OK, it's not that simple. This race is never simple, despite the temptation to think of it as 300km to a bunch sprint. Can Cannondale keep it simple enough to get that winning sprint they want? Or will someone (like old friend Vincenzo Nibali) spring another Primavera Surprise?
Sometimes it seems like Peter Sagan is about to eclipse the entire sun. He sprints, yes... but then he outsprints Cavendish. He attacks, yes. Then he attacks Cancellara. He climbs, sure, but then he climbs away with Nibali and Rodriguez. He descends. He plays decoy. He descents. He pops wheelies.
Only that last one is not a tactic that can help you win La Primavera, Milano-Sanremo. That said, there are so many ways to win this race that the counterargument to Sagan's favorite status is the number of ways he can lose, and the number of people winding up to make that happen. My favorite is the one where ex-mate Nibali descends the Poggio like a madman and is never seen again. But that may be the only strategy more obvious than Sagan being following the winning break and eating their lunch on the line. Next would be a Strade Bianche, where Moreno Moser puts teams in the position of picking their poison. Antifreeze or cyanide?
Three best teams: Cannondale, BMC, Orica-GreenEdge. BMC is dripping with class. OGE are loaded with actual winners, as well as serious depth. This might be the best race of the year for that roster, among the Monuments and Grand Tours. Kind of obvious, really. Picking three is hard though. OPQS? Sky?
Worst team that shouldn't be: Blanco. An easy one. I guess this is what happens when you build off a program whose claim to fame is spending the winter in Spain. When the kids grow up, they... spend the winter in Spain. But they should do well in the Volta, so no tears.
Individuals not to be missed: Pippus Pozzatus, Conqueror of Rome. Remember, this guy was a pretty fast finisher once. He's sort of a veteran Sagan who's a little worse at all of the key elements. But form is form, and he has it. Giovanni Visconti has a big team and a small profile, both things he's lacked for a while, as opposed to talent, which is there. John Degenkolb... is the knee bruise a sandbag? If so, danger alert.
Aight... who ya got? (Are you happy now Pablo?)