Catalunya may not be as high profile as some of these early stage races, but I'm interested b/c some different GE riders are getting a chance to race. I hope the Eritrean Daniel Teklahamanot (I just know I've stuffed up his name) has a good week and shsows everyone he wasn't a UCI- appeasing token signing.
It may not be high profile but there are a lot of big names on show, interesting if Wiggins can carry his form or, now we are in Spain, the Spanish get a bit more serious.
Teklehaymanot finished 67th last night, ahead of Gesink, Menchov, Leipheimer and a number of GreenEdgers (although admittedly in the bunch). He has been talked up as having huge potential (and not just by GreenEdge) and certainly dominates African racing.
I was surprised to Wiggins lining up for this. Maybe he wants to prove that mountains aren't a problem for him, but I expected him to take it easy this early in the season, with both TdF and Olympics on his radar. Perhaps this can be Ritchie Porte's race instead?
It would be a good week for A Schleck to show something. And BMC will be feeling pressured to get a result soon, after a slow start to the year. None of their big names are starting Catalunya. Tejay maybe?
I like Gesink and you can't write off Sanchez, but if I had to pick a winner I'd have a lazy fiver on Valverde, with Cunego or Basso close behind.
Two stages in a row? No way. Alba is on fire. He may have just inked in his name for the TDF squad, if he hadn't already. Stage 3 looks insane.. one for the climbers to get back on terms. 210km and what looks like 4000+ metres of Up-ness. Wiggo, Porte, Cunego, Levi, Sanchez and a load of other top riders are all lurking only 92 seconds back..
We'll see if Valverde really is capable of winning Le Tour like he claims.
Like him or not, he's come back fit and strong so far.. But unfortunately we wont find out this week. He didn't start tonight, after crashing yesterday.