Vuelta a España 2012
I was sitting around with a few friends the other day when talk turned to the Vuelta. A random comment was made that the 2012 edition would be a Vuelta of the Domestiques. I pointed out that first of all the Vuelta, being last on the calendar, has traditionally lost some of the cycling stars, specially from among those who have the Giro and the Tour in their legs and that this year, the Olympics have certainly contributed to take additional top 20 riders out of contention. It was further pointed out that "Team Politics" determine who is "sent" to any given event.
I felt that there were still plenty of top riders left to make this interesting and taking team orders into account, Froome should now have the freedom to dictate his own fate. Others in our discussion feel it will be an uneven contest because Contador will have a (full?) team around him and unlike Froome, does not have a full season in his legs.
I for one will follow what the likes of Gadret, Roche, Kreuziger, Menchov, Cunego, Van Den Broeck, Gesink and Froome, will do (Sorensen is riding for Contador). Not to forget that Hoogerland, De Gendt and a few others may still want to mix things up. Also the question came up who will take the reigns at Astana, BMC, Euskatel, Garmin, Katusha, Quickstep, Cofidis etc. For me, too bad Voeckler isn't part of this.