I'll be rooting for the break but smart money's on a sprinter Orica-GreenEdge looked pretty strong last week.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
Nibali solo break pulled back on the Poggio and about twenty five riders on the run in to the finish with Cav taking up the sprint but Kristoff winning with about three bike lengths to spare.
Cold, wet conditions but it seemed to stop raining for finish with only one minor fall at the back of the sprint group about 1km out.
Cancellara looks in good form for the classics.
Trek got it wrong or maybe Rast went on his own. I guess they are not familiar with doing a leadout for the big fella.
Nibali at least made it interesting. I was disappointed that it was the only attack. Maybe the cold and rain just made it too hard for all the survivors?
I just saw clips on steephill, not the whole race, but I thought that Nibali's attack took cojones. He later said that he expected others to go with him, so he was kind of in trouble when he found out that he was doing it alone.
On a race like that I'm sort of disappointed that it just ended in a bunch sprint. Yeah, sometimes they are exciting, but the guys who stay with the peloton throughout, and then use good strategy/teamwork to get to good position for the sprint just aren't as interesting or heroic as the ones who labor all day in the breakaway or who attack from several km out.
Yeah, I know that the winners of these races are always heroes in some sense, and I loved watching Cavendish in his golden age (which seems to have come to a close?), but...
I have a lot more respect for Cavendish these days. He has matured quite a bit and displayed some toughness as of late. I think that earlier in his career he would have bailed on a race in these conditions.
Kristoff... takes a Norwegian to win in conditions like that.
BTW, that guy is HUGE, looks like Eric the Red in tights. :)
It might have been a bunch sprint in a way, but not many lead outs. Certainly no lead out trains. Luca Paolini was huge shepherding Kristoff in the last kms. Looks like Sagan was boxed in. Too bad, it would've been nice to see what he might have done in the end. Also too bad Degenkolb flatted at the base of the Poggio, he might have had a say in the sprint.