Clearly Astana has the strongest team with Alberto, Lance, and Levi. Their tactics so far have been to sit back and watch. The only time they've really gained on their rivals is in the TTT and ITT (except for a clever 40 seconds by Lance in a flat stage.).
There are only three mountain top finishes and the first is already over. At first we all heard "wait till Arcalis to separate the men from the boys". Pretty much a pack finish. Now we're told to wait for the Alps and stage 19.
Granted I don't race professionally and haven't won a TdF before but it seems like Astana has the power to crush their rivals early. Then just defend the yellow all the way to Paris. Lance did this a couple times with USPS. Astana's plan for Arcalis was to make others attack; why not tighten the screws and gain some more time? Today had some tough climbs with a flat finish and another pack finish. Astana didn't try to put the hurt on anyone as conventional wisdom dictates they'll be able to catch up on the flat. The last couple days the break has succeeded. I was glad to see Evans attack and get in the break yesterday even though it was for nothing. The other riders in the breakaway like Hincapie wanted nothing to do with him for fear of being chased down.