hours!