My heart says Leipheimer...American team with an American lead rider, but I just don't see Levi having enough intestinal fortitude to take it all. Somewhere in the mountains somebody has got to forcefully take the race from the other contenders and every day after that fend them all off. The only way I see Levi taking it is staying close to the leader and finishing much stronger than he ever has in previous years.
Vinkourov and Sastre both look like good choices, but I think the surprise this year will be the Spaniard Oscar Pereiro.
Here's something I never have understood: David Millar, a Brit, rides for a Spanish team, while the only British team in this year's contest has Russian Alexander Efimkin leading. I guess it's just like other professional sports where athletes play for the highest bidder, but if I were Millar I'd really rather ride for a hometown team. Russia doesn't have a team, so I guess Efimkin's choice is more understandable. I like that Discovery usually has an American leader, so I'll be pulling for Levi.
Truthfully, Leipheimer and Hincapie, the only 2 Americans left on the Discovery channel team are getting pretty old...maybe this is the year they pull out all the stops. But their teammate, the young Ukrainian Yaroslov Popovych appears to be a much stronger rider. Has the winner of the Tour de France ever NOT been his teams leader?