Basically Im torn. Astana clearly has the strongest team, but for the love of cycling, how on earth are they going to have any tactics. I think as strong as they are, the double edge sword is perhaps their peril.
Here is what Im looking at:
I think the Scleck bros are going to complicate things for Astana.
They (Schlecks) will leech onto yellow jersey (Contador or LA), and maybe Levi might attack for bait/tactics. Maybe no one chases, and Levi takes yellow. Then, he might manage to hold yellow because Scleck bros, Menchov, Cadel and others keep marking Contador (as favorite to win for Astana). Throw in attacks from Sastre, and then Menchov might have a few goes. This still leaves LA wondering if he should try something or not.
I think that Astana has big issues. If they send a man up to bait other contenders, the bait might actually get yellow. With no clear leader, they may try to protect the jersey if say LA has it. Contador wont work for LA because he would want to gain time INCASE LA doesnt get enough time, and believes/thinks LA isnt strong enough to keep it (security). Contador may then attack to ride his own Tour, or "earn" the jersey himself. I cant see him towing LA around the mountains if he feels stronger. This might provide a carrot for someone like Sastre who can explode away from someone like Levi. Levi might then work for LA chasing Sastre, but then LA might blow, following Levi's wheel. Levi will then have to make a choice to wait for LA (in yellow) or take it as a sign that he isnt strong enough to win, and leave LA to chase Sastre himself. Contador might be ahead trying to gain himself time, while Sclecks are locked on Levi's wheel. Levi might then try to drop Sclecks without success, which means he may not be able to put in effort because this would bring Sclecks back to Contador. Throw in Cadel in there somewhere trying to make his bid.
Which ever way you slice it, Astana is going to have to believe who ever gets yellow is able to keep it, be it LA, Contador or Levi. I just cant see Contador towing LA up climb after climb like "big-george" used to.
Whats your take?