Semi-heated discussion about this the other day. It got me to wondering what exactly everyone thinks about this. There are many factors that could influence this, some of them more nefarious than others, and if comments should choose to go that way then that is all right. I'm actually just interested in the raw numbers of what the Cafe thinks - I don't think I'll even read the comments.
Now I could swear I've seen posts that short before, but apparently SBN wants me to keep writing, so I'll rattle off a few things everybody knows - the factors that might affect Contador's placing/performance.
1) The obvious and nefarious. Moving on.
2) He'll enter the Vuelta having only the Eneco Tour, a race not exactly conducive to his style of riding, in his legs over the last seven months.
3) It seems assured that he'll sign with Saxo Bank at least for the Vuelta. One remembers that without him, they were pretty much hands-down the worst team on the ProTour. He's got 3 fellow Spaniards on that team that pretty much signed just for him, but beyond that, team strength definitely seems a question.
3a) The Vuelta being the last hurrah for some teams and riders that will be looking to salvage their seasons *coughRabocough* it's quite possible that there will be some *much* stronger teams present.
4) Joaquim Rodriguez. He's for real, we know that for sure now, and the route looks awfully good for him.
Aha, now it's long enough! So vote.